There’s nothing inherently wrong with Wednesday. It’s not a heavy work day or a day I dread for any particular reason. I have nothing against Wednesday. Yet every Wednesday morning, I wake up tired, cranky, and feeling like the week is long.
I talked to several friends who have the same experience on Wednesdays, which led me to do some research. We need some help getting over this hump. Wednesday doesn’t deserve this treatment.
Why We Have a Mid-Week Slump
So, why do we have this dip in energy and maybe even on Wednesdays? Apparently, various factors cause it. Take a look at the list below and see if something or some things sound right in your situation.
Contributors to the mid-week slump:
- Fatigue. My guess is that this one applies to a lot of us. We’re just tired. It’s not the start of the week, but Friday still feels far away. We don’t feel energized because we aren’t.
- Routine and Monotony. If your job or the tasks you do at work are boring or repetitive, it can cause you to have a slump. Engaging in the same tasks day after day can lead to a sense of monotony, making it harder to maintain focus and enthusiasm.
- Stress. Stress and pressure can build as the week progresses, leading to mental and emotional strain. Whether it’s deadlines, a busy social schedule, or trying to get your family through another week of activities, the stress adds up, and we’re ready for the possibility for a break that the weekend brings.
- Busyness. Feeling like there’s always something to do can accumulate and contribute to a mid-week slump.
- Perceptions of Time. Remember what I said about Monday being long ago and Friday feeling far away? When you add in any of the factors above, this perception can cause a slump. I’m pretty sure this factor is a big part of my slump, then I pepper in one or more of the other factors (depending on the week) just for good measure.
7 Ways to Cops with the Mid-Week Slump
Regardless of what causes the mid-week slump, we need to get rid of it. I’m growing increasingly concerned that I’m going to start dreading Wednesdays if something doesn’t change. I don’t want to dread any day of the week, so I’m looking for ways to boost my energy, motivation, and productivity. Here are seven ways to cope with the mid-week slump.
1. Move Your Body
You should take breaks and move your body every day, but let’s be especially mindful of this practice at the beginning of the week.
Get up from your desk throughout the day. Stretch, take a walk, do an errand, get a coffee… whatever refreshes your mind.
Also, if you want to throw on Taylor Swift and dance around the house with your dogs, no one will know. Not that I know anyone who does this…
Changing your environment, even briefly, can help break the monotony and rejuvenate your focus.
Using the Pomodoro Technique helps a lot with this. It ensures you don’t get so focused on your work that you forget to move. And, let’s face it, that’s really easy to do. Sometimes I’m ashamed of my stand measure at the end of the work day.
2. Prioritize Tasks
Try changing what you do and when. You also should break large tasks down into smaller goals, but it’s also helpful to do the more challenging tasks earlier in the week. Don’t fight your body’s natural urge to want to dork around on Friday afternoon.
Also, completing important tasks can help you feel accomplished and motivated. If you enter Wednesday feeling good about what you’ve done so far in the week instead of everything you still need to do, those feelings will carry you through the remainder of the week.
3. Practice Self-Care
I’m a huge proponent of self-care. I also think it gets a really bad rap. People think self-care is all spa treatments and bubble baths. While it certainly can be that, self-care really is anything you do to care for yourself. For me, it means cozying up with a good book at the end of the day. For my husband, it’s mindlessly watching TV.
Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being will help you feel better every day. That means getting enough sleep, eating well, and drinking plenty of water. It also means moving your body every day and engaging in activities you enjoy.
4. Seek Social Support
We’re not meant to be alone. Yet some of us, especially those of us who work remotely, spend most of our time by ourselves. Instead of pushing through another Wednesday, how about taking some time to connect with a loved one you enjoy spending time with?
Schedule a call or a lunch. Take a walk with a friend. Join an exercise class. These social interactions can boost your mood and give you energy.
5. Break Up Your Routine
It’s possible that you’re just tired of doing the same crap every day by the time you reach Wednesday. If so, find ways to add variety to your workday. Complete a task that challenges you mentally. Try a new approach to a task you complete regularly. Consider working from a coffee shop or coworking space instead of your home office. Eat something different for breakfast.
Anything you can do to break up the monotony of your routine can help combat the mid-week slump.
6. Set Mid-Week Goals
Why is it that we always set goals for things we want to accomplish in a certain week? Why can’t we have things we want to do by, say, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday? Breaking down the week into smaller wins can provide a sense of purpose. Plus, you get an excuse to celebrate your small victories. Wednesday ice cream can’t hurt, right?
7. Practice Stress Management
Some people have super stressful jobs, lives, or just certain weeks. I get it. I do too. When you’re feeling stressed, try practicing some stress management techniques. Take a few minutes to do a guided meditation or some deep breathing. Take a walk. Clean off your desk. Or, one of my personal favorites, spend a few minutes journaling and pour all those emotions onto the page.
We Don’t Have to Live with the Mid-Week Slump
I don’t think we have to live with the mid-week slump. But to avoid it, we have to prepare for it. Think about the causes listed above. Which one(s) seems to fit your reason for hating Hump Day? OK, what are you going to do about it? I, for one, am going to be more intentional about what I plan for Wednesdays (tasks and events) and do activities that give me energy on those days, especially. I’ll let you know how it goes.