When people hear the bare minimum, it is fair to assume that only negative connotations are associated. After all, it refers to applying the least amount of effort possible. However, what if it could be spun positively?
TikTokker Maris Jo Mayes coined the phrase bare minimum Mondays in a viral video on the social media platform, referring to “easing yourself” into the working week by taking it easy at the beginning of it. She describes how, previously, she would delay the working week by staying up too late on Sundays and making to-do lists that caused her stress and anxiety.
Now, she feels more productive than ever before, and people across TikTok agree with her, which is obvious due to the 19k likes the video has and the supportive comments. As workplace burnout continues to ravage people of their motivation, could “bare minimum Mondays” be the answer? The team at SaaSgenius find out.
But first, what is work burnout?
This refers to socially and emotionally withdrawing from work and the people around you, as you have pushed yourself mentally and physically too far. It can happen slowly, without you realising – even starting as small things like checking your emails at the weekend or working late into the night during the week. It impacts over 12 million people in the UK, often leading to substance abuse, anxiety, and depression.
Bare minimum Mondays the pros and cons
- You no longer get the “Sunday scaries”. This term was coined because many people could not enjoy their Sundays and were so concerned about the Monday that awaited them. However, if somebody is actively practising “bare minimum Mondays”, they may be able to achieve a well-earned day of relaxation over the weekend rather than stressing for hours.
- You can mentally prepare yourself for busier days. Rather than returning to work after the weekend, inundated with many tasks to complete, you can leisurely lay out your game plan for the week. This would make breaking each task into manageable chunks easier, allowing you to remove the pressure from your shoulders. Your workload now seems realistic, and you know what to expect from the coming days.
- You can prioritise self-care rather than productivity. Does hurling yourself out of bed, neglecting to brush your hair and teeth, or even changing your pyjamas, to sit at your desk sound familiar? Rather than beginning the day this way, you can gradually allow your body to wake up (still in time for work) as you are safe in the knowledge that you will not be feeling pressured today. You can do your skincare routine, change into comfy loungewear, and read or watch TV before the work day officially begins.
- You can make yourself a nourishing breakfast and lunch. It will come as no surprise that many full-time workers in the UK regularly forget to have breakfast or do not have time. This means your body is running on empty, with nothing inside to convert to energy. This will inevitably cause your body to burn out. Many people also confess to eating lunch at their desks or neglecting to take a lunch break. However, if you experiment with the “bare minimum Monday” mindset, you can make yourself your favourite meals throughout the day without worrying about being too busy – a thought that can lead people to unhealthy choices.
- You can take regular breaks to do something you enjoy. It may not have occurred to many people that they can indulge in their hobbies during the working day – but they can. Staring at a screen all day will become boring or stressful, so why not prioritise things you enjoy on this bare minimum Monday? Read a few pages of a book between tasks, learn a new, relaxing skill, catch up with a television show, experiment with makeup – the list is endless and means you do not have to lose your interests Monday to Friday.
- You could take the notion of “bare minimum” too literally. As simple as “bare minimum Mondays” seem, it could be easy to take things too far and not do anything. It would be very important to remember that the concept doesn’t mean to sit and do nothing all day but to put your mental health first and your workload second – then, during the week, you can return to normal with a new and refreshed mindset. If you spend your Monday doing neither work nor anything that involves self-care, you could make yourself even more stressed than before.
- Your employer may notice. While most employers would be happy that their employees put themselves first, others may not be so excited about the concept. If there is a noticeable slip in your performance, your employer may take you to the side and ask whether anything is wrong. In some extreme cases, depending on the management, you could even be reprimanded – especially if deadlines are missed.
- You might be thrown off by the lack of routine. Even though a bare minimum of Mondays would help to set up the rest of the week in a positive manner for some, for others, it could have the exact opposite effect. For many people, Mondays are when they like to throw themselves into tasks and embrace the new week. Some people like feeling very busy and thrive under pressure and in fast-paced environments, so the lack of this could leave them feeling like they don’t know what to do with themselves. This could, in turn, lead to more stress and anxiety.
Whether you embrace the bare minimum Monday trend or not, it is still crucial that you ensure your mental health is at the top of your list of priorities. Work burnout is very serious and can lead to a complete crash that leaves you unable to complete or even attend work. Look after yourselves.