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Why Monday is the most misunderstood day of the week

Why Monday is the most misunderstood day of the week

When the Boomtoën Rats, an Irish band, released 'I Don't Like Mondays' in 1979, the song became an instant hit. The inspiration came after the mass shooting at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego that same year. The 16-year-old perpetrator who killed two adults and injured 8 children from 36 shots, listed as the reason for this crime the fact that he did not like Mondays.

However, that's not why the song resonated around the world. That most people have no idea where the song was inspired from. What everyone knows is the difficulty of mustering the energy to get out of bed on Monday morning in order to face the week ahead.

A study published in 2021 by the Journal of Applied Psychology found that people tend to be more polite on Mondays and become more polite as the week progresses. Another paper by Yun Tae Hwang and Amy Kang published in the Medical Journal of Australia goes so far as to diagnose a new condition, "Mondayitis". The authors define it as 'a systemic disease with a non-specific set of symptoms, including fatigue, lethargy or dysthymia, irritability, stubbornness, photophobia, dry mouth and headache in the absence of another disease'.

These symptoms usually appear on the first day of work after a period of rest, which may be a weekend or a longer holiday. They can cause employees to take time off, decide to work from home, or if they show up at the office, be disengaged and unavailable.

"Mondayitis" seems to be contagious, infecting other days of the week. Some Americans now complain of the 'Sunday scare', when the pre-Monday terror sets in as the weekend draws to a close. Both conditions can be exacerbated by a weekend hangover, or painful memories.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many people to reevaluate their work-life balance. A wider movement is promoting the idea of ​​a four-day work week, a change of which would make Monday part of the weekend (although this could lead to an epidemic of Tuesdayitis). Less ambitiously and realistically, a social media campaign for 'minimal Mondays' suggests a gentle start to the week.

On the first day of the week, employees should not sink into apathy, fatigue and wishing things were different.

The previous 60 hours or so you've probably spent with people who have nothing to do with your work. You may have prepared - or simply enjoyed - a better meal of food than a sandwich on a break from work. You may have gone for a walk in the park, or just lay in bed. Either way, you're almost certainly relieved.

The first shower, the coffee and the way to work after the weekend don't have to look like a walk with a backpack full of rocks. On the contrary, they can be filled with a renewed sense of purpose. You have it in your hand!