WFH Monday Blues

By Mel Sim

Going to work can be a drag on Monday (or Friday), even if you’re working from home

It’s Monday. Your alarm rings and you dread having to start your first day of work for the week. But you’re also feeling exceptionally guilty because your company is still on a work from home schedule thanks to coronavirus.

“Surely I shouldn’t feel the blues anymore! I finally get to work from home!” says everyone who’s going through a bit of blues on Monday.

Guess what though – WFH Monday Blues are very real, and you don’t have to feel guilty if that’s exactly how you feel every Monday. As a matter of fact, you may even feel this any other day of the week! That’s because the blues can be even more intense for some because they are working even harder when at home with no proper breaks in between and yups, no difference between office and home anymore. What more if you’ve been doing this for the past two months and it seems like even more!

So give yourself a break come MTWTF (that’s the five days of the week). Don’t feel bad because you don’t feel like working (you’re not alone). Instead, try out these tips on how you can beat the blues if you’re working from home.

#1 Set up a proper workspace
If you’ve not already done this, do it now. Having a sense of an “office” can actually help you beat the blues because you’re creating a distinction between work and office. Work only at this area; don’t use it to eat lunch or take a break. And make sure you stay out of your bed because it’s going to get even harder to drag yourself out of bed if bed is the place where you’re completing that overdue report your boss has been asking for!

#2 But move regularly
As long as you have WiFi connection at home, you should be mobile. Have one dedicated space but try to also move your laptop to another area in the home if you’re feeling a bit blah. You know what they say about a change of scenery and mood…

#3 Schedule something to look forward to every morning
The beauty of WFH is that you don’t have to spend an hour commuting to work. The downside if you don’t have the commuting hours to prepare yourself for work. But what you can do is this: Wake up earlier and do something that will put you in a good mood instantly. So you can’t really go out for a hike but you can sign up for a free fitness video to get those oxytocin (that’s the feel-good hormones) pumping). Or get a few friends in a virtual hangout and have nasi lemak and coffee before starting work!

#4 Take it easy
Repeat after me: You don’t have to work round the clock. It’s tempting to keep on working at home, especially if you are living alone and there’s no one to ask you to stop and come eat dinner. If this is what you’ve been doing, it’s no wonder why you’re feeling the blues which is really the onset of a burnout. Want to take a longer lunch break? Sure, go ahead – just make sure you’ve done what you need to before lunch. Want to log off early? Pretty sure your boss won’t mind if you don’t do this every single day. The whole thing is to give yourself a breather.

#5 Connect with your colleagues
Don’t just rely on email or instant message; you still need human interaction when you work from home. Pick up the phone and call your colleague to get whatever work-related info you need… or to just check in. This is exceptionally helpful to not feel alone and overwhelmed by work. Or implement virtual happy hour with your colleagues. It’s nice to catch up with your friends at work to see how everyone is doing.

#6 Get some rest
Sometimes all you need is a good lie down in bed if you’re feeling jaded, depressed and unmotivated. It could really be your body telling you to stay in and catch up on doing things you enjoy. Want to apply for leave but think it’s so wrong especially when you are working from home and don’t really have anywhere to go? Call it a me-day then! It’s important to have a break from work so you don’t think of numbers and reports and data all week long. Remember to unplug too; it’s easy to check just one email (which will lead to all the others) when you’re at home with nothing to do!

Photo by Ayesh Rathnayake on Unsplash

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