It's a near-universal truth that Monday is the worst day of the week (and we've got the Sunday Sads to prove it). According to research done by Stanford University, even unemployed people see their morale dip on weekdays. Happiness rises with the number of hours you spend with family and friends, the study says, so even if you aren’t working, Monday morning can still bum you out.
Flip the script and make every day feel like Saturday (well, almost) with these expert tips.
1. BRING A PIECE OF YOUR WEEKEND INTO YOUR WEEK.
You don’t need to save all the fun stuff for the weekend, says Janet Zinn, a New York psychotherapist and coach. So get together with friends, try a new workout, go to early hours at a museum before work, or take yourself out to breakfast with a friend, Zinn suggests. “Anything that allows for some fun or feels restful during the week,” she says. “It could be a 20-minute shift in your schedule; or, if you have the flexibility, do something that takes at least an hour.”
2. WAKE UP EARLIER.
Weekend mornings are awesome because they’re quiet and relaxed, says Glen Stansberry, co-founder of Gentlemint.com. During the week, mornings tend to be rushed. Stansberry recommends you emulate your weekend mornings during the week by setting your alarm a little earlier. “It doesn’t have to be much, just try enough that it allows you to do something that you don’t normally get to do: drink your coffee slowly, take a nice, relaxed shower, even lounge around,” he says.
3. UNPLUG DURING THE WEEK.
One of the best parts of the weekend is that you can give yourself a break from business-related email, says Stansberry. But you can set limits on email during the week, too. “Make it a point—unless your job explicitly requires it—to turn off email for periods of time,” Stansberry says. “Check it in intervals instead of having it constantly on, and reply to messages in batches, which is actually much more efficient anyway.”
4. DO SOME LIGHT WORK ON THE WEEKEND.
Most likely, part of the reason you’re so stressed during the week is that you’re overloaded with work. But if you do a small amount of work on the weekend, you’ll free up some time during the week to do something fun, says Carole Lieberman, a Beverly Hills psychiatrist.
But this doesn’t mean you have to drag yourself to the office on a Saturday. “If you have reading to catch up on, you can use this as motivation to go someplace relaxing, like a park or the beach, where you can lay out a blanket, read, and have a little picnic,” Lieberman says. “If the weather doesn’t permit outdoor relaxation, you can take it inside to your favorite coffee ship or cozy bookstore.”
5. GET A NEW JOB.
A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that those who love their job and their boss had a much smaller—and sometimes even a non-existent—"weekend effect" on their moods. One of the major reasons why people look forward to the weekend is to get away from their jobs; but if you love your job, then you’ll be happier during the week, the study found.
If you can’t switch your job, you can find little ways to boost your mood at the office, says Gini Graham Scott, author of Enjoy! New Ways to Add Fun to Your Work Every Day. She suggests making more of an effort to become friends with your co-workers, including planning post-work socials, potluck lunches in the cafeteria, and coffee outings.