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when you are not "feeling like" getting back to work after a weekend or vacation

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

“Every Sunday afternoon I start experiencing this dragging feeling inside me. I guess the only explanation of this discomfort could be the upcoming Monday… My mood is down, I am getting even physically lethargic thinking of waking up tomorrow. Situation even worse with coming back to work after a holiday”, complained a friend of mine.

5 practical things to consider to tame this exact feeling familiar to many:

Strategy number 1. Understanding work is good, inherently good for all of us.

Work is good. Any work for a human being is better than no work. Leave aside the material benefits, financial and social security that a man acquires through the medium of work. Work is the major civilizing instrument for humankind. Secret of mega successful CEOs - discipline. Most people lack self-discipline, if you are not capable of organizing the chaos of your life, the work (joyfully and not) would bring some sort of order, for the greater good of yourself.

  • Every Sunday (and even more often) use affirmation and/or use it in your prayer - “I am grateful for the work/job I have which allows me…. “. Celebrate being back to work on Monday.

Strategy number 2. Understanding your own responsibility.

You are the cause of all positive developments in your life, including your work and career. You are also the cause of all negative eventualities in your work. The discontent you have about your work is self-imposed. If it is imposed, it can be disposed as well.

  • Ponder: it is not about the Monday it is about your choice of having the Monday which instigates that off-putting feeling inside you.

Strategy number 3. Having something to look forward

Once in the office, I was somewhat in my late 20s - the time when a young energetic professional tends to be adamant of burning oneself at work mercifully, I complained to my colleague that I had been struggling with waking up in the morning. She said a simple yet profound thought I remind myself still: “If you are struggling with waking up (whatever your “normal” wake up time is, be it 5 am or 10 am) it means you don’t have anything to look forward and your subconscious mind wants you to snooze in and avoid life”. Very simple yet powerful: if you are struggling with waking up, it means you don’t see much goodness for you coming.

Well, nobody can create things for us to look forward to, let’s be frank. It is our sole responsibility. See strategy number 2.

  • Create a list or outline of tasks for the week ahead (not all of them - might be tedious, but but what matters to you):

    • Things that you choose to do at work

    • Things that you choose to do for your education and learning new skills

    • Things that you choose to do for your family and beloved one

    • Things that you choose to do for your health

    • Things that you choose to clear your mind and have stillness

  • Repeat weekly.

Strategy number 4. Stop harassing the pendulum

Work life balance. What if one tells you: there is no such thing as a permanent balance, there is neither a medicine, nor an instrument to get that ever-lasting balance. Our life is all about the pendulum swings. You prioritize your health, you prioritize your child, you prioritize that late evening work meeting and a presentation you need to work on during the weekend.

Do you feel bad about not dedicating enough time to your work as you want to spend more time with your family, do you feel bad as a parent leaving your family to focus on work?

  • Temporaneous stress and discomfort is good. Chronic stress is bad. The energy-sucking feeling of guilt can and should be treated - it can be a developed guilt, it can be learnt guilt from parents and surroundings when you were a child - this is where therapies like Psychotherapy, Theta-healing, Hypnosis and others could be of value to release the fears, resentments and regrets that are entwined with guilt.

Strategy number 5. Adapt your physical routine and nutrition to support your life objective

Radical difference of nutrition regime and physical activity on weekends vs weekdays doesn’t support the mood balance. A strict diet on the weekdays and feast on the weekends, heavy exercising on the weekdays and bodily lethargy on the weekends. Everyone’s lifestyle choices are different but for many of us the drastic difference between weekdays and weekend mode exist.

  • Choose lifestyle over diets, lifestyle over strict regimens. When it comes to nutrition - give yourself the pleasure of staying healthy over the weekend, and organize a treat during the week. On the weekend - not going to the gym and not exercising with your personal trainer - opting for a walk, light jogging - could be of benefit.

Learn from the old and wise - the active centenarians of Japan:

In nutrition: they have the concept of "Hara Hachi Bu", which translates to English as “eat until you are eight parts (out of ten) full” or “belly 80 percent full”. Neither on the weekend, nor on the weekday - but every day.

In physical health: the very word ‘Ikigai’ translates as "the happiness of always being busy". To live a long and happy life - you must stay active, and do it in a variety of ways, not necessarily in well-equipped gyms, Ikigai is about daily walks, in a park, in a street, work in a garden, doing stretching and flexibility routine, and practicing breathing techniques.

Finally, we all can easily imagine a perfect vacation day, what is the perfect work, routine day for you, the one that you are happy to repeat many times? A PERFECT ORDINARY DAY.


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