Monday, September 28, 2015

What Is It About Monday?


 Word Origin and History for Monday
Old English mondæg, monandæg "Monday," literally "day of the moon," from mona (genitive monan ; see moon (n.)) + dæg (see day ). Common Germanic (cf. Old Norse manandagr, Old Frisian monendei, Dutch maandag, German Montag) loan-translation of Late Latin Lunæ dies, source of the day name in Romance languages (cf. French lundi, Italian lunedi, Spanish lunes), itself a loan-translation of Greek selenes hemera. The name for this day in Slavic tongues generally means "day after Sunday."

Phrase Monday morning quarterback is attested from 1932, Monday being the first day back at work after the weekend, when school and college football games were played. Black Monday (mid-14c.) is the Monday after Easter day, though how it got its reputation for bad luck is a mystery. Saint Monday (1753) was "used with reference to the practice among workmen of being idle Monday, as a consequence of drunkenness on the Sunday" before [OED]. Clergymen, meanwhile, when indisposed complained of feeling Mondayish
(1804) in reference to effects of Sunday's labors.

Psychology of Monday Blues

Criss M.
07 April 2014
Tons of people complain about Mondays. And why wouldn’t they? Mondays are often painful, tiring and filled with tons of work. They disrupt the serenity we managed to reach during the weekend and remind us that we aren’t so carefree after all. Even “Friday I’m in Love” from The Cure admits it: “Monday’s blue”.
But is that really so? Are Mondays the worst? Or is it all just a big illusion?


A 2004 study found that while there is a clear difference between weekdays and weekends, the 219 participants reported all weekdays to be just as bad in the end. The conclusion was that the rise of cortisol levels is associated with work-related stress, and that the variance during weekdays isn’t significant unless compared to the levels presented during the weekend.
In 2010, another study found that people report feelings of well-being, autonomy and satisfaction in relation to the weekend, while weekdays provoke the opposite reactions, without any major difference Monday through Friday. Only on the second half of Friday does the mood change enough to be considered relevant.
Of course, it all comes down to when someone works. For people working in stores, restaurants, hospitals, fire departments, hotels, freelancers and so many others , the “weekend” could include Tuesdays and Fridays, while Saturdays and Sundays are full work days. And then there are also people with no days off.


If you think about it, taking Mondays off would be a good idea for people who have this option. Why Mondays, if you could pick any day? Mondays are special in this context due to the fact that most work weeks start on this day and there’s a general association between Mondays and “having a full week of work ahead” that simply increases the stress levels even more. Most people have a biased perception of Mondays. They expect them to be lousy.
And then there is also the fact that Monday comes right after Sunday, so you get a rather striking contrast between a relaxation day and having to go back to work. This applies to any other 2 consecutive days of relaxation followed by work.
While older studies found Mondays to be the peak day for suicides and heart attacks, newer ones (1 & 2) showed that this is simply not true (anymore).

Rest of the weekdays

  • Tuesday: Often called “Terrible Tuesday”. Better than Monday, but you’re still stuck on the first side of the week.
  • Wednesday: As a pessimist, you still have 2 more days you need to survive through. Plus the current one – that’s 3 full days of work and awfulness. As an optimist, however, Monday is already over, and so is Tuesday, and – hey, look at the time! – Wednesday’s almost over too, which leaves you with only two more days to go.
  • Thursday: Still bad, but getting better. Don’t you just suddenly feel like working a little bit?
  • Friday: “Thank God It’s Friday!”, anyone? So, work can wait till Monday, what are your plans for the weekend?


Most anyone asked will report Mondays (or any other first day of work in a week) to be the worst. It’s something we grew up with and, unreasonably biased as this might be, it does have a significant impact on our moods.
Sure, some studies claim that Monday isn’t that bad after all, and yet simply knowing the results of a few studies can’t change the way someone feels on a given day. And then there is also the fact that some people simply get used to complaining about Mondays each week. It’s their ritual, and it secretly makes them feel better one way or another. Why should anyone take that away from them?

Happy Monday? Probably not.

