Monday, February 4, 2019

Doing This Can Make Mondays a Whole Lot Better

It's estimated that some 14 million people will call in sick to work today because they can't manage to get out of their pajamas after watching the Super Bowl last night.

While such action (or inaction) costs employers about $2.6 billion in productivity losses, it does have a positive side: People obviously had a great time over the weekend. They probably didn't think much about work when they were enjoying the Doritos commercial or simply throwing Doritos while Maroon 5 performed.

Taking such mental breaks are important and we may need to build more "Super Bowl" weekends into our lives.

Specifically, a recent study finds that treating your weekend like a vacation can boost your happiness. Forget traveling to Punta Cana for a week -- just by being a bit more attentive to enjoyable things you do in a weekend (eating, sleeping, fewer chores) can make you happier on Monday.

Further, that happiness can carry throughout the week, the study shows.

By staying more in the moment, the study participants said they enjoyed themselves more even if they were doing tasks such as making breakfast.

One word of caution: These weekend vacations can't become a habit. The cognitive and emotional impact may be weakened if they become routine, so save the mental breaks for when you really need them, researchers say.

If you were able to give yourself a nice mental break with a Super Bowl party with friends or family -- or even your dog -- then why not do it more often? When things start to pile up for you at work and you start dreading Monday more than usual, it may be a sign that it's time to have a vacation weekend. Think of all the things you like to do on vacation (make pancakes, go for long walks, play games) and do them over the weekend. You may just find that Monday isn't so terrible after all.

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