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Bare Minimum Monday: Mental Health Hack or Just a Trend?

bare minimum monday
Foto: CC0 Public Domain / pexels - Andrea Piacquadio

Bare Minimum Monday is an idea born from social media, which advocates a slow Monday to prioritize mental health over productivity. Here, we look at both sides of the debate.

Bare Minimum Monday is a concept that encourages people to take a break from the daily hustle and prioritize self-care over productivity. It has become a trending topic recently as more people recognize the importance of actively maintaining their mental health and well-being. Let’s look at why this movement is trending and whether it is any good for our mental health.

What Is Bare Minimum Monday?

The essence of Bare Minimum Mondays is about prioritizing well being over work.
The essence of Bare Minimum Mondays is about prioritizing well being over work. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / psychconsultants)

On Bare Minimum Monday, people focus on only the essential tasks, using the remaining time to care for themselves. It began as a trend on Tiktok and has since become an internet phenomenon. Theoretically, the goal is to reduce stress and avoid burnout by prioritizing self-care over productivity.

It is supposed to make the overall work week more manageable by reducing the stress of transitioning from the weekend to the workweek. Practically speaking, it can include walking, reading a book or simply resting.

Examples of what to do on Bare Minimum Monday include:

  • taking a half day off
  • avoiding social media and emails
  • doing light or easy work
  • segmenting the day so you have breaks to spend time outdoors or relax with a good book or movie

However you embrace the trend, the intention is to protect your overall health and well-being.

Why Do People Love Bare Minimum Monday?

Bare Minimum Mondays are a way to address burnout.
Bare Minimum Mondays are a way to address burnout. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / JESHOOTS-com)

Bare Minimum Monday has gained immense popularity, as it offers an uncomplicated and efficient way to reduce stress and respond to our mind and body’s needs.

Marisa Jo Mayes, a popular Tiktoker and a vocal advocate of the practice, stated in an interview with Business Insider that many of her followers desire to emulate her lifestyle. Mayes says Bare Minimum Mondays allow her to feel more in control of her life and less overwhelmed. She emphasizes that it is not about being productive but taking care of yourself, acknowledging your limitations and avoiding burnout.

By prioritizing self-care, Marisa maintains a healthy work/life balance, which ultimately leads to a happier and more fulfilling existence. And clearly, many people are catching on: #BareMinimumMondays has garnered 2.3 million views on Tiktok.

What Do the Experts Say?

Can Bare Minimum Mondays help with productivity?
Can Bare Minimum Mondays help with productivity? (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / silviarita)

Bare Minimum Monday allows people to step back and recognize the signs of impending burnout. It’s essential to rest and recharge when we need it, especially during periods of high stress. In fact, taking that time may allow you to get more work done. Prioritizing your mental health helps you to refocus and avoid stress in the coming week.

Many studies have shown when our mental health deteriorates, productivity drops. Even if we attempt to push through the stress and continue working, psychologically and physically, we only strain ourselves more. As a result, we get what the business world calls presenteeism, where even when someone shows up to work, they make little to no progress.

Conversely, the research highlights that well-being means more work gets done and you are more productive overall. This is where experts say that Bare Minimum Mondays may be practical. By practicing self-compassion and self-love, we make ourselves happier and healthier, improving our performance.

However, it’s important to note that not all the features of Bare Minimum Monday are conducive to productivity or even low stress. For instance, by taking Mondays slow, you may have to play catch up during the rest of the week. And there are more reasons why some are skeptical.

Are There Any Drawbacks to Bare Minimum Mondays?

Some question whether it's truly beneficial to slack off at the start of the week.
Some question whether it’s truly beneficial to slack off at the start of the week. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / tookapic)

While Bare Minimum Mondays can be a helpful tool for managing stress, there is the risk that it could be used as an excuse to do no work whatsoever. People may use Bare Minimum Monday to procrastinate or justify not doing anything.

We should also consider the more significant implications of the philosophy. For instance, while taking a more relaxed approach to work on Mondays can be beneficial, it’s important to avoid using it as an excuse to completely disengage from aspects of life outside of work, such as relationships with our friends, family and spouses.

Even in the workplace — like when we don’t answer emails or check our phones — it creates less pressure for us but potentially increases anxiety and stress for colleagues relying on our response. This can lead to resentment or isolation from coworkers.

Others raise the issue of the practicality of Bare Minimum Monday in terms of a person’s work style or schedule. For instance, some might question whether Bare Minimum Monday is practical for everyone. Some may have early-morning meetings or other commitments requiring them to be more active and engaged at the beginning of the week.

Lastly, from an employer’s perspective, as HR advisor Kate Palmer told the Standard, the lack of productivity on Bare Minimum Mondays could signify a lack of effort or dedication. And in times of financial hardships, unfortunately, it can put a person’s job at risk; managers can target those they perceive to be their least productive team members.

What Are Some Alternative Workplace Philosophies?

If Bare Minimum Monday doesn’t quite work for you, numerous options are available to manage stress and prioritize self-care effectively. These include:

Remember: each approach has benefits and drawbacks, and finding the most effective solution for yourself may require experimentation. Try various strategies and techniques to understand better what works best for you and develop a personalized routine supporting your mental health and well-being.

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