How to Overcome the Sunday Scaries – As the weekend winds down, the impending return to work can cast a shadow over what should be a relaxing day. Rather than living in the moment, you’re too worried about the assignment you have due on Monday. This phenomenon, often called the “Sunday Scaries,” has many workers feeling anxious and distracted during the final hours of weekend free time.
Fortunately, this common experience doesn’t have to dominate your Sunday. Here are some strategies for overcoming the phenomenon and making the most of the weekend’s grand finale.
Table of Contents
1. Care for Your Mental Health Every Day of the Week
By taking proactive steps to support your mental health throughout the week, you can build the tools to make Sunday less daunting. Routine practices like meditation, deep breathing techniques, journaling, and exercising equip you to manage your stress levels. Consistently caring for your mental health can also include seeing a therapist and taking medication to manage high anxiety levels. There’s no shame in needing to talk to someone or take a medication like Lexapro to build your emotional resilience.
Getting adequate sleep is also foundational, so establish a sleep routine and stick to it on the weekends to support a well-rested mind and body. When you get restful sleep every night, you’re less likely to feel fatigued and overwhelmed when the weekend ends. Tossing and turning is fuel for the Sunday Scaries, so stick to a consistent sleep schedule and create a comfortable sleeping environment.
2. Make Time for Relaxation
Making time for weekend relaxation is crucial for avoiding the Sunday Scaries. Self-care is an investment in your mental and physical well-being, so make it a non-negotiable part of your weekend routine. Whether it’s a quiet morning snuggled up with a good book, an afternoon nap, or an evening walk, schedule moments you can relax without obligations.
Spending time outdoors can be incredibly relaxing and therapeutic. Get out in nature by taking a stroll around your neighborhood, picnicking, gardening, or eating outside. You can also take the weekend as an opportunity for pampering. Treat yourself to self-care activities like an at-home spa day, a massage, shopping, or any indulgence that leaves you refreshed.
You might also consider taking a digital detox on Sunday. Disconnecting from your phone and other electronics like laptops encourages you to focus elsewhere and relax. Plus, these devices can be reminders for notifications, unread emails, and stressful work assignments that might be ahead of you.
3. Have Some Fun
Prioritizing fun activities during your weekend is an excellent antidote to anxiety. When you engage in activities you love, your brain releases endorphins, which are nature’s mood-lifters. This can provide a welcomed distraction from the impending doom associated with the return of the workweek. Your Sunday Funday might look like playing a game, hiking, strolling the farmer’s market, or grabbing coffee with a friend.
Planning fun activities on Sundays can also serve as a motivation booster. Having something to look forward to can make the transition from the weekend to the workweek feel less abrupt. In addition, making the most of your Sunday reinforces the importance of work-life balance. When you set boundaries between your personal and professional life, you help ensure work-related stress doesn’t spill over into your weekends. These boundaries could look like not checking work emails on the weekends and avoiding discussions about the upcoming workweek.
4. Plan Out Your Monday on Friday
Mapping out your Monday on Friday is an effective strategy for entering your days off with ease and creating a roadmap for next week. If you work on a team, consider whether there are tasks that need to be delegated to colleagues. Take the time to write and review a to-do list to ensure you understand what needs to be accomplished when you log back on Monday.
Don’t stop there either. Make sure when you come back into the office, you’re returning to a stress-free space. Try to finish up any incomplete tasks to avoid starting the week with unresolved issues hanging over your head. Clear out your inbox by responding to urgent messages and flagging items that don’t need immediate attention. Lastly, tidy up your workspace before you head out. A clean and organized environment lets you start the week with a clear mind and fewer distractions.
This preparation can reduce feelings of unpreparedness and allows you to feel more in control of your workload. Preparing plans on Friday also establishes clear boundaries between your workweek and weekend. This separation is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. When you’ve already outlined Monday’s tasks, you’re more likely to leave work-related thoughts behind and fully welcome an enjoyable and relaxing weekend.
Saying Goodbye to the Sunday Scaries
The Sunday Scaries are an unwelcome visitor during the precious moments of respite from work and other obligations. Many people experience it every week. However, this familiar foe doesn’t need to control your weekends or set the tone for the work week ahead. Your weekends should be a time for enjoyment and rest, not anxiety and dread. Follow the tips above, and take time for yourself. Allow yourself to take back control over your weekends and say farewell to the Sunday Scaries.