Blue Monday or Irrational Priming

There’s something amazing about Mondays. It’s the only weekday when virtually everyone allows themselves to grumble, whether they like their jobs or not. Today’s Monday is by several degrees of magnitude more demotivating. Not only does it follow Friday the 13th, it’s also said to be the most depressing day of the year.

But why?

Apparently, today most people realized their New Year’s resolutions were nothing more than mere wishes. They will not lose weight, they will not meditate daily, they will not quit smoking. Couple the devastating blow of failing (again) with the grim reality of Monday – the day when one should go to work (again) – that’s a recipe for depression. That’s obvious. Everybody knows that, right?

Well. What’s wrong about Mondays anyway? To figure this out, let’s think of something easier to comprehend. Imagine the weather with overcast clouds, heavy rainfall and hailing wind. Or what I have outside my window today – fresh snow either melting into dirty mud or freezing to become a death trap, depending on local fluctuations of temperature. Now, how would such a weather make you feel? Would you rather feel jolly or depressed? Okay, the latter one. But, why depressed?

It’s obvious. Such weather is bad. So, one feels awkward obligation to feel bad.

It’s amazing how you can wake up in fantastic mood, only to have it broken by sheer sight of weather outside. Whether it’s our upbringing, our social circles, our experiences – we prime ourselves to believe that overcast sky with rain and strong winds is bad. Which is as rational as believing that Monday sucks more than any other weekday.

Weather just is. Mondays just are. Nothing more, nothing less.

So, what can you do about it? How can we overload years or decades of programming?

Kickstart your Monday with a big bang. Just this morning, I woke up even earlier than usual (which makes it inhuman 4:50AM), drove to the gym (believe it or not, I was all alone) and, quite literally, devastated myself (tomorrow is going to be painful). It’s impossible to feel bad or depressed after such a start. Don’t like gym? Go for a jog, swim, play with your kids for a few minutes before school, whatever energizes you – just start your Monday (or bad weather day) with a bang. You’re not going to live through this specific day ever again – there’s no reason to expect it to be miserable.

Opinions are my own and not the views of my employers, customers, or clients.

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