It’s Sunday night and we are already feeling the panic of Monday morning before it even begins. That has been true for me whether I love my job or hate my job. There is just this feeling of the weekend never being long enough and the dread that sets in as the new work week begins. I haven’t felt for a while, but it still occasionally happens. Have you ever thought about why exactly that happens? Is there a specific task that you are dreading? Or just work in general? I would have philosophical discussions with myself on Sunday and my friend would call it my “witching hour.” Dramatic questions like “Is there more to life?” and “What does this all mean?” would pop in and out of my head.
What I am describing is probably a normal reaction to the beginning of a work week. I mean aren’t there enough memes and quotes talking about much they hate Mondays?
When the anxiety and stress is due to more concerning factors, that is when you must evaluate if you are in the right place, the right job or in the right frame of mind to continue. According to an article in the Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, there are a number of factors that contribute to workplace stress. These can include anything from a toxic work environment, difficult workload, isolation, types of hours worked, role conflict, role ambiguity, lack of autonomy, career development barriers, difficult relationships with managers and/ or colleagues, bullying, harassment, and organizational culture overall.
There have been a higher number of stress or sick leaves taken from work than ever before, and this was exacerbated by the pandemic.
According to Statistics Canada, 27% of Canadian workers claim to have high to extreme levels of stress on a daily basis and 62% of people say that work is the main source of their stress.
Prolonged stress can result in depression, anxiety, substance abuse and have further consequences down the line, if not managed appropriately.
This is why companies are starting to take notice of this and encourage mental health days and force employees to take vacations. It’s no longer a badge of honour to work on weekends and evenings or not to use up your vacation. Rest and relaxation, physical activity can all be thought of ways to reduce the stress but one element that often gets overlooked is prioritization and time management. Focusing on the “big rocks” that are going to make impact is an important message to share with employees. I mean, what good is it to take time off to recharge to inevitably come back to an unrealistic workload?
Thomas W. Colligan MSW & Eileen M. Higgins (2006) Workplace Stress, Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, 21:2, 89-97, DOI: 10.1300/J490v21n02_07