Most of us are used to working five days and having two days off in a row, usually Saturday and Sunday.
We've had this routine since school, for better or worse. During the week, we accumulate stress, have a fairly hectic pace and little time to relax. But come the weekend, we are not the same.
We start to feel the effects on Friday afternoon, we want to finish our work, we want to relax. We know that we don't have to get up early the next day and that we have a lot of free time to ourselves. However, it is only on Sunday afternoon that we notice the famous “Sunday syndrome”, which precedes the fateful Monday. Back to the routine, anxiety and frenetic activities. Fortunately, it is possible to “reprogram” your brain to face the week differently.
As the BBC explains, “Your brain likes predictability and routine.” It quickly gets used to the change in routine between midweek and the weekend, with more freedom, less anxiety and more rest. The problem comes when it's time to return to the Monday-Friday routine. Feelings of anxiety set in and you don't feel as good. The first step is to get your body used to a routine, even on the weekends.
Routine can work in your favor
Not everyone will like the first tip, but having a routine that lasts all week, not just five days, goes a long way toward making Monday just another day. But there's a trick to it. The goal is to introduce a daily routine that you enjoy, such as watching your favorite TV show, gardening, painting or going to the gym. If you incorporate some of these activities throughout the week, your brain will find it more enjoyable to start on Monday because it will have something fun to do.
Keeping a bedtime routine helps you cope with the week.
The second piece of advice our mothers have told us all our lives: get up at the same time seven days a week. This ensures that you don't disrupt your weekend sleep routine by staying up very late and getting up even later. Instead of waking up every day at six in the morning, which sounds depressing, you can try to minimize the difference between weekdays and weekends in your sleep routine, so that your sleep pattern doesn't change.
The third tip is about “hacking your hormones”, especially cortisol. This hormone is responsible for controlling the sleep-wake cycle or our reactions to stress. Normally, a small amount of cortisol begins to be released about an hour before we wake up, and levels decrease throughout the day. The problem is that if we live in a state of stress, cortisol never decreases and adrenaline also increases, keeping us in a constant state of wakefulness, even at night.
To avoid this, one of the main goals is to reduce our stress levels during the week, so that the survival mode does not activate in the absence of a real threat. Doing relaxation activities on Mondays helps regulate cortisol levels. Another easier and more fun method is to spend time in nature. Try going for a walk in a park on Monday, and avoid social media, and you'll find the week starts differently.
My name is Maggie and I'm a writer for thesilverink.com, a website dedicated to news, culture and lifestyle. I have always been passionate about writing and I decided to make it my profession by becoming a web editor. I work on counterpoint.info and I mainly take care of the lifestyle section. I like to share my discoveries and my favorites with the readers, whether it's about fashion, beauty, decoration or gastronomy.