Monday mornings for me are very different than for most. In a previous life, Monday mornings meant a stressful return to the normal grind. Now, Monday morning is my down time. As an event planner, Monday is my off day. While the rest of the world works, I relax. The concept of Monday mornings is a universally dreaded idea, whether your Monday is actually on Monday or not, though. Even if you love your job, there is still a rough reality returning to work after time off.

In America, we work really hard. There is an increasingly diminishing concept of work/life balance. Because your email can go everywhere with you, you are often expected to take your work home with you. Even if you aren’t expected to take work home with you, you often do because of the “workaholic” culture. This is neither a healthy or sustainable lifestyle.

In other countries, work/life balance is a much different concept. The OECD Better Life Index ranks countries in order according to their work/life balance. In the rankings, the United States is 38th place in work/life balance. This index takes into consideration employees working long hours and leisure time, but also looks at factors such as gender balance in the workplace. Everything is measured on a 10-point scale, and the US barely made 5 points. My point here is that we work too hard, we don’t take enough time for ourselves, and it’s a problem that we should care more about.

The United States need to identify ways for our workforce to take breaks and have personal time. This time is crucial to not only mental health, but also productivity in our work. If we can create a better work/life balance, we won’t have to dread Mondays as much. We won’t have the awful return to a long work week. By working normal hours and taking breaks, Mondays can just be a day and not the worst day of the week.

-          Bria