The definitive guide to beating a case of the Mondays

Ah, a “case of the Mondays”: the much-popularized phrase from the movie Office Space that perfectly describes how every human seems to feel when the weekend comes to a close. Never has there been a more succinct depiction of deplorable, humdrum office life since that movie/phrase. I especially detest Mondays, but over the years, I have created ways to trick myself into tolerating them. If the whole “fake it ’til you make it” doesn’t seem to be working for you this Monday, either, here are just a few tips.

Start preparing on Sunday night

Create a list of goals that you want to accomplish for the week, get your outfit picked out, lunch packed, and do any other prep to make your morning easier.

Do something good for your body—and, indirectly, your mood—on Monday mornings

Get up a little earlier than usual and take a yoga class, workout, or meditate at home for 10-15 minutes. I definitely try to meditate as much as possible—I can be a stress ball and not even know it, and meditating really helps! There is a ton of research that shows significant stress, anxiety, and insomnia reduction from meditating at least 10 minutes a day. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed those suffering from heart disease tried meditation for 16 weeks had a marked improvement in blood pressure and heart rate.

As an alternative, make a smoothie or fresh juice to start your day off right. Organic Gardening and Mind Body Green have some great recipes. We have a standard recipe at our house that includes some major vital nutrients we miss during the day:

1 cup Greek Yogurt or Plain Kefir
3 Medjool Dates
2 tablespoons of Peanut or Almond Butter
1 Banana
1 tablespoons Cacao Nibs or Powder
1-2 tablespoons MCT oil or High Quality Coconut Oil
1 teaspoon Flax Seed Powder
Splash of Coconut or Almond milk
(Optional) An Apple or Leafy Green

Save some fun for Monday

Wait until Monday nights to watch your recorded shows from last week, schedule a favorite activity with some friends, or do something indulgent that you don’t have time to do on the weekends and probably wouldn’t do otherwise during the week.

Design a special Monday playlist to listen to on the way into work

Even if you don’t feel happy, make it a positive playlist; and I especially recommend this trick if you ride the early train with a bunch of middle school kids who make you seriously question whether you ever want to procreate.

Depending on my mood, my Monday morning music includes the following.

If I really need something extra happy. . .

  • Hello, You Beautiful Thing by Jason Mraz
  • Radiate by Jack Johnson
  • I’m sorry, but Happy by Pharrell (I love this darn song)

When I have the urge to air guitar. . .

  • Any Way You Want It by Journey
  • Walk This Way by Aerosmith

When I need a reminder to chill, have some brotherly and sisterly love, and not be a selfish jerk. . .

  • Good Rain by Trevor Hall
  • Three Little Birds by Bob Marley
  • Be Here Now by Mason Jennings

If I feel like rocking out. . .

  • Immigrant Song or Heartbreaker by Led Zeppelin
  • Phenomena by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

If I need a dance party (why not?). . .

  • Applause by Lady Gaga
  • Oh No by Girl Talk

And, of course, when I feel like giving up (or just have). . . 

  • Calm Like A Bomb by Rage Against the Machine
  • Working Man by Rush

Watch a few of your favorite funny clips on YouTube

I usually go with the silly humor of Will Ferrell or Chris Farley.

Bring donuts (or some other treat) for your co-workers on Mondays instead of Fridays

I know Fridays are usually when most people around the office feel generous and want to celebrate with some sugar and carbs, but I say Mondays need it more. (And our nearby donut shop Peace, Love, and Little Donuts even has a half-off a dozen on Mondays. Score!) Much like all things in life we don’t want to do, you can either choose to be happy and make the best of a situation or drown in your own misery; so here’s to making Mondays a little sweeter!

Mary Kay is a computer programmer by day, wanna-be yogi, and avid reader with a desire to learn to play the ukelele and eat an embarrassing number of cupcakes. She is a lover of kind hearts and all things nerd. Oh, and she likes to laugh a lot. You may follow her adventures at or tweet her @marysmaking.

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