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Beat 'Monday blues' with preparation, attitude adjustment

September 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Not too many people are fans of Monday mornings. Even if you love your job or stay at home with the kids, Monday signals the start of what seems like a long week. So can you beat the "Monday blues?" Experts say it's all about your state of mind.

It seems as soon as you walk in the door or get the kids ready for school, the countdown to Friday is on. Cleveland Clinic psychologists Joe Rock says these feelings have a lot do with how the human brain is wired.

"Our brains are wired to look ahead, and if what you're looking ahead to is Monday, not only are you looking forward to going to work, but you're also looking forward to all week long, all of the stuff that you have to do," said Rock. "Those 'have-tos' start getting locked into your head, instead of the 'want-tos.' Weekend is full of 'want-tos'; work is full of 'have-tos.'"

Rock says to stop this dialogue in your head, distract yourself Sunday night: Go to a movie, visit with friends or listen to music. It will keep your thoughts from looking too far ahead.

Positive preparation can also help. Rock suggests ironing your work clothes or making your lunch ahead of time to avoid rushing around Monday morning.

And when you get in to work, take some time to settle in, get some coffee, catch-up with co-workers and start with the easy things first.

"Just do what you need to do Monday morning," said Rock. "If you have any discretion about what you need to do, pick the things that you like the most. If you've got to call 10 people, call the one you like first. Again, ease yourself into it."

Rock says since the brain is wired to look forward, plan to do some fun things early in the week outside of work.

"If you plan some things early in the week: 'I am going to get out of the building for lunch today instead of eating at my desk. I'm going to meet a friend of mine for a drink after work. I am going out to dinner with somebody on Tuesday,'" said Rock. "It's something concrete to look forward to that competes with all of the stuff that is going to be rushing through your mind otherwise about work."

Dr. Rock says if Mondays get you down, be mindful of it and start making changes to make them better.

More advice from the experts: Don't get overwhelmed with thinking about what needs to get done during the whole week.

When you need to do things you don't like, focus on the next step and take it one step at a time.


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