Whether you call it the Sunday syndrome, blues, shakes or scaries, there is no doubt that the day can unfortunately be filled with anticipatory anxiety, rather than the relaxing feelings we would all desire from our weekend. Mondays indicate another start to a possibly tumultuous week filled with responsibilities, and the reality of work life escaped on the weekend starts to set in again.
A 2018 survey commissioned by LinkedIn revealed that 80 percent of working American adults worry about the approaching workweek on Sundays. The anxieties revolving around a new week of obligations can seem dooming on Sundays, when we let thoughts of what could happen get to the better of us before it’s even reality. For many people, these higher levels of stress on Sundays can impact several aspects of their lives, including mood, appetite and sleep.
Fortunately, there are some ways you can begin to address this and manage a more pleasant start to your week.
Master identifying and calling out your negative thoughts on Sunday.
Chances are you’re making premature assumptions about your workweek and contemplating things might become stressful for you, causing double the worry before it’s even warranted. In all likelihood, you’ve probably experienced anxious thoughts ahead of situations that turned out completely fine in the past. Our inner critic can feel even more intense on Sundays, so treat yourself with kindness and the reminder that having these types of anxious thoughts is normal, but they are only thoughts.
Although it’s certainly easier said than done, try pinpointing what exactly is filling you with dread so that you can address it more clearly. You may like to try a practice like journalling, meditation, yoga or even just take a walk to assist with self reflection, so you can identify where your negative thoughts are coming from, and challenge them with positive ones.
Take time away from your devices.
While checking your email prior to Monday to gain perspective on what you may be in for may seem like a good idea, notice whether this is actually a beneficial practice for you. If the act of checking it causes you more stress, set boundaries on how much you do this.
You may also like to stay off social media during your Sunday, as many experience negative thoughts of comparison about their weekend when seeing what others got up to. Although comparison to others on platforms like Instagram is practically human instinct, it can leave someone feeling as though they didn’t take advantage of their time as well as those they see on social media. Rather than potentially bumming yourself out, try establishing a different pattern instead, like reading a book, or taking some time to incorporate herbal remedies into your Sunday routine. The time away from your devices before bed can also be monumentally helpful, as interactions with your phone prior to attempting to fall asleep can impact how easily this happens.
Give yourself something to look forward to on Monday.
Mondays are going to arrive whether we like them or not, but giving yourself something to enjoy on the day might make them seem a little less daunting. Planning some extra Monday motivation might be just what you need to find more positivity in the day. It could include picking up your favourite coffee in the morning, planning a special dinner in the evening, a catch up with someone you love after work, or anything else you appreciate. Not all the fun has to happen during your weekend, so if you can, try bringing some more life amusement into your workweek.
Reach out to someone.
Remember that you are not alone and everyone around you is likely having the similar anxious thoughts that you are. Sharing your concerns with someone in your life can be super helpful and remind you that you’re not isolated. At the same time, it’s important to recognize when your feelings of anxiety are impacting your life too significantly, and seeking professional help may be the best option.
Remember that some anticipatory anxiety is normal, but there are some steps you can take to experience a more positive Sunday. At any rate, listen to your gut if the Sunday scaries persist for where you may like to enact bigger life changes. As always, you are not alone in this and help is available.