Like the New Order tune, some call it Blue Monday. Others, such as blues guitarist T-Bone Walker, see it as stormy. Many might find Mondays to be manic. Just ask The Bangles about that. And believe it or not, one person shot eleven people simply because she didn’t like Mondays. That’s what the Boomtown Rats song informs listeners.
What is it about Mondays that makes people want to “shoot the whole day down”?
One obvious reason is that it’s the day that follows Sunday, which signifies the end of the weekend and the start of a new work week. But is work really that bad? Apparently so. Statistically, of all mornings the greatest chance of having a heart attack is on Monday morning.
That Monday morning return to the grind raises blood pressure. It’s not clear if solely anticipating the long workweek ahead while sipping that first coffee or tea adds to the angst, but studies have found that the commute itself is a cause for stress. There’s one word for that: traffic. But traffic occurs almost every day. Thus, does that mean people already adapt and accept it by Tuesday morning or Monday during evening rush hour? Doubt it. It may just be that some people find transitioning from weekend mode to work mode very difficult, resulting in stress and anxiety.
Need more reasons to moan and groan on Monday morn?
A quick web search reveals that there’s more to worry about when it comes to Monday. From information gathered, the day most likely to commit suicide is either Monday or Wednesday. But Monday seems to be the consensus winner. Looking ahead at that stretch of five work days is just too much for some. But at least it comes after the weekend. It would be a shame to check out on a Friday with those two weekend days unused. So people tend to cash in their chips on Monday instead.
But the Monday morning moody blues don’t stop there. Nope. The hits keep coming.
Changing the clocks in March for Daylight Savings Time can also make Monday a menace. Moving the clocks ahead means we lose an hour of sleep, thereby interrupting our circadian rhythm. That makes us particularly grumpy that first Monday morning following the time change. Our internal clock is saying, “Hey man, it’s not time to get up.” The external clock says, “Guess again.” The body takes about two weeks to adapt to this new schedule. Blame it on Monday for that bad news.
Suffice it to say, when it comes to Monday, and according to The Mamas and the Papas song, “you can’t trust that day.” It leaves people “cryin’ all of the time.” Maybe even howling.
After all, the root meaning of Monday is Moon Day. From moon comes the word lunar. From lunar comes lunacy and lunatic. See the link? No wonder people are edgier on that first day of the week.
There’s more dirt on Monday
In the days when it was done by hand, Blue Monday was the first day of washing. Bluing dye was added to white laundry to take out the filth and grey. Monday pretty much does the same, bleaching out all the weekend fun, and giving Blue Monday a new meaning in modern times.
Perhaps being wedged between Sunday and Tuesday might have something to do with it. After all, no letter comes between S and T, so why should a day. But without it, Tuesday would become the new Monday. Thus, bypassing it won’t do.
Needless to say, unlike that song by The Jam, most people probably aren’t dreaming of Monday. Work, traffic, death, lunacy, laundry. Instead, on most weeks we’d more than likely prefer waiting till Tuesday to go back to work. That way we’d live one happier day longer.
By Dan Franch, one Monday in March, 2014.