Updated: Jul 25
It’s turned out to be the best decision for me and my mental health
I’m not sure when or how it happened. Probably it was a blog post that did it. Or it was encountering the hashtag #FreelancerMondays somewhere.
However, ever since that unknown moment, I’ve been religiously taking my Mondays off. Neither Sunday nor Saturday, not even Friday, but Monday. The day a good percentage of the world returns to work is when I chill and do nothing. Not even professional writing, not even working on PiKu & ViRu 2. (Buy/download, read, and review PiKu & ViRu 1 here.)
Let me confess: it was tough initially. The guilt of taking a workday off and going against the grain can unleash your inner critic in full force. There was always that feeling of not being productive or focused enough. As a result, I’d end up taking professional calls and sending out work-related emails on my designated holiday.
Gradually, though, things began to change. The guilt within me started to subside. And now, I don’t let anything come in the way of my Monday relaxation and unwinding.
Why do I take my Mondays off? How has this move benefited me? TBH, I never really gave these questions too much thought. I only knew that it felt good to do this. With some reflection, however, I’ve been able to gain some perspective on this. Here are the reasons for this unusual decision of mine and how it has paid off for me, my productivity, and my overall well-being.
No more Monday blues
Here’s the most surprising bit. Earlier, when I’d have my Saturdays and/or Sundays off, the blues would always creep in on Sunday afternoons. After embarking on my new routine, I thought I’d experience the same on Monday evenings or so.
But now, with my Mondays off, I somehow feel no blues at all, not even on Tuesday mornings. I no longer dread entering a new work week. My only priority is to live my Mondays to the fullest and ensure I simply chill on those days, without touching any work, not even professional writing. No checking emails either.
I don’t know what’s the reason or psychological aspect behind this, but considering it’s a welcome development, I don’t see myself changing this routine soon enough.
Silencing my inner critic and inner taskmaster
As I mentioned, the initial weeks of my Monday off saw my inner critic spring in full force to arm-twist me into reversing my decision. However, with time, this nagging voice began to cool off. I don’t get to hear any of that shit now. The result: a peaceful Monday when nobody pulls me up for doing nothing, plus less noise in my head.
An obvious one. Once it’s safer to go out, I’m sure we’re still going to see crowded Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays everywhere. Mondays, on the other hand, are likely to retain the same level of peace and solitude. And that usually translates into discounts, sales, offers, freebies—anything my favourite mall would reward me with for bringing in a lean-day footfall. Ditto for travel—the fewer the people out on the road, the more blissful the trip.
Best time for chores
No more waiting for the first and third Saturdays to go to the bank when I can use my Mondays off for the task. Doctors and therapists are more than happy to dole out Monday appointments in a welcome change from entertaining Saturday queues. As for salons, stylists tend to express eagerness at the mere idea of Monday visits, the time they’re at the peak of their weekly energy and refreshed enough to try new things for my look!
Embracing incomplete work
Anything that remains to be done after Sunday evening is carried forward to Tuesdays. Unlike my Sunday-blues self, I’m no longer uncomfortable with pending tasks.
It’s my choice of holiday
Think about it—are you taking Saturdays and/or Sundays off because you want to or because your workplace wants you to? In my case, Monday is my chosen weekly holiday. Choosing my own holiday has very different energy compared to that resulting from letting others decide.
I understand that not everyone may be able to adopt this lifestyle, especially if you’re a salaried professional. I wasn’t able to either at one point in time. But if you reach that stage of life where you can make this choice, I’d strongly encourage you to use your right. It’ll make a difference like no other. I’m extremely grateful for being able to exercise my choice in this manner.
Have you tried taking a Monday off? How does it feel? Do share your experiences in the comments below.