Getting over “Mondayitis” is good for your health

©Glow images

©Glow images

“How was your weekend? Did you do something nice? Pity we have to come to work!  I can’t wait for Friday.”  While the start of the working week can seem tough, there is a way to get over the Mondayitis-blues.  It can be easy when you know how.

For many of us, getting back to work after a relaxing weekend with family or friends can seem an unappealing  grind – especially when it involves making the daily commute on public transport or driving in peak-hour traffic. While “Mondayitis” is often the butt of jokes because of its links to laziness and taking ‘sickies’, never-the-less there are many people who have valid reasons for dreading the start of the working week. For them feelings of weariness, sadness, apathy and general distress are not a joke.

Holding down a job is serious stuff. Most of us are responsible for earning a wage to put a roof over our heads, food on the table and clothes on our backs. This responsibility is multiplied if you have a family to care for.  So if you have a high-pressure occupation, or there’s no job satisfaction, or the work is demanding and stressful, gearing thought up to tackle five to six days of employment can be demanding.

I know how that feels. Each Monday I’m confronted with a work schedule that feels overwhelming. My inbox is filled with e-mails calling out for attention. Fresh phone calls and text messages come in. I have a writing schedule to maintain and social media to follow-up on. Then there’s a hundred and one other administrative details to deal with. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in my five workdays. And then there’s the depressing elephant-in-the-room question: “will I get through all that I need to do in that week?”

Wondering if you’ll be able to complete the required work essential in your job, is often linked to a fear of failure. This can result in feelings of pressure or stress. According to Dr Roberta Lee, Stress is both a physiological and a psychological response to events that upset our balance. Stress is what happens when the demands and daily challenges of the outside world are greater than our ability to cope with them.”

In dealing with stress that flows from the fear of not fulfilling our ‘to do list’  at work, Dr. Lee points to the research of Harold Koenig, M.D.. Koenig is Director of Duke University’s Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health. His primary research is focused on studying  the effects of religion and spirituality on health. Koenig’s work has revealed that people who are more religious tend to become depressed less often. When they do become depressed, they recover more quickly.

Perhaps this is a key to handling the fear that surges up on a Monday when a worker faces the week ahead.  At least this has been a key that I’ve used to open the door for tackling my workload with a sense of serenity and fearlessness.

A favourite sacred poem and song that’s known by many people, is called Psalm 23. In it, the author writes reassuringly of a divine Love that tenderly cares for us – in the same way a shepherd looks after his little flock. Here’s a few lines of it. “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honour to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.”

The thought of a comforting Presence that calms our fears and guides our thinking, has certainly brought peace to many people struggling with workday fear and stress – me included. It’s enabled workers to calm thought down, stay positive, to focus on one day at a time and not worry about whether the work will get done. It’s also helped them to remember that they are capable of completing jobs in a timely manner – that they have the necessary skill, intelligence and ability.

I can honestly say that by taking this approach, I’ve completed what I’ve needed to do each week. This has definitely changed my attitude to starting the working week. Who knows, maybe this method of thinking will finally end the Monday-blues forever, and bring order and peace to the workplace.

This article was translated into Japanese and appeared on A Healthy Asia  - a blog site promoting healthy ideas.

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I'm a Melbourne based health writer who provides a perspective on the connection between spirituality, thought and health. As a keen blogger, my aim is to provide the public with a diversity of health content including research into the mind-body connection and how thought affects health.

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Comments

  1. Pete says

    I like what you have to say about “Mondayitis”. I like it a lot! It’s very interesting and very helpful, especially the important message that work-related stress is a prevalent and challenging health problem in our society. I must admit I’ve always tended to accept the commonly held belief that “Mondayitis” is simply an excuse for some people to have an unscheduled day off from work. I didn’t realize to what extent there’s a much more serious and deep-seated reason for some of the absenteeism at the beginning of a working week. Thank you for presenting an approach by which this societal problem can be addressed and hopefully reduced.

    • says

      Thank you Pete for your thoughtful comment. With all the demands at home and work these days, setting off on a Monday morning can be disturbing for some. It can be stressful dealing with a heavy workload. Then there’s the fear of failing to complete it. A spiritual approach offers a pathway to mental freedom from anxiety which in turn leads to a happier working week.

  2. Kerrie Gasteen says

    Definitely a helpful article not only for Monday starts but to apply to any challenge when going about our daily living

    It is like a safety net really to think that God is always there to take care of us and guides us to right solutions when we take time to listen

    Many thanks for this wonderful article

    • says

      Thank you Kerrie for your comment. Glad you found my blog helpful. Yes I agree that it is comforting and strengthening to believe that there is a divine Presence that guides and cares for you each day of the week. That thought, can relieve the anxiety that can sometimes come with having to make difficult decisions at home and in the workplace.

  3. says

    Thank you for publishing my post in Japanese on “Getting over “Mondayitis” is good for your health”. It is good to know that spiritual thinking could end the Monday-blues forever, and bring order and peace to the workplace.

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