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Sunday Blues / Monday Blahs

eyeIt’s Sunday afternoon, somewhere between 3 and 4 pm, and this feeling comes over you –again. Sunday Blues – to be followed by Monday Blahs. It’s the flip side of TGIF.

For some, the reasons may be too obvious:

They hate their work. They hate school. They hate their circumstances. So they hate Mondays. Those who drink too much or use other drugs on weekends don’t need expert advice on why they feel so badly on Sundays. But for many others, even when things are going right, the Sunday blues mysteriously reappear, bringing with them feelings of loneliness, a touch of malaise, melancholy, irritability, aches and mild depression.

Some researchers say these symptoms result from the resetting of internal biological clocks after weekend disruptions of sleep and activity. The tendency is to stay up later on Friday and Saturday nights and catch up on sleep on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The body clock resets to the new timetable, but not completely. These researchers, scientists and chronobiologists, speculate that mood shifts on Sunday afternoon and blahs on Monday morning are not surprising. The disruptions that have occurred can confuse the control center in the brain that is primordially wired.

Weekend leisure carries a price. Daylight is still a very potent signal to the internal body clock that regulates hormones, temperature, blood pressure and other functions. Humans have been disturbing their natural circadian rhythms ever since the light bulb was invented. Then the alarm clock.

A very intriguing study comes from Dr. Franz Halberg, considered the father of chronobiology, who says he has found significant evidence of seven-day rhythms in humans. The seven-day week is thought to have been set by natural phenomenons just like the day, month or year are.

Not so says Dr. Halberg. He is convinced that body rhythms of approximately seven days might be the force that impelled mankind toward the seven-day week. “I believe we can now demonstrate, with the help of computer analysis, overwhelming evidence that there are seven-day rhythms produced by nature,” Dr. Halberg said. “They are in our genes, and it is very big news.”


  1. Recognize that the way you’re feeling is not uncommon.
  2. Acknowledge if your feelings are the result of a disappointment, cramming too many activities into the weekend, or if the feeling has lasted more than a weekend (it could be depression)
  3. Tackle what specifically is troubling you. Is it an unrewarding job or school program? Unfulfilled obligations/studies (too much to do)? Then make a plan to make changes. And start making them!
  4. Schedule the coming week on Sunday night. Add at least one feature that you are looking forward to.
  5. Distract yourself on Sunday afternoon or night. Plan to do something different. Be around people. Change your Sunday night behaviors.
  6. Often more difficult, but rewarding to both your brain & your body, is sticking to a regular schedule ALL week. Bedtime, wake time and eating time.

Seek professional help if you’re dealing with depression, anxiety/panic attacks or any other debilitating health concerns.

Until next time,


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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Cam Collins November 10, 2012, 8:09 am

    I can relate to this post because I felt like this for years. I wasn’t inspired or motivated by the work I was doing. After establishing a clear vision and getting back to creating something, I now feel much more fulfilled because I get to practice my art everyday.

  • Nell November 11, 2012, 8:15 am

    Thanks for your comments, Cam. Kudos to you for finding the initiative to move out and on. Continued success….

  • Sandra Wilt November 12, 2012, 8:07 am

    Loved this and lived this for years! Now I can’t sleep late and get sleepy at 9pm. As usual, you are spot on. When I was young I hated Sunday. It meant Monday was on the way. I totally agree that changing what you dread about Monday is the answer. For me, it was giving up the high pressure job. Presto! Depression gone.

    Love reading your insights. Thanks

  • Nell November 13, 2012, 8:15 am

    Happy to hear you found your way out of the melee, Sandy. I do appreciate your comments…..Nell

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