In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
This sentiment is accurate for the modern workplace, where burnout is common, and the Sunday Scaries are a real threat.
Enter the latest trend in career self-care: Bare Minimum Mondays.
@itsmarisajo Bare Minimum Monday still means sticking to the structure I know works for me — just going a bit slower ? #bareminimummonday #bareminimummondays #wfh #selfemployed #slowwork #selfemployedlife #productivitytips ♬ Theme From A Summer Place – Percy Faith
What Are Bare Minimum Mondays?
Coined by TikTok sensation Maris Mayes, Bare Minimum Mondays is about easing into the work week with minimal effort and maximum focus on self-care.
Let’s face it: Monday mornings are challenging enough without feeling like you must be a productivity powerhouse from the moment you enter the office.
The idea of doing the bare minimum is hardly new–it’s a time-honored tradition going back to the dawn of the modern office.
However, what’s new is the emphasis on self-care and mental health.
As career expert Tessa White told Good Morning America:
“What I’m seeing at least is a trend that started with quiet quitting and now we’ve got bare minimum Mondays and a big push towards a four-day workweek. It clearly is an indication that people are burned out and trying to find ways to re-energize themselves while doing the thing that they have to do to earn a paycheck.”
How To Do It
So, how does Bare Minimum Monday work?
According to the trend’s proponents, it involves taking a step back and giving yourself permission to do only the bare minimum necessary to get through the day.
Your bare minimum could be focusing on essential tasks instead of tackling your entire to-do list.
It could also mean taking frequent breaks or slotting in time for self-care activities like meditation or yoga.
It could also mean giving yourself permission to say no to meetings or other obligations that don’t absolutely require your attention.
At first glance, this seems like a recipe for disaster.
After all, if everyone in the office is only doing the bare minimum, won’t productivity grind to a halt?
According to Keren Wasserman, Lyra Health’s organizational development program manager, this trend is good.
By giving employees the flexibility to prioritize their well-being, they are more likely to be productive and engaged in the long run.
Naturally, some people don’t support Bare Minimum Mondays.
Critics argue it’s just another example of entitled millennials and Gen Zers to avoid hard work.
They insist that burnout is hardly new and that past generations didn’t need special days or permission.
But as Jennifer Moss, author of The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It, points out:
“It’s not that you’re not doing anything… It’s about making work better.”
Employees are more likely to be engaged, productive, and committed to their jobs in the long run if you give them tools to prioritize their well-being.
Try Bare Minimum Mondays
If you feel burned out and need self-care, try Bare Minimum Mondays.
It might be what you need to get through the week without losing your mind.
And who knows?
It could be the next big thing in career self-care.
After all, trends come and go, but the need for self-care and mental health support is permanent.
Tik Tok didn’t invent this. Everyone has been doing this for decades. It’s called: Monday Mornings.
— DIOSZAWARUDO (@HardNameDoodlin) April 11, 2023
Happy bare minimum Monday go easy on yourself today ? pic.twitter.com/qfrxBZoUVY
— ade ? (@vibewithade) April 10, 2023
— Inc. (@Inc) April 14, 2023