Monday literally translates as Moon day and the Latin word for moon, Luna, is the root word for the English term, ‘lunacy’. Maybe that’s why Mondays make everybody go crazy. But that’s not it. There is a scientific explanation for why people have the Monday blues.
So what actually happens on Monday, scientifically speaking?
Lazy Weekends Drag On
When you take that extra hour’s rest during the weekends, your body clock gets readjusted and you get used to getting up late. That’s why you crave for extra sleep on Monday mornings. It’s like jet lag. Your body doesn’t agree with the clock until you gradually get back into your normal circadian rhythms as the week progresses.
Monday is a Day for Socializing
Because you spend most of your time at your workplace, it is your primary socializing hub as is for most people. When you are away from your office space, even if it’s just for the weekend, your tribal need to socialize remains unfulfilled. Hence, you feel the need to gossip when you get to work on Mondays.
Monday is Just Emotionally Difficult for Many
According to PHD, 46% of women feel the least attractive on Monday mornings. Similarly, The Office for National Statistics found that 16% of male suicides and 17% of female suicides occurred on Mondays, compared to 13% on the weekends. So, Mondays are apparently difficult for many people.
The Weekends are the Farthest from Monday
H.M. Vernon stated in his 1921 book “Industrial Fatigue and Efficiency” that as a result of cessation of work during the weekend, a great loss of neuro-muscular coordination occured. Consequently, the output on Monday mornings tends to be lower than that observed on any other morning of the week. Also, it was noted in “Absence under full employment” in 1951 by Hilde Behrend that Monday was the worst day in regard to absenteeism leading her to refer to the index as “Blue Monday Syndrome”.
Not the Healthiest Day
According to the journal Stroke, “Significantly more stroke events occurred on Mondays than any other day, particularly for working men. For intracerebral hemorrhages, a third happened on Mondays in both genders.” Campolieti and Hyatt, in their paper “Further Evidence on the ‘Monday Effect’ in Workers’ Compensation Industrial and Labor Relations Review”, found an increased probability of injury reports on Mondays compared to any other day.
In their blog Mondays Not So “Blue” for Engaged Employees, Gallup stated that “For American employees who like their jobs, going back to work on Mondays after the weekend is a much smoother transition than it is for those who don’t.” Here are a few of their key findings.
How Can You Increase Monday Morale?
- Let your employees bring their hobbies to work.
- Talk to your employees and encourage conversations among them.
- Host short contests on Mondays with prizes for winners.
- Treat your employees well every day.
- Create an employee-centered work culture.
Mondays Aren’t All Bad Though
- As of 2010, Cyber Monday is the top online spending day.
- Mondays are the best day for looking and applying for a new job. 30% of people who applied on a Monday moved onto the next stage in the hiring process.
- People search for information on quitting smoking more often early in the week, with the highest query volumes on Mondays.
- Patients admitted for heart failure on Mondays have better odds of survival.
There were 53 Mondays in the year 2012. The next time this will happen will be 2018.