Are Mondays Really the Most Depressing Day?

The alarm rings, and the first thing you do is groan. It's Monday and there are 40 plus hours separating you from the stress-free weekend. Often, we think of Mondays in a negative light, and rightfully so.

A study conducted by British food company Marmite and reported in The Telegraph found that many people don't smile on Mondays until 11:16am, and more than half of workers won't arrive at work on time. The study also found that, on Mondays, most only have approximately three hours of productivity. But is this all a sign of depression? Or is there a natural lag period between the carefree nature of the weekend and the stressors of the work week?

While experts may disagree on the cause of the slow start associated with Mondays, a study conducted by the University of Sydney finds that Wednesdays, in fact, may be the lowest point of the week. Scientists asked 200 workers to list their anticipated moods on each day with most saying their moods being the worst on Monday mornings and improving throughout the week.

However, after reading the participants' journal entries throughout the week, scientists found that the majority experienced the most stress on Wednesdays when they were furthest away from the weekends and felt overwhelmed by work.

Improve Your Outlook

The University of Sydney study suggests that, largely, the "Monday Morning Blues" or the "Thank God It's Friday" feelings are derived from cultural beliefs that say you're the most happy when you are able to choose activities you enjoy rather than engaging in "work."

Still, to have a productive and meaningful Monday through Friday, there are ways in which you can factor that control of time that makes weekends so appealing:

1. Schedule breaks in your day. If possible, grab coffee or lunch with coworkers during the day. This will allow you time away from your desk to decompress. Once 5:00 rolls around, grab a drink. This will give you something you can look forward.

2. Go to the gym. Whether it's before work or after, working out releases depression-easing, feel-good neurotransmitters, and endorphins.

3. Eat breakfast. Having a bagel with butter every morning will pack on the pounds; however, indulging in the occasional bacon and egg breakfast may enhance your mood. A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that fatty foods can improve your response to sadness.

4. Have morning sex. Not only will you increase your heart rate and reap the same brain benefits that exercise provides, but the flood of hormones and emotional closeness you experience during morning sex will give you a positive start to your day.

5. Take a personal day. If stress is piling on and you're feeling overwhelmed, don't try to "work through it." Take a personal day during which you do what you want. Remember, you owe it to yourself to be happy, first and foremost.




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