Steps to banish Monday blues

Steps to banish Monday blues

It's a bright Sunday afternoon, but there's a horrible sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.

Just thinking about the long list of things you have to do in the coming week and the people you have to face in the office leaves you highly stressed, full of angst and irritable.

Yes, you have been hit by Monday blues.

In some cases, however, the blues may be more than just that, especially if you persistently feel down in the dumps when Mondays approach and that feeling lasts throughout the week.

Worst, it could have a huge impact on your effectiveness at work.

You could be suffering from work-stress disorder, anxiety disorder or clinical depression, said medical experts.

Dr Adrian Wang, a consultant psychiatrist at Gleneagles Medical Centre, noted that about 5 per cent to 10 per cent of the general population may suffer an episode of clinical depression or anxiety during their lifetime.

At least half of such cases that he sees are work-related.

"I've seen many cases of patients facing cyclical work stress, where individuals have heavy responsibilities with tight deadlines on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. It causes them to feel highly stressed and unhappy," he said.

"Such cases are not clinical conditions, but it could be part of a bigger problem. This is especially if it spills over from their work to their personal lives and they can't eat or sleep normally."

People who are inflexible perfectionists, or who get stressed easily and have poor skills with which to cope with high stress levels, are more prone to Monday blues.

Ms Brenda Lee, a psychologist at the Institute of Mental Health, said that when such cases of cyclical work stress become extreme and lead to more serious issues, it is not something that the individual can just "snap out of".

"In cases when it becomes a clinical condition, a common misconception is that it is the person's fault for being depressed," said Ms Lee. "But it actually requires proper treatment, which may include medication and psychotherapy."

What individuals can do to fight such extreme cases of cyclical work stress is to introduce certain simple changes to their lives, the experts said.

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