Updated: Feb 15
The mean reds are horrible
Suddenly you’re afraid
and you don’t know what you’re afraid of
Do you ever get that feeling?
- Breakfast at Tiffany's
I love this quote from the book - Breakfast at Tiffany's. Because just like the book, it is raw, honest, and unpretentious. If we are honest, we can all relate to the “mean reds” and liken it to the “Monday blues”. I see them as synonymous.
Picture this -
It's Sunday. You’re coming out of a relaxing weekend and approaching a new week. But instead of feeling enthusiastic and expectant, anxiety almost immediately sets in. You start to feel sad and apprehensive with no real reason behind the feeling except it’s the start of a new work day or school day. Now suddenly, you’ve got the “mean reds”.
So, what’s inspired this fear of Monday?
Well, for some, I believe it’s a learned behavior. We’ve been thought to see Mondays as the enemy and overtime we’ve rehearsed and nursed that anxious feeling.
For others, I believe it comes from a lack of preparedness. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
If you don’t at least try to influence the tone for the day, then you leave your mind open to create all sorts of anxiety ridden speculations and forecasting. Hence, the “mean reds”.
I came across some stats per a LinkedIn survey that stated 80 percent of the survey participants do not look forward to Mondays.
So, what can we do to make our Mondays more inspired and beat the “mean reds”?
Go to bed early
A good nights sleep will increase your creativity and memory and put you in a better state of mind to meet your day. Start by setting a consistent bed time for Sunday night. Trouble falling asleep right away? I use “sleep stories” on the Calm app. Less than 5 minutes into the storytelling, I’m out like a light.
2. Have a morning routine
Having a morning routine helps you feel more in control and non reactive. I compare it to having the mentality of a “Feeder”. A feeder sets the tone for their day and does not seek out the environment to affect the course of their day. A couple of items on my morning routine are quiet time, prayer/meditation, and making a cup of green tea. Your routine doesn’t have to be robust or complicated; just something you look forward to that sets a positive tone for your day.
3. Plan ahead:
Try planning the following weeks schedule on a Friday. That way you don’t set yourself up for the “mean reds” on Monday. Also, try not to plan any meetings for Monday. The reason behind that? Well, Monday mornings leave people with little time to prepare and absences are higher on Monday (thanks to the “mean reds”).
4. Make your bed:
“If by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better”.
- Admiral McRaven
Have an Inspired Monday!