It’s Friday evening. The workday is over and you’re feeling excited to have the next two days off. The evening feels full of promise, excitement, and possibility. You’re smiling, happy, and full of life. And then you blink and it’s Sunday evening and Monday is looming around corner. You notice that familiar feeling of anxiety start to creep in. You start to think about the week ahead and all that you have to do. You begin to feel uneasy and unable to enjoy the rest of your night as a result. Sound familiar? If so, then you may be suffering from the “Sunday-scaries.”
While not a formal DSM diagnosis, the Sunday-scaries feelings are real to those who experience them. These feelings usually stem from being unhappy with your workplace, feeling as though you don’t have enough time off, feeling stressed with the workplace demands, feeling overwhelmed by the M-F grind of life in general, or maybe there is something specifically stressful looming for the week ahead. Either way, the feelings suck, plain and simple, and can truly have a negative impact on your Sunday evening, which then flows into your Monday morning.
But what if I told you it didn’t have to be this way? What if I told you that there are ways you can combat the Sunday-scaries and no longer allow those negative feelings to have power over you? Below are my top tips to combat the Sunday-scaries and take back your weekend!
- Identify why you’re feeling anxious about the week ahead. Is it because you have a big presentation? A lot of work to do? A stressful meeting ahead? Or, do you just hate your job and the idea of having to go back again for 5 days in a row feels like torture? Whatever the reason, identify it. Why is this important? Because when we just feel anxious “for no reason,” it’s hard to combat the feelings of anxiety as there is no root cause. For example, if you know you’re anxious about a big meeting on Monday, then you can work with that and find ways to cope with your anxiety around that specific stressor.
- Remember that you still have Sunday off. Think about it this way, if your boss randomly told you that you have Wednesday off, you’d be ecstatic. It wouldn’t matter that the next day was still a workday, you’d take full advantage of the day. So, why should Sunday be any different? It’s still a day off. A full day that you are not allowing yourself to enjoy fully just because the next day is a workday.
- Be mindful and present. Feeling anxious at times is inevitable and we all experience this at some point or another, but anxiety typically stems from worrying about something in the future. So, stop thinking about the future and focus on the NOW. Maybe you do have a stressful week ahead. Maybe you do have a big presentation to do. Maybe you do have a lot of work to do. But, chances are you can’t do anything about that on Sunday anyways, so why waste the day worrying when you can be mindful and present and actually enjoy the day?
- Shift your mindset. It’s easy to focus on the negatives, and we are all guilty of this, but try to focus on something about the week ahead that you are looking forward to. No matter how big or small, there is always something positive, so try to focus on some of the good things about the upcoming week. The more you are able to do this, the more it will help you start to shift your mindset from negative to positive, which will then begin to improve your mood and decrease your anxiety.
- Develop a Sunday night routine. Mondays are actually heavily influenced by Sunday. So, develop a Sunday evening routine where you can set the tone for a nice calm and relaxing start to Monday. For example, plan to go to bed earlier on Sundays to ensure you are getting enough sleep. Make sure the lunches, backpacks, and work-bags are all packed ahead of time. Get the kids showered Sunday night and lay out everyone’s outfits for the next day. A lot of the anxiety people feel Sunday usually has to do with the fact that Monday starts the grind again, so try to get some of that Monday morning grind done in advance. That way you can relax and rest easy knowing Monday morning won’t be as chaotic or stressful.
- Develop a Sunday tradition. Shocking as it may sound, a lot of people actually do like Sundays. Football, cooking, family dinners, and Sunday night TV line up all make for a day to look forward to. I know, I know, if you are someone with the Sunday-scaries, this probably seems bizarre, but it’s true. So, find something which you can do every Sunday that is going to make you look forward to the day vs. dread it.
- Make changes in your life. If you are dreading Monday that much, ask yourself why? If your unhappiness with your job, life, or other circumstances are that significant, then perhaps it’s time to start thinking about some changes you can make. I know, easier said than done, but sometimes these are the opportunities which arise which allow us to really do some soul-searching around where our unhappiness is stemming from. Chances are, it really doesn’t have anything to do with Monday at all and you are instead projecting your feelings onto the day as a defense mechanism.
- Stop thinking Monday’s suck. Monday’s aren’t the problem and can actually be the best day of the week. Seriously. Think I’m kidding? I wrote an entire post all about this very concept, which you can read here. But for real, Monday can go from being the bane of your existence to your favorite day of the week by making some adjustments to your routine and shifting your mindset. If you hate Monday, what else do you have to lose by trying to see it differently? Worst case you end up exactly where you started.
I would LOVE to know what spoke to you today and encourage you to comment below and share with me! If you loved what you read, be sure to subscribe to my blog to be the first to get new posts!
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