Definition, effects, management, and more
The Monday blues is not part of a clinical disorder, but many people suffer from it. Descriptions and causes of the Monday blues vary widely, but individuals describe them as feelings of dread for the start of the work week.
Some causes of the Monday blues include job dissatisfaction or work-related stress, and the symptoms tend to resemble those of stress. Other indicators include increased heart rate, headaches, and tense muscles.
Keep reading to learn more about the Monday blues, including causes, effects, and symptoms and how to manage them.
The Monday blues refers to the negative feelings some people have at the end or beginning of the week. Returning to the routine of work or school can sometimes depress people. Individuals may experience lower levels of job satisfaction and more job stress early in the work week.
However, the Monday blues is not a clinical term. Therefore, it has no definition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition. This manual defines different mental disorders and lists their symptoms.
Although the Monday blues is not a clinical illness, the feeling of dread in some people is real. The Monday blues can also signal a significant misfortune in someone’s life.
Monday blues differs from depression because it has a specific time when people feel it: Monday. In contrast, depression refers to persistent feelings of low mood and decreased interest in pleasurable activities that can occur at any time of the day.
This feeling of dread on Monday lessens as the week progresses and a person’s mood improves towards the weekend. The Monday blues also have a specific cause, usually related to an individual’s work or weekday routine.
People can have the Monday blues because they are unhappy with their job. Work stressors and other work experiences can affect a person’s mood on Monday.
It should also be noted that the Monday blues are for people who have a standard 5 day work week and 2 days off on the weekends.
Experts also suggest that stressors at work may not cause the Monday blues, but the Monday blues affect how a person reacts to stress.
People with the Monday blues approach and react to stressors differently at the start of the week than at the end. With lower morale on Monday, a person might react more negatively to a stressor that day than at the end of the week.
People who have the Monday blues are also generally happier on weekends because they are free to choose their activities. A lack of control over their schedule can make them feel depressed at the start of the week. Monday is the furthest day from Friday and the weekend, which can depress some people.
The causes of Monday blues can vary, as can their symptoms.
As physicians have not defined Monday blues as a clinical disorder, information about symptoms is purely anecdotal. The main symptom of the Monday blues is a simple bad mood on Monday morning. People may feel distressed about having to return to work or school after the weekend.
Sometimes individuals may experience symptoms of stress at the end of the weekend. These symptoms can include:
- tense muscles
- difficulty breathing
- rapid heartbeat
- increased blood pressure
Some strategies to counter the Monday blues can temporarily improve people’s moods. However, if feelings of dread on Monday are a sign of deep discontent and dissatisfaction, these methods may not last long.
Stress management can help reduce the perception of stressors at work on Mondays. Other techniques that help improve a person’s mood can help manage the Monday blues. Some examples are below.
1. Muscle relaxation techniques
Progressive relaxation is a technique that involves contracting different muscles in the body and releasing tension. People also call it progressive muscle relaxation. Individuals can achieve a relaxing effect by repeatedly tensing and relaxing the muscles.
2. Breathing exercises
Breathing exercises involve intentionally focusing on the breath. People refer to taking slow, deep inhales and exhales as diaphragmatic breathing. By connecting the mind and body through deep breathing, individuals can experience a relaxing effect.
3. Maintain a large social network
Having a strong social network that provides emotional support can improve a person’s mental well-being. Healthy social networks can help promote self-esteem, which can prevent depression. Those with underdeveloped social networks are more
4. Exercise regularly
Resistance or aerobic exercise can help improve mood and emotional states. Exercise can improve a person’s mood and lessen negative moods, and its effects can last for up to
Learn more about how exercise can benefit mental health.
5. Get enough sleep
The quality of a person’s sleep is an important factor
Learn more about sleep hygiene.
6. Consult a doctor
If the Monday blues signals a deeper misfortune, medical attention may be needed. Anxiety and depression are clinical illnesses that require drug treatment or a therapist. Without treatment, these conditions can get worse.
7. Consult a guidance or academic counselor
Some people need to change jobs or studies. A guidance counselor or educational counselor can help people navigate their career or career skills and interests. This change can help individuals gain more satisfaction during the week.
Studies on the potential complications of the Monday blues are lacking. Persistent, cyclical feelings of dread can become chronic and lead to anxiety or depression, which can be serious mental health issues that require medical attention.
The differences in occurrences of suicide on Monday were attenuated when the person’s age was taken into account. For teens and people in their twenties, suicide rates were highest on Mondays, so the effect of the Monday blues may be greater for young adults and teens.
People who cannot cope with their feelings of fear or who notice their feelings getting worse should see a doctor. Depressive symptoms to report include:
- feeling guilty or worthless
- loss of energy
- lack of concentration
- appetite changes
- sleeping troubles
- suicidal thoughts
Anxiety symptoms that last at least 6 months also require medical attention. These symptoms include:
- excessive worry
- difficulty controlling worries
- get tired easily
- difficulty concentrating
- muscle tension
- sleeping troubles
It is essential to seek immediate medical attention if suicidal thoughts arise.
The Monday blues is not a clinical disease but a real feeling. This can cause some people distress at the end of the weekend, as getting back to the routine of a job or school can be difficult.
The Monday blues can lead to clinical conditions such as anxiety, stress, and depression. These conditions may all require medical or psychiatric intervention.
If people are concerned that the Monday blues is having a negative effect on their life, they can contact a doctor.