Picture this: you've had a nice weekend relaxing, hanging out with family, your partner, or friends. You're happy and you enjoyed yourself. Then what happens? As the evening creeps in, you start feeling this sense of impending doom, stress, and anxiety that come with knowing you have to return to work Monday... sound relatable? Here's what to do about it to make your Sunday nights better to start your Monday on a good foot..
Who's affected by the big bad Sunday Scaries?
Apparently, a lot of us! In fact, Linkedin did a survey and found the 'Sunday Scaries' happen to up to 80% of professionals and especially Gen Z and Millennials. Many people experience this stress and anxiety as the end of the weekend approaches and it's common among both men and women.
So even though we might enjoy our weekends off, it means that we might find ourselves feeling anxious about getting back into the swing of things and going back to work. Maybe we start thinking about every deadline or meeting we have this week, family obligations become more pressing, and the cycle of recurrent adult responsibilities begins anew.
What do the Sunday Scaries feel like?
To most people, the Sunday Scaries feels like a sort of “growing anticipatory anxiety” up to bedtime. This can show up in a variety of ways.
Firstly, this dread can greatly affect sleep quality as the thought of returning to work on Monday morning might keep our thoughts spinning in our heads or worse, waking us up in the middle of the night.
Secondly, it can manifest as anxiety as we start listing in our heads all the work we still need to do or the mistakes we might make during the coming week. Others worry about losing their jobs, issues with colleagues or their bosses.
Still, others experience anxiety because they anticipate being faced with difficult situations or problems at work. Whatever the reason, it's important to understand why you might feel anxious on Sundays. Knowing what causes your anxiety will help you better manage it.
Things you can do to manage Sunday Scaries:
There are several ways to help manage the overwhelm, dread, anxiety, or negative emotions that come with these feelings. Here are some suggestions to take control of your Sunday nights and make it easier to face the next workweek.
1. Set realistic expectations for your weekend plans
Set reasonable intentions like spending quality time with friends and family, getting outside in nature for a hike or picnic, or planning to relax. If you have obligations like repairs, house work or errands, make sure you choose ONE weekend day and enjoy the other so that you don't feel resentful you didn't get anything good out of it.
If you have the feeling you 'wasted' your weekend doing yard work without any fun or relaxation, it's much harder to feel good about going back to the grind. You'll likely be pleasantly surprised by just how enjoyable those activities turn out to be.
2. Make plans ahead of time without over committing
Planning ahead