Ah, Wednesday—the middle child of the week. While the first half of the week can seem so new and full of promise and the latter half builds up toward the weekend (yay!), Wednesday can feel like a lull. Regardless of how much you love your job, it’s common for even the best of us to hit a mid-week slump. Luckily, there are a few tricks that successful women use to help pull themselves out of a funk and get back on track.
1. Find a Way to Get Out of Your Head
Getting out of your head can take many forms, but my favorite is going for a walk. It’s such a classic, but it’s a classic for a reason. If you’re finding that your mid-week slump has to do with the hours and hours you’ve spent staring at a screen (your work laptop, your phone, four hours of Netflix each night, etc.), you might need a break from all the screens. I started incorporating a longer walk mid-week after work and found that it really lifted my spirits. I combine my walk with a wellness or career podcast (check out this list for some ideas), and the combo is always a good pick-me-up. Sometimes, listening to some career tips while getting the blood flowing is all you need to feel raring to go the next day.
2. Have Some Go-To Inspiration
It’s always good to have something handy in your back pocket to motivate you. At the beginning of this year, I spent a few hours putting together a Pinterest board of all the goals I want to achieve in the next year or two. On days when I feel especially tired or stressed, I’ll take five minutes to scroll through my Pinterest board to remind myself of my goals. This is so much more motivating than scrolling on social media and catching up on what influencers are doing as my “break.” When I’m feeling completely thrown off by another surprise assignment or unplanned meeting, reviewing my inspiration board helps me reset and reframe the day as an opportunity to work toward achieving those goals.
3. Arrange an Activity You Know You Love
Sometimes, we hit a recurring mid-week slump if we only plan fun things for the weekend. There are five days outside of Saturday and Sunday, and they deserve some love too! If you find that your weekdays are lacking excitement and becoming monotonous, try scheduling something fun for the day you typically hit your slump. Whether it’s a virtual yoga class with your favorite instructor, window shopping with your bestie, or just ordering in a meal you love, try adding in some extra joy outside of the weekend. I recently switched my weekly takeout day from Friday to Wednesday, and at first, it felt almost backwards, but now it’s one of the things I look forward to each week.
4. Try Structuring Your Week Around When You Work Best
Shortly after being promoted in my new role, I found that my Wednesdays were slammed with recurring back-to-back meetings. Combined with the fact that too many meetings leave me feeling exhausted and that I only had fun things planned for the weekend, I quickly began to dread my Wednesdays. After a few months of this, I took a step back and realized that I had some power over the situation. I asked some of my direct reports to move our recurring meetings to different days that worked better with my schedule.
Instead of having one day completely filled with a task you don’t love (or, on the flip side, a day with nothing happening), see if you can adjust your day so it’s more balanced, whether that’s blocking off half a day from meetings or scheduling your focus time to when it works best for you. Whatever it is, look for opportunities to turn the day you dread into less of a headache, and you might find that your mid-week slumps are much less common.
5. Treat Yourself With a Reward
Ah, my favorite tip on any list! Nothing like a little positive reinforcement. If your weekday slumps come and go depending on your workload (completely relatable) and it’s not a weekly thing, sometimes, the best way to put a little pep back in your step is to treat yo’ self. Whether that’s a Starbucks run for a $7 extra-fancy coffee or picking up dessert for after dinner, you’ve earned it. If food isn’t quite your reward of choice (can’t relate, TBH), figure out what will give you a little boost of happiness and go for it!
One of my friends only allows herself to watch reruns of The Office after workdays that are truly exhausting, and she tells me that she’s grown to like the hard days because of her reward at the end. There’s no shame in finding an external reason to bring a bit of joy into your workweek here and there.
6. Evaluate Why You’re Having a Slump
On the other hand, if you’ve tried some of the tips above and still feel like you hit a slump most weeks or multiple days per week, it might be time to have a closer look at what’s going on. Maybe you need more boundaries at work, have outgrown your current role, or need to ask for more support from the rest of your team. It’s totally normal to have some weeks that are better than others, but feeling a sense of boredom or dread more often than not during the workweek is a sign that something needs to change.
Spend some time thinking about what might be the core of the issue and then set up a meeting with your manager to see what can be done, book a vacation for a much-needed break, or ask yourself if it’s time to move on to a new role. Self-reflection is never easy, but you owe it to yourself to improve your happiness during the week and say goodbye to your perpetual mid-week slump.