Revealed: The surefire way to beat the Monday blues!
Smile. You are not alone. We all hate Mondays. We hate them with such passion, one-in-four of us spent yesterday suffering from the so-called 'Sunday Blues' just from the thought of returning to work.
It's true - more than a quarter of people say their weekend is totally ruined by the thought of work first thing Monday morning, according to new research by the UK mental health charity Mind.
Last year this got so bad for some that 8pc decided enough was enough and quit their job due to stress.
So, even though the linguistic boffins won't admit it, you should be aware Monday is actually an acronym and stands for -- Mourning, Oppression, Numbness, Depression, Anxiety, Yuck.
It should come as no great shock that people are more likely to commit suicide, have a heart attack, develop migraines, call in sick and resign on Mondays.
Now the last thing we want to do is depress you even more on this most dreadful of days, but apparently the 'Monday Blues' really are getting worse than ever. A record number of prescriptions for anti-depressants were issued last year, while a quarter of us claim stress is affecting our relationships, according to Mind.
You guessed it -- the recession has cast an even darker shadow over our working week helping to blot out whatever little happiness we used to find in the hours between 9 to 5.
Worse still, these tough times mean that we are more pressured into working longer hours without extra pay through fearing for their jobs.
We are left frantically waiting for the entire week to drag by for Saturday and Sunday, but when the weekend arrives we begin dreading Monday all over again.
While not working is definitely an option if you want to banish your Monday morning despair, chances are that once you realise not working means not getting paid your anxieties will reach an all time high.
So until you win the Lottery, here are some helpful ways you can banish the Monday Blues.
1. Actually Work On Friday
While procrastination for many of us is a way of life, nothing will help to ease your fear of Monday than wrapping up as much of your office work as you can on Friday.
Yes, that means ditching those coveted afternoon hours you set aside on Friday for your watching-the-minutes-tick-by ritual and actually working like you've never worked before.
While this may sound crazy it will mean on Monday you will not feel overwhelmed by projects and can start the week with a fresh and clear mind. The genius of this tactic also means your boss will probably notice your endeavours.
2. Worship The Weekend
Saturday and Sunday should be 'no work' zones. Your battered body and mangled mind need rest from the ravages of the working week. Make sure you take time to chill and remember if your Sunday is devoid of a moment's peace, you are bound to feel Monday Blues.
So, if the in-laws are over and outstaying their welcome pack them into the car and take them for a pleasure trip -- home.
3. Take A Break
One sure fire way to de-stress is to book a holiday. This will help you recharge and rejuvenate. And you don't have to go over-the-top by splashing the cash, remember a budget break will do just as well as a luxury cruise.
But if during these economically challenging times money is too tight to mention don't fear.
Open a bottle of wine and sit back with a few holiday brochures and create your ideal holiday. The real joy will be on Monday morning actually convincing your dour work colleagues that you did actually indulge in a sojourn to the Seychelles over the weekend.
4. Sleep, sleep, sleep
Make sure you enjoy long lie-ins over the weekend. You've spent the week working hard so you deserve it. And to put an extra pep in your step go to bed an hour earlier on Sunday night.
But if you find you are still a little sluggish come Monday morning, take a trip to the toilet, lock the door and close your eyes. But just hope your co-worker in the cubicle next door didn't have a curry last night.
5. Start Work Early On Monday
Ok, so this may be counterintuitive, but starting work earlier will ease your stress levels. Arriving into work hung over, dazed and confused first thing Monday morning will always set you up for a downer of a day.
This will only heighten your tension levels and lead to stress.
Take it easy like Monday morning and arrive in an hour earlier than usual. The extra time will give you time to ease into your day and keep you relaxed while others are losing their mind.
And with no one else in the office just think of the mischief you can create (more about that later!).
6. Start The Week Positively
Don't spend Monday moaning. Monday Blues can quickly spill over into the rest of the week, which will just make work even more unbearable than usual.
Feeling positive can help avoid getting trapped in a week-long gloom.
Dress sharply and look forward to the day at work. And if all else fails wear a pair of women's undies (ladies can try wearing some manly briefs) and everyone will wonder what you're smiling about.
7. Monday Night Madness
Plan something fun for Monday night. Meet up with friends for a movie, go for a meal or spend some sexy time with someone you love. Having something to look forward to will help those minutes roll by.
But if you don't have any friends to share some quality fun time with, just stick a potato in your boss's exhaust pipe and you'll definitely have something to look forward to at the end of the day.
8. Don't Be A Victim
If you hate Mondays, do something about it. Examine why you hate it so much. Does your work make you unhappy? Is there anyway to start enjoying it? The recession mean that people are reluctant to change, but perhaps now is a good time to start looking for a new job.
If your boss is the problem why not have an honest discussion with him. Just remember not to mention the potato /exhaust stunt you pulled.
9. Lunch It Large
An army marches on its belly and workers are no different. Ditch the soggy cheese sandwich and treat yourself with something special on Monday.
10. Try Something Different
You've got to think outside the box and look at your work from a different angle. For example, try being nice to an unpopular person at work (obviously if you are the unpopular person at work your problems go beyond the scope of this article).
Try standing up when you are working and sitting down and stretching every half an hour. Ok, the scientific evidence as to why that might help chase the Monday Blues away is sketchy but at least it will freak everyone out.
11. Be Thankful
Oscar Wilde captured the essence of overcoming the Monday Blues when he wrote: "The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one." So when depression reaches its peak just take a trip to your local dole office. That will cure your Monday Blues.
12. Make Monday Your Funday
Laughter is the best medicine, so make sure you get in a few belly laughs first thing on Monday. Being in the office a little earlier than most should help.
Look for a desk where someone has left their computer on. Sit down and open Microsoft Word. Go to Tools, Auto Correct and to 'Replace With'.
Then input the word 'the' and set up Word to auto replace it with 'You're an idiot!' Ah, the simple pleasures of technology.
A more low-tech laughing option is to hook all your co-worker's paper clips together so that when they pull one out, they all come out together.
Better still if they have left their umbrella by their desk, fill it with any amount of small objects and place it back in its original position.
The important thing to remember when planning your office pranks is always look at the worst case scenario. If somebody loses their job it won't be so funny, especially if it's you.