Mondays have been relentlessly labelled as the bane of our existence. And it feels that way, when you wake up in the morning and the realisation of the whole week of work ahead smacks you straight in the face as soon as you open your eyes.
Then follows the dawning cranky mood, the hasty stuffing of yourself in work clothes, running after public transport to go where you don’t want to be and sprinting into work to do what you don’t want to do.
Sounds familiar? Because we all go through this every week.
Sitting in office, you count down to the next weekend and console your inner weepy self. Just 5 more days to go.
We feel stuck because of a predictable and monotonous routine.
Seriously when did we become this? There are exceptions of course, who don’t have to cry every Sunday night sitting at home, eating dinner like it’s the last meal before Doomsday because these people have actually found a job they love doing (how we despise them) but this is the story of our lives for the rest of us.
We detest weekdays because we feel stuck in the same routine which goes on like clockwork, dull, predictable and monotonous. And as human beings we need a little thrill in our lives, a little excitement, a little wonder. An average working day for us involves waking up to blaring alarms, immediately reaching for our phone to check all our social accounts, everyone seems to be having a whale of a time except you, digesting this and the universe we invariably start getting late. In our rush to get out the door, there’s no time for breakfast, a couple of gulps of scalding coffee to jolt your brain awake and you’re off running after a bus or promptly getting stuck in a jam.
Work days are monotonous, a conversation or two at the water cooler, lunch at your desk, waiting it out till the end of the day hunched in your seat and then trudging home. Today’s to-do list of dirty laundry and piles of dishes are shunted off to tomorrow and it’s all we can do to just eat our dinner, mindlessly watch TV series till we drift off to sleep. The mad dash begins again the next day. It’s a vicious cycle.
There’s always this pressure to live it up during the weekend.
The weekend in such cases comes across as a breather. 48 whole hours to cram our entire life into, to catch up on what we missed out during the week. It feels as if the only time we are afforded the luxury of actually living is the weekend; the rest of the week is just devoted to work.
Those two days are when you want to take off for a vacation, you want to get hammered with friends at parties, you want to do your laundry, you want to catch up on sleep, call that best friend who lives in another city and do the things you generally are unable to do during the week. And we can’t.
With so much to do in two days, we are unable to do anything at all and with the growing horror of Monday looming closer and closer (and the Friday workload pushed off till Monday) we give in to despondency by Sunday night.
The pressure to live it up in these two days is a real thing.
This attitude of waiting for the weekends reflects in our mood and work productivity as well. Mondays are dark days, you’ll look around you to see people in work clothes somberly marching to their work places in unison, Tuesdays are a little bleh, an in-between day. By Wednesdays we start getting into the flow of work and feel a little better that we made it through half the week. We hate on Thursdays, they feel like one more unnecessary day before the weekend and by Friyays we are having heart palpitations waiting to run out of office.
The morning comes to consciousnessOf faint stale smells of beerFrom the sawdust-trampled streetWith all its muddy feet that pressTo early coffee-stands.With the other masqueradesThat time resumes,One thinks of all the handsThat are raising dingy shadesIn a thousand furnished rooms.
Even Eliot had a run-in with the dreariness of everyday modern life.
Considering we spend an incredible amount of time working, when do we live?
Considering we spend so much of our lives working at a job, this whole attitude to living sounds extremely unhealthy.
Even the world around us encourages this sort of a living; there TGI Fridays to celebrate the weekend and social media is flooded with happy pictures of happy people holding drinks. Switch on your phone or laptop on Mondays to see grumpy cat memes on what a sad day it is. We get conditioned by this even without realising it.
Stop in the middle of all the chaos and take a breath.
When was the last time you paused and (I know it sounds cheesy) but looked at a flower, sniffed its fragrance or just watched a cat stretching and licking itself. The whole act of just pausing in the midst of all this frenetic activity, catching at that stillness in a moment, lends us so much peace.
It’s absurd that we feel the need to live those two days and are resigned to not, the rest of the week. But we also know there are other, better ways to live but are too lazy to try. Chuck out your timetable and make yourself a new one, with reward systems in place for each of the weekdays.
Sign up for a hobby or a class once a week, maybe on a Thursday to help you snap out of the rut and feel a change. Wednesday nights can be reserved for socialising, unwinding with a drink with some of your favourite people around. For once, follow that to-do list for the day diligently, push yourself to do the laundry, doodle or just dance in your birthday suit about the room, you’ll feel way better. Reward yourself with a good night’s sleep with clean sheets on the bed, some soothing music and aromatic candles.
This one is easier said than done, but try to wake up early in the mornings. Start slow, half an hour earlier, then a full hour, go for a walk or do some of the things you need to, to start feeling productive before work.
And take those breaks to avoid feeling burnt out, if you’ve been planning to go on that solo trip, just go. You’ll be back feeling thankful for all the new things you’ve seen, those new experiences you’ve had because you’ll realise there’s so much more to this world than just your work desk. And hopefully, we’ll start living for real instead of just waiting for Saturday.