Stave off the weekend effect and make your week more worthwhile  
Polly Campbell
Posted Feb 23, 2010       
If you feel happier on Saturday than when the alarm goes off Monday morning, you're not alone. Seems just about everyone is in a better mood over the weekend than during the weekdays, according to Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester.
He calls it the “weekend effect” (link is external) and it causes people -- whether they are single or married, laborers or behind-the desk professionals – to feel happier on a Friday night than they will on Monday.
People are not only in better moods during the weekend, they also tend to be more energetic and suffer fewer aches and pains. It’s true in this household. When my husband walks in the door from work Friday afternoon, he’s downright celebratory. Ready to go out to dinner, discuss plans for the weekend, even willing to clean the gutters. He is upbeat, energetic and on some days this mild-mannered guy is, dare-I-say it? Excited. The enthusiasm drops as the week wears on.
But what happens between Friday and Monday that can so alter our mood and eat at our energy levels? Turns out the shift, according to Ryan, is a result of our right to choose how we spend those hours in between Friday and Monday. In other words, we have more freedom, more autonomy, over the weekend and that makes the difference.
The option to choose what we do, when we do it, and who we do it with, fosters our sense of well-being and self efficacy. It also promotes social connection. Left with a bit of free time many of us will reach out and connect with close friends and family members. That connection alone is a built-in mood booster.
So, this week (I know some of you aren’t going to like this) try something different – Have Fun – right in the middle of the week. It sounds a little crazy, rebellious even, but cut loose. Do something you’ve always wanted to do – on a Tuesday. Call that friend you’ve been meaning to connect with smack dab in the middle of Thursday. It won’t be easy. Many of us – as in ME – are so stuck in the weekly routine that we’ve forgotten how to color outside of the lines of our Wednesday schedule. We’ll make excuses, not enough time, not enough energy, too much work, blah, blah blah. Do it anyhow.
In the beginning, it will feel a little forced. But with practice we can be fun again. Even on a Sunday night. We can get in the habit of enjoying life, say seven days out of the week, instead of two. To stay stuck in a pattern of relishing Friday and Saturday and dreading the other days means we miss a whole lot of life in between.
And beyond that it’s a health issue. Research has shown, repeatedly, that we are healthier and happier when we are connected, capable, and autonomous.
That doesn’t mean to shake off that work deadline or put off the parent/teacher conference. We’re grown-ups and external pressures are unavoidable. It’s simply about adding some of the things that make us feel good back in during the week.
Here are some ways to get started.
  • Limit your schedule. Too many time demands leave us feeling frantic and dependent on outside forces. Plan a little unscheduled time each day.
  • Try something new. When our work and family demands become too busy we often scale back the things we used to love to do, or put off the things we’d like to learn. Add one back in. Resurrect a beloved hobby. Learn an instrument or a new skill. Challenge yourself to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Try a new recipe, drive a new route home from work.
  • Be spontaneous. I, for one, am easily burned out by the daily routine. I feel better when I find  little ways to mix it up each week. For example, I said yes to coffee with an old friend and felt energized and happy after reconnecting. So, today say yes, instead of no. Have a picnic on your living room floor, take in a show. Surprise yourself. Like me, you may have to plan to be spontaneous, but you’ll be astonished about how good that feels.
Afterall, happiness doesn’t have to be limited to the weekends.

