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Kick the Monday morning blues: recharge like a pro

Originally published on InsideOPS

Do you drag your feet on Monday mornings?

If so, you aren’t alone. 

According to research from Jamie Gruman at the University of Guelph, 40 percent of employees feel tired at the start of the week (and every weekday thereafter). 

The problem? Ineffective use of downtime.

Recharging your batteries is essential for your well-being but doing so isn’t as simple as binging on the latest Netflix hit. The best activities, says Gruman, do one or more of the following.

Rebuild depleted resources.

To rest your mental and physical faculties pursue different types of activities in your leisure time than those you do at work. 

For example, if your job involves hours of reading and deep thinking, give the analytical part of your brain a break by hiking, gardening, or taking improv comedy classes.

On the other hand, if your job is highly physical, a long snooze may be just what the doctor ordered.

Nourish your psychological needs.

We all need to feel autonomous, competent, and connected to others. Research shows that people who satisfy these needs on the weekend, return to work more energized.   

To fulfill autonomy, do something of your own choosing. For competency, pursue a hobby you can see the results of such as playing a musical instrument, cooking, or woodworking. And to ensure connection, spend time with people whose company you enjoy.

Unplug from work.

You have to mentally leave the office, says Gruman, even if your office is at home.

To signal movement into another part of your life, create a transitional activity such as making a cup of tea or changing your clothes when you are off-the-clock.

Recharging is ultimately about making smart choices in how you spend your downtime, whenever you find it. 

Says Gruman, “You can top up the tank in any moment of leisure you have – vacations, evenings at home, even coffee breaks.”

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