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Mastering Mondays: 3 Steps for Crushing Monday Morning Blues

Mastering Mondays: 3 Steps for Crushing Monday Morning Blues

Maybe you’ve heard of the “Sunday Scaries” or the “Monday Morning Blues.”These phrases capture the sinking feeling that creeps into your stomach on Sunday nights or Monday mornings – a sense of impending dread as the new week approaches. As you contemplate the challenges and tasks awaiting you, you’re left feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and far from excited. The last thing you want to do is go to work, and the thought of leading well in the midst of this funk can feel like an impossible task.

As leaders, so many of us have been there; it’s not an uncommon experience to feel the looming dread of Monday morning. In fact, even leaders of some of the most healthy and flourishing organizations have had seasons of the Monday Morning Blues.

In a recent The Flourishing Culture Leadership Podcast episode, SonicAire founder Brad Carr commented on how Sunday evenings were the worst evenings of the week:

“I can tell you, as far as top leadership is concerned, we've gone from hell to heaven. You know, Sunday evenings were the worst evenings of the week because you had Monday mornings right after that…” - Brad Carr

Less than 10 years ago, SonicAire was one of the lowest-ranking organizations BCW had surveyed. Today, after serious dedication to improving their culture and focusing on unity, SonicAire ranks in the top 10% of all BCW organizations surveyed - a true testament to what it looks like to reap what you sow.

CEOs are humans too and not immune to the everyday stresses of work. When the culture seems to be falling apart at the seams, and on your watch, it’s easy to get discouraged. But, more than anyone else in your organization you have the power to change the culture. If Monday morning fills you with dread, you can do something about it.

Do you find yourself with the Monday Morning Blues? Here are three recommendations to help you take the courageous step toward a flourishing culture, one where you and your employees love going to work.

1. Build trust with your team

Trust is the cornerstone of healthy relationships. When individuals feel safe, valued, and empowered they are more likely to collaborate, communicate openly, and wholeheartedly invest in the organization's mission. The ultimate goal is to build an environment where everyone feels safe to authentically communicate with one another. This may look like taking the time to get to your employees on a personal level, and checking in and praying for each person on the team. As you build genuine relationships, the desire to see others thrive will begin to grow in your own heart and help grow your courage to support the people who work for and with you.

2. Seek feedback

Perhaps the next, most important step is seeking feedback. If you are feeling the pressures of Monday morning, there is likely something bigger going on. Collecting feedback through a tool like a Leadership 360 Survey allows you to stop wondering and instead have a set of data that can be used to identify the root of the issues. When you have the facts, it’s easier to address the issues without emotion

"Feedback from a tool like a Leadership 360 Survey provides leaders the ability to talk about the truth without emotion or fear. Data becomes the language of courage and allows you to communicate the truth versus your own perceptions that may or may not be correct." - Al Lopus, Cofounder & Board Chair, Best Christian Workplaces, and author of Road to Flourishing: Eight Keys to Boost Employee Engagement and Well-Being.

By actively soliciting feedback from employees, you can also demonstrate a genuine desire to understand and address concerns, fostering an atmosphere of openness, trust, and mutual respect. Ultimately, data and feedback take the mystery out of what is truly going on, which can help remove some of the anxiety of Monday mornings.


3. Prioritize self-care and self-leadership

In addition to actively taking steps to improve organizational health, it’s also important to prioritize your own health. Engage in activities you actually enjoy so that you can walk into work bringing your best, most refreshed self. This might look like spending quality time with loved ones, exercising, engaging in a favorite hobby, and engaging in spiritual disciplines like prayer and Bible reading. Find what fills you up, and continue to prioritize those activities even when things feel the most difficult.

Isolation and loneliness are also common key issues for CEOs and top leaders. It may be helpful to find a support group/peer-to-peer group like C12 to lean on. Having some other people to talk to, who may also be going through similar challenges, can help you feel less alone and also better discern what might really be going on.

Be courageous

Overcoming the Monday Morning Blues requires a great degree of courage. You will likely have to make decisions that are difficult, but ultimately what is best for the organization will also be best for you.

“If you don't like it, change it. You don't have to live with a toxic workplace culture. It can be better. It really doesn't have to stay the same forever. But it does take some initiative to make things better. But it's worth every ounce of work that it takes to have a flourishing culture. It’s the most rewarding work that you can do for yourself and for your employees as well.” - Jordan Newton, COO of SonicAire

Thinking of the organization as a whole and doing what is best for the organization can give you the courage to do what’s best over your own personal conflicts or feelings. Regardless of the short-term implications, these are decisions that in the long term will be best for everyone.

“Do the hard work. Keep showing up and making the courageous decisions. Life is going to get better.” - Al Lopus

As Christian leaders working toward creating flourishing workplaces, we can create places where people love to go to work on Monday morning… and it starts with you. We hope and pray that you and your teams will discover joy in doing what you've been designed to do alongside people who share that same passion. When we keep this vision in mind, it’s much easier to make these courageous decisions and continue to show up this Monday, the next Monday, and every Monday after that.


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