How To Beat The Monday Blues This Week

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embedIllustrated by Sydney Hass.
UPDATE: This post was originally published on March 30.

Researchers suggest the third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year. But whether it’s January 23 or July 23, the start of the workweek can bring on a serious case of sadness. Sometimes even looking forward to a new episode of Scandal isn’t enough to battle Monday morning gloom.

In one study, scientists found people show biological signs of stress when they start anticipating the workday. And, expect some rants under 140 characters when the weekend’s over (damn you long line at Starbucks!). Based on a study of Twitter messages, researchers think people are most likely to feel feel the #blues on Monday and Tuesday. Other researchers say most workers don’t smile until about 11:16 a.m. on Mondays.

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But, it can go beyond hating the alarm clock. A study in Japan found suicide rates were highest on Mondays. And, in some people, Monday morning depression may even trigger cardiovascular problems. But Monday’s don’t have to bring us down in the dumps.

Stop scowling! Follow these 13 simple steps to beat the blues and greet the new week like it’s Friday night.
MondayBlues_slide01Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
1. Don’t live for the weekends. Studies show people who are stressed at work tend to be much happier on the weekend. So, don’t only look forward to Saturday and Sunday; try to spread out the joy and plan something fun during the week, like a movie night with pals.

2. Relaaax. Pick one weekend night to go out, and spend another evening staying home with friends. (Game night, anyone?) Too much time out and about may lead to less sleep and pesky hangovers.
MondayBlues_slide02Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
3. Don’t sleep in. Who can resist sleeping till noon? But, instead of waking up just in time for lunch, try sticking to the same sleep schedule all week to feel rested and energized all week long.

4. Plan ahead Sunday night. Lay out the Monday morning outfit and pack a good lunch the night before— eliminating any stress in the A.M. will only make Mondays more tolerable. And, remember to re-set the alarm to wake up on time and avoid being late for work.
MondayBlues_slide03Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
5. Hit the hay early on Sunday. Make sure to get seven to nine hours of sleep to gear up for the workweek. Getting to bed at a reasonable hour will make the alarm clock our new friend.

6. Don’t skip breakfast. Boost metabolism and jump-start the day with a hearty breakfast. (Morning hunger crankiness is the last thing anyone needs at the office.)
MondayBlues_slide04Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
7. Get pumped with some tunes. While getting ready for work, turn up the stereo (or Pandora). Listening to music can boost mood and get us pumped for work.

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8. Hit the (early-bird) gym. It’s no secret that exercise amps up endorphin levels, so try getting in early morning exercise to start the day off right. Crunched for time? Try a four-minute workout.
MondayBlues_slide05Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
9. Look snazzy. New dress, new day. Save that latest fun purchase for Monday morning, or even wear red to feel more confident when headed to the office.

10. Smile! Smile in the shower, flash a grin to the barista, and show those pearly whites to the whole office. Some contagious smiles could help make us feel a lot better.
MondayBlues_slide06Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
11. Treat yo’ self. Make Monday rewarding — indulge in a piece of chocolate, do some online shopping during lunch-hour, or even have sex. Just don’t do it in the office.

12. Take small breaks throughout the day. Don’t stay glued to the cubicle all day. Take a walk to get some fresh air, avoid eating lunch at the desk, or if possible, hit the gym for a quick workout.
MondayBlues_slide07Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
13. Figure out why Mondays are blue. If dreading Mondays no matter what, then it may be time to switch careers. And, luckily enough, we’re hiring!

What's your favorite way to cheer up on Monday? Tell us in the comments below!

Full disclosure: sometimes, we're lazy. So, whether it's seven ways to simplify our morning routine or how to make our time at the gym actually enjoyable, we're into it. And to keep us on track, we've turned to Greatist, because they've got us excited about staying fit — and having fun doing it.