Award Banner
Award Banner

Bare minimum Mondays: Does it work for your career and relationships?

Bare minimum Mondays: Does it work for your career and relationships?
PHOTO: Unsplash

You've heard about quiet quitting, rage applying and other terms young people use nowadays to describe their work and even relationship status.

Now there's a new buzz term emerging among millennials and Gen Z workers – bare minimum Mondays.

Ever had a case of the Monday blues? Unless you've never had to work a day in your life, you know how hard it is to get out of bed and start hustling after a weekend.

Well, this new philosophy that was coined on TikTok (no surprise there) gives a fresh view on how we should approach the start of the work week. 

In essence, bare minimum Mondays give workers the (imaginary) permission to take it easy on their job and just do enough to get by. So forget about hitting the ground running. On a Monday, you can choose to just answer your emails or attend a few meetings and decide you're done for the day (again, unofficially).

"Bare minimum Mondays are being touted as a form of self-care, a way to fight back against feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or stressed about all that comes with work.

At its heart is a self-care philosophy suggesting that prioritising the self and avoiding stressors will render better outcomes and that leaning out is better than leaning in.

Your job is just your job, so prioritise yourself at the expense of your work," wrote Theresa DiDonato, a social psychologist and a professor of psychology at Loyola University Maryland. 

Even HR persons are not entirely against this new concept. 

"Autonomy in the workplace means giving employees the freedom to work in a way that suits them - and on top of this, trusting them to do so and deliver on their key responsibilities," said Ross Seychell, Chief People Officer at Personio.

"Providing autonomy to workers not only empowers them to do their best work, but also allows them to manage their time to suit their needs - and maximise their outputs at the times they're feeling their best."

While the concept of bare minimum Mondays could work for those who want to build up their energy for the rest of the work week and preserve their mental health, can this concept be translated into relationships? What would happen if you were to apply the bare minimum practice to your marriage?

Bare minimum in relationships

First off, let's define what the bare minimum means from a relationship standpoint. When people say bare minimum, it's like the lowest acceptable standard. It's the least possible, the smallest amount acceptable. 

Some can use this term positively, by saying that your partner should have the bare minimum, meaning he or she should meet the standard you have set to enter a relationship. However, one should never settle for just the bare minimum, right?

One relationship website defined a "bare minimum relationship" as a functional but unfulfilling relationship wherein one or both parties never go above and beyond.

Here are some common dynamics of a bare minimum relationship:

No cheating, but no romance

No disrespect, but no extra effort

No abuse, but no genuine compassion

No unnecessary obstacles, but no authentic support

So, is engaging in a relationship where you only give or receive the bare minimum bad? Well, the answer is up to you. Truth be told, some people are okay with a low-key union where neither partner gives too much of themselves. 

"In the same way that a bare minimum Monday might involve choosing to avoid the challenging mental work that a truly productive day would require, people who are stressed within their relationships can choose to avoid investing their energy into the relationship," wrote DiDonato.

However, the psychologist stressed that choosing the work is choosing the relationship. Because if you give minimum effort, you cannot expect maximum output or outcomes in your relationship. 

ALSO READ: These relationship tips can help you to win over people at work

Choosing the work is choosing the relationship

The concept of a bare minimum relationship is avoiding self-sacrifice. But we need to remember that sacrifice and learning to compromise are always a part of a long-lasting relationship. 

"When it comes to relationships, the bare minimum effort is unlikely to support the self or the relationship," said DiDonato.

"Healthy relationships are not about tolerating a partner or keeping a relationship going with the bare-minimum effort. Rather, an investment in the relationship is an investment in the self."

Has your previously vigorous relationship turned into a bare minimum (or even barely there) relationship? Here are some ways to put some life and zest back and do more than just the bare minimum:

  • Be more compassionate 
    • There's a favourite line that my partner and I always subscribe to: "It's better to be loving than to be right." 
  • Do something out of the ordinary 
    • It doesn't have to be a grand gesture but do something unexpected that you know your partner will appreciate.
  • Get to the root of things
    • Sometimes, "agree to disagree" or just giving in to avoid arguments just doesn't cut it. Especially if it's a recurring issue between the two of you. So don't throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble. Do the work - get to the nitty gritty and you might just discover just how passionate you both are about your relationship.
  • Show your support during their most difficult times
    •  Is your partner's parent sick? Is she going through something challenging at work? Offer a helping hand or a listening ear. Show your partner that she can count on you in good times and in bad.
  • Work on yourself
    • Did your partner call you out on one of your worst habits? Instead of putting your guard up and giving him the cold shoulder, how about you acknowledge your faults, make peace with them, and work on improving? That's one way of showing up in your relationship. 

There's so much you can discover about your partner, and about yourself when you commit fully to your spouse or loved one. So don't settle for the bare minimum and give yourself the healthy, vibrant and life-giving relationship that you deserve. It won't be easy, but if your partner is also willing to give more than just the bare minimum, then it will be worth it. 

ALSO READ: 4 Singaporean couples share what it's like to work in the same company

This article was first published in theAsianparent.

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.