How To Stop Feeling Bad On Monday Morning

Thousands of people go through it every week. Most get physical symptoms - perhaps a sinking feeling in the stomach, pains in the neck and shoulders or a throbbing headache. It saps energy and clouds the ability to think. It can come on suddenly or build slowly over the weekend.

Monday morning blues are definitely unpleasant and certainly debilitating. Why would anyone put themselves through it? The simple fact is that they think they have no choice. They have to go to work.

Ask why and a typical reply is 'I have to go to work because I need the money'. End of story. The 'no choice' perspective ends any further thought on the matter. If, like me, you have been here you will know that the only option seems to be to struggle on.

If we can't immediately see other options, it does not mean that there aren't any but that we need to look in new places. What if you make a small change? Instead of telling yourself 'I have to go work because .' let yourself know that 'I choose to go to work because .'.

If you think this is a stretch too far, consider this. As you prepare to go to work, you do certain things like washing and dressing which are under your direct control. No one else is forcing you, so already you are exercising choice.

After all, you could stay under the duvet. By changing your thinking explicitly to 'I choose to go to work' you begin to unlock some powerful positive possibilities. You are putting your mind clearly in the driving seat rather than being a passive passenger. You can multiply the benefit by picking up other occasions in the day when you think 'I must.' or 'I should .

' and changing them to 'I choose .'. It may seem wacky just reading about this but when you put it into practice you will experience the difference.

The reason is that when you choose something, you admit to the existence of alternatives. So choosing opens up your thinking and awareness to new options. Your mind will begin to search automatically for them. New options may be about changing what you do but equally they can be about how you do what you are already doing. Although this may entail changing your job, it is more likely to mean changing how you do your current one. James commutes into London by train.

The journey used to simply add misery to his Monday blues - it was a mad dash to the station and the train was always crowded so he never got a seat. After 50 minutes of standing he then had to cram onto the Underground for the final leg. Even before he started work, he felt completely drained. At first he could not see that he had any choice in the matter.

But as he became aware that, as an autonomous human being, there were different decisions he could make, he changed how he did the journey. Instead of staying in bed until the last possible minute, he chose to get up 20 minutes earlier. Now he takes a less frenetic pace to the station and catches an earlier train.

This is less crowded and most days he gets a seat. He started to take a book with him, something unconnected with work, and gained 100 minutes of pleasurable reading a day. When the weather is good, instead of the Tube he walks the last leg which not only gives him some exercise but he has also got to see more of the city. The best bit is that now he feels more in control when he is actually at work.

His self-awareness has grown so that he knows more about how he influences those around him and, instead of impulsive reactions, he is able to choose his responses to situations as they occur. And the Monday blues have largely faded away. So the challenge is: can you believe that there are always choices? Put another way, can you believe that you always have a degree of control over your experience? If not, can you suspend your disbelief and experiment for a while?.

Trevor Hill works with groups and individuals who want to make their work worthwhile and satisfying. As a qualified coach, he guides and supports them while they boost their motivation and reinvigorate their working lives. He believes that as we spend a major part of our lives at work, we should aim to get the most from it. Trevor publishes free inspiration tips every fortnight - simply sign up at

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