In the summer of 1982, John Mellencamp released a song called “Hurts So Good.” Those three simple words explain how I feel about Mondays. And such sentiments have often popped up in pop music, from The Carpenter’s “Rainy Days and Mondays” to The Bangles’ “Manic Monday.” My question is: Why is the beginning of a new week so much more miserable than every other day?
Sometimes, I absolutely dread the new week. A lot of us start dreading it Sunday morning.
It’s a fact that Monday leads the week in reported employee sick days. Mondays tend to have more stimulation than the rest of the week, making the shift from relaxation to work mode particularly jarring. If you’re like me and sleep in during weekends, you reap additional stress from throwing off your body clock.
I am not a morning person. Usually, I wake up fatigued and anxious at the same time. Some say coffee helps, but it does nothing for me, and it certainly doesn’t allay my heightened anxiety.
Ironically, I’m addicted to both caffeine and snuff, and when the coffee (inevitably) fails, I move on to the nicotine. Perhaps worst of all, I’m now a consumer of Monster energy drinks. But only the calorie-free version in the blue can. That way I can continue my delusion that I’m on a diet.
Speaking of diets, I admit – however contrary my confessed habits may seem – that eating breakfast is indeed important to daily wellbeing. One of the reasons that’s a (nearly) universal truth is the elevation of Cortisol levels in the morning, coupled with Cortisol’s link to anxiety. To wit, my manifestation of fatigue is far more grumpy than weary.
Science also confirms that stress escalates Cortisol production. Which has in turn exalted physical activity as the solution to the cycle. At least according to everyone (and I mean everyone) who – having equated stress with anxiety – has posited this as a holistic ‘silver bullet’ of sorts.
Nuances aside, they’re right about the positive impact of exercise. Though I still haven’t engaged the morning workout routine. I’ve tried, yes. But unsurprisingly given my a.m. challenges, I have a hard time getting started. So I’m thinking about other options. Perhaps yoga? And I know I’d benefit from more time meditating.
Meanwhile, Monday morning just is, and it’s an opportunity to “soldier on” and remember that like everything else we dread – once it starts, it simply moves along. Monday is Monday, and it “hurts so good.”