I know I am a little slow in getting out this post but the idea of the topic came to me after having a conversation with a friend who was complaining about it being Monday. What is it about Mondays that make us dread it so? Is it a reminder to some of us that we are getting back to a job we dislike? Does it signify that the weekend fun is over? The way think about Mondays has an impact on our health.
Did you know that most heart attacks and other cardiovascular events occur on Mondays?[i] It is believed that these events can be attributed to work stress. In the 1990’s there was a study of 683 patients, predominantly middle-aged men with implanted defibrillators and a history of life-threatening arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms)[ii]. The research showed a rise in arrhythmias on Monday. The reason was an overload of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.
According to Dr. Stephen Sinatra, an integrative cardiologist and author of the books The Great Cholesterol Myth and Reverse Heart Disease Now:
“What I find provocative about the study is that its participants showed a prominent peak in arrhythmias on Mondays—21 percent of episodes—even if they were no longer working! That was followed by a mid-week decline in arrhythmias and a second peak on Fridays. Not surprisingly, Saturdays and Sundays saw a 50 percent lower arrhythmia rate than did Mondays.
Why do Mondays continue to be the peak day for arrhythmias? I believe that our bodies remember and anticipate stressful events. So, even though the participants in the study were not working, the fact that their bodies anticipated going to work on Monday triggered the identical biochemical stress hormones, increasing the heart attack risk factors that led to potentially lethal ventricular arrhythmias.”[iii]
What steps can you take to minimize your risk of becoming a Monday statistic?
- Before you leave the office on Friday, make a list of the things you need to get done on Monday. The act of writing down tasks clears the mind of worry and chatter. Removing these thoughts gives you the ability to relax over the weekend.
- Keep a pad and pen next to your bed so you can remove the “to do” list from your mind and put it on paper.
- Change your mindset. Remember the Law of Attraction states that what we focus on the most is what we attract more of in our lives.
- Make Sundays your day of true rest and relaxation.
- Avoid strenuous exercise just before the start of Monday and give yourself a little extra commuting time to avoid the stress of rushing to work.
- Move a big meeting to another day of the week if you are in a position to control meeting times.
- Work from a place of passion. Find a job that matches your spirit. Hang out with positive people in the office. Spending time with negative people will only damper your mood. By hanging out with positive people, you can flip your mood.
- Be the positive leader in your office. Energy is contagious. If you are happy, others will feel the energy and have no option but to be happy with you. Remember, there will always be one or two people who will never be happy. Don’t stress about those people.
- Make a plan to do something fun on Monday so you have something to look forward to.
- Remember that Mondays are for new beginnings and to do things better.
By learning to embrace Mondays, you can set the tone for a happier week and a healthier body. It’s Monday! Hurrah!