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9 ways to beat midweek blues

Wondering which day of the week is the least happy day? It is Wednesday! We tell you how to beat midweek blues.

After a relaxing Sunday, most of us feel low at the beginning of a week. We call that feeling the ‘Monday blues’. But sometimes, Wednesday or the midweek has also caught the attention of researchers. Colloquially known as the midweek blues or Wednesday blues, it is not a clinical diagnosis but rather a general term for feeling down and uninspired during the middle of the week. This manifests in people feeling tired and less positive when it comes to working during the midweek, specifically on Wednesday. Read on to know how to beat the midweek blues.

What are midweek blues?

Midweek blues refer to a temporary state of low energy, motivation, and mood that typically occurs on Wednesdays. The phenomenon is a normal variation in how people approach and experience different days of the week. It is not a pathological state that needs clinical intervention, says clinical psychologist Dr Rituparna Ghosh. However, if these feelings are persistent, severe, and interfere significantly with daily life and work, it could indicate an underlying mental health condition like depression or anxiety.

A woman feeling Wednesday blues at work
You may have difficulty in focusing at work if you have Wednesday blues. Image courtesy: Freepik

What are the signs of midweek blues?

Midweek or Wednesday blues may manifest in different ways:`

  • There may be a feeling of tiredness and sluggishness.
  • You may find it difficult to concentrate and focus on work.
  • Motivation and productivity may drop. You may be irritable and have feelings of negativity.
  • You may have a lack of interest in usual activities.
  • You may face difficulty in sleeping.

Overall, you will see a pattern of mood shifts through the week, with Mondays being tough followed by a dip in emotional engagement midweek, and a rise in positivity as the weekend approaches, says the expert.

What are the causes of midweek blues?

During a 2023 study published in Plos One, researchers noticed a negative trend on the happiness score from Monday to Wednesday. The lowest score was noticed on Wednesday. Accumulation of workload through the week with stress peaking at midweek can be a cause of midweek blues. Here are other factors:

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1. Mental representation

Midweek blues may be connected to our mental representation of the different days of the week. Midweek days are less likely to be associated with meaningful activities or emotions as compared to Monday, which is linked with starting fresh but also negativity due to the end of the weekend. As for Friday, it is associated with positive feelings about the upcoming weekend.

2. Fatigue

Monday comes two days after a weekend of not working and is furthest from the next available day of rest or leisure, which is Friday. Productivity sees a decline over the course of the week as a result of increasing fatigue.

3. Weekend fun yet to begin

Another reason for midweek blues could be that essentially, the excitement or freshness felt at the beginning of the week has worn off. But the anticipation for the weekend has not yet started.

4. Sleep quality

The natural sleep-wake cycle may also see a dip in the middle of the week, leading to lower energy levels, says the expert. Insufficient sleep, unhealthy eating habits, and lack of physical activity can all exacerbate the feeling of midweek blues.

How to beat midweek blues?

While the weekend may seem far away, you can do the following to beat Wednesday blues:

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1. Plan a midweek treat

Plan something enjoyable in the middle of the week, especially on Wednesday evening. If you have something to look forward to, it can easily boost your mood. This can include meeting friends for dinner, watching a movie, or engaging in an activity you really enjoy.

A woman tired due to midweek blues
Plan something exciting to beat Wednesday blues. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Take proper rest

Ensure you get enough sleep throughout the week, which means at least seven to eight hours in a day. A consistent sleep schedule with good duration of sleep can improve energy levels and overall well-being.

3. Stay active

Don’t keep workouts only for weekends. Physical activity releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects, says Dr Ghosh. So, try to do moderate exercise four days a week for at least 30 minutes each day.

4. Eat healthy

Along with healthy meals, eat nutritious snacks that can provide sustained energy throughout the day. Eat a bit of nuts, seeds or fresh fruits as healthy snacks instead of having processed foods and sugary drinks.

5. Practice mindfulness

You need to stay present and reduce stress by incorporating mindfulness practices into your day. Take out a few minutes from your schedule to focus on your breath. You can also engage in mindful walking to center yourself and get rid of midweek tension.

6. Connect with others

Try to spend time with friends or people you love even during the week. Social interaction can help to overcome any feeling of isolation that is usually brought on by an intense focus on work.

7. Practice gratitude

Take a moment just to reflect on all the things you are grateful for. You can keep a gratitude journal or just take a few minutes each day to acknowledge the positive aspects of your life. This can help shift your focus away from negativity, says the expert.

8. Take breaks

Make sure you take short breaks throughout the day to get recharged. Whether it is a quick coffee or tea break, a chat with a colleague, or a few minutes of stretching, stepping away from your work can help you return with renewed energy.

9. Change your environment

If possible, change your work environment for a portion of the day. Working from a different location, such as a cafe or green space, can provide a refreshing change of scenery and renewed inspiration.

If your midweek blues are accompanied by symptoms like persistent low feelings with hopelessness, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, or thoughts of self-harm, it is crucial to consult a mental health professional. These could be signs of a more serious mental health condition such as depression, requiring diagnosis and treatment.

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