I Love Mondays

Posted Aug 28, 2013       
A healthy and realistic approach to apply to the first day of the work week.
Blue Monday
Monday has had a bad rap for quite some time. Have you ever wondered why it’s the least favorite day of the week?
Here are a few questions to ponder:
 Why do people resent Monday?
 Why do most people dread going to work on Monday?
 Why is production and work efficiency rated the lowest on Monday?
 Why do so many people have low energy and bad attitudes on Monday?
 Why do people choose not to close deals on Monday?
 Why do people avoid going out on first dates on Monday?
There is a single, powerful answer to all these questions:
Monday marks the end of fun on the calendar.
Monday is the first day of the work week, which means responsibilities are back in full gear. The weekend is traditionally filled with more relaxed and enjoyable activities, but Monday is a return to the real world and the accountability that goes along with it.
People simply have a hard time switching from their carefree weekend attitude to the weekday blues. It’s an emotional shift that feels a little like eating your vegetables.
I, on the contrary, have always loved Mondays. (I like vegetables, too, but that’s another story.)
Why so?
I have made a conscious choice to understand, appreciate, and welcome the very first work day of the week. I felt enthused about starting the week; it’s my chance to get ahead, accomplish things, and produce results. Monday introduces a fresh, new color into my world. It’s a new attitude—the freedom to choose to pursue my goals for the week at work and at home.
That simple shift in thinking has had a profound influence on my life.
For many years, I've worked in the manufacturing industry. I've completed intensive research over the years on productivity levels and employee attitudes toward Mondays. It was actually a surprise to me to find out that most people strongly disliked Mondays.
When I would call a business contact on a Monday, I could hear their lack of energy and enthusiasm over the phone. In fact, some of my colleagues shared their views on Mondays when I questioned them.
“How are you?” I would ask.
Here are some of their responses:
“I will be better on Thursday.”
“It's Monday. What do you expect?”
“I wish it was still the weekend.”
“I wish we could skip Monday and go straight to Tuesday.”
Other comments pretty much followed that line of thinking.
Well, I thought to myself, if we skipped Monday, Tuesday would become the most unwelcome day of the week.
Regardless, people have a hard time breaking away from the weekend. The weekend was fun, free, a time to do anything they wanted to do. Monday is back to reality—papers piled up on your desk, chores at home, traffic, getting the kids to school on time, grocery shopping, preparing meals, taking kids to soccer practice and ballet lessons, cleaning the house, finishing a report for the boss . . . oh, if it was only Saturday again.
Stress replaces liberty.
Tasks replace time off.
Tedium replaces creativity.
That’s what most of us think.
Now, I would like to turn that mindset around. I can think of numerous reasons why Monday is a fabulous and very important day of the week. It’s time to ditch Monday’s bad reputation and give it a new image.
When we choose to have a better attitude about Monday, everything around us will begin to shift. Stress will be replaced by passion. We will have a new energy and start feeling good about ourselves and our accomplishments early in the week. When we make this shift, we become better partners; more patient parents; more productive workers; and most importantly, we become better time managers.
On top of all that, we actually start enjoying what we do—even on Monday. We welcome responsibility, because we realize it is giving us the opportunity to make things happen. We increase our success, make more money, and ultimately are rewarded by having more freedom. We will have new opportunities to travel, buy certain gadgets we love, and spend more time with family and friends.
When we make good use of Mondays, we also stop carrying stress through the days of the week. We solve problems as they occur rather than putting them off, and we learn how to get the most out of each and every day of the week.
I call Monday Funday. Don’t laugh! It changes attitudes.
I must share with you an event I introduced at one of the companies where I worked as an executive.
I decided to wait by the main entrance on a gloomy Monday morning and greet all the employees entering the facility. I smiled at them and announced, “Welcome! Happy Monday to you.”
They looked at me like I was insane. My cheery greeting didn’t remove their frowns. Most of them mumbled a quick “good morning” and shuffled through the doors with zero enthusiasm.
After I had greeted about a dozen people, I came to the conclusion that I really needed to do something about the bad attitudes in our organization. I knew it was affecting our bottom line. Our nightshift assembly line people had to troubleshoot more and more issues because of problems the dayshift employees handed them on a lackluster Monday. We wasted additional time on quality control and the customer returns.
Monday was a low shipping day and a low point in the quality of our work. No one was in top form on Monday—they were all just waiting for the day to end.
So as I stood in the doorway on that rainy Monday, a huge idea came to my mind.
I walked out to the parking lot toward the next group of people locking their cars, and I asked them to walk back to their respective cars.
“Why?” they asked.
My answer was simple: I wanted them to start over with a fresh attitude. The moment they locked their car doors, I wanted them to also lock away their weekend and their bad attitude about Mondays. I encouraged them to turn around with a smile and walk toward the building with purpose—happy to be part of an organization that produced items that helped people in the world.
If thought if I could just change the attitudes of a few employees, it would have a domino effect. We had to change our attitudes toward Mondays. It was as simple as that.
Again, they looked at me like I was insane, but they did follow my instructions. I repeated this practice for several weeks, and, believe it or not, attitudes started to change. Monday became a great day of productivity, shipping was up, and the company embarked on a whole new journey.