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Mondays: Welcoming, Embracing, and Beating the New Week

In this post today, we’ll pay tribute to the returning Monday and examine how our physical, mental, and spiritual health revolves around the first day of the week. For most persons, the weekends are a time of relaxation and enjoyment, whether it be getting extra Z’s, catching a flick, or being with friends and family. As Saturday winds down, you’ll soon realize how the same will happen the next day. Time will usher in Monday through its sheer speed, leading one to wonder where the weekend has gone and whether there’s an end in sight.

Granted, everyone has differences in mindset, drive, and motivation in regards to Monday, such that we have a person looking forward to beginning the week and the other dreading its swift return. No matter the scenario, we are all affected, and it takes a health strategy to maintain sanity as we progress through life.

It may be no coincidence that health issues occur at higher rates on Mondays, namely heart attacks (Barnett and Dobson, 2005), and increased heart rate and blood pressure (Kimura et al., 2017) due to binge drinking or work-related stress. Another scholarly article suggests the lower level of mood from having the ‘Monday Blues’ and attribute to absenteeism or not showing up to appointments (Ellis, Wiseman, and Jenkins, 2015). These literature sources all point out the role of work as potential stressors of life. Knowing that you have to go another week again may feel draining for a demanding job or routine.

Sure, we have obligations to meet and exceed job requirements, please our boss and clients, pay our bills, and fulfill life’s commitments, but there is no self-care if you don’t put the care in yourself. You see, you are the best asset to yourself. What’s the good in arriving at the office (if you are currently employed) or at the job interview (if you are searching for a job) when you are feeling sick? In both scenarios, you either give less than your best or don’t show up at all. This article will show how you can take preventive care measures to function at peak health when Monday rolls around again.

“I think, therefore I am,” written by French philosopher of the 17th Century, René Descartes, in the book Discourse on the Method. Maybe the ‘method’ refers to the thinking through of one’s life and the acquiring of knowledge and truth. In other words, you are what you think, especially about Mondays in our present discussion. Behavior and state of mind can be predicted according to authors who’ve identified factors driving one’s psyche. Remembering significant events, repeating personal thoughts, and forming stable beliefs are the key elements for influencing behavior (Glasman and Albarracín, 2006). Reassuring one’s own thoughts becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. How do you break the cycle?

It’s not as easy as welcoming Monday’s without planning and establishing short-term and long-term goals. Consider working on to improve your situation, if any, in these life aspects: (1) Your workplace, (2) Your relationships with others, and (3) Your health. Assuming a full-time and even a part-time schedule factoring the commute, most would spend a significant portion of their lives doing something work-related. It helps to identify the top stressors in what you do and see if there’s anything to make the job go smoother. Establish a to-do list of tasks to work on for the week and pick something that you want to get done. Recruit help from others if you can. We’re social beings and there’s a great chance you’ll find others willing to help. You’ll also realize that others are on the same boat as you, and that you’re not alone.

Finally, make it a habit to take care of your health by providing yourself good nutrition through a healthy diet, and getting a good stretch in and a walk or run outdoors. Being outdoors can lift one’s mood. If you’ve been indoors, give nature a try. Fifteen to thirty minutes to enjoy the fresh air may be what it takes to re-energize and re-focus for the day. This new habit may be what it takes to move forward and look forward to another self-care session with yourself, the outdoors, and the weekdays. Make peace with time, no matter what the day is.

References

Barnett, A. G., & Dobson, A. J. (2005). Excess in cardiovascular events on Mondays: a meta-analysis and prospective study. Journal of epidemiology and community health59(2), 109–114. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1733011/

Ellis, D. A., Wiseman, R., & Jenkins, R. (2015). Mental Representations of Weekdays. PloS one10(8), e0134555. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4544878/

Glasman, L. R., & Albarracín, D. (2006). Forming attitudes that predict future behavior: a meta-analysis of the attitude-behavior relation. Psychological bulletin132(5), 778–822. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4815429/

Kimura, G., Inoue, N., Mizuno, H., Izumi, M., Nagatoya, K., Ohtahara, A., Munakata, M., & Workplace Hypertension Co-operative Study by 29 Rosai Hospitals belonging to the Japan Organization of Occupational Health and Safety (2017). Increased double product on Monday morning during work. Hypertension research: official journal of the Japanese Society of Hypertension40(7), 671–674. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5506244/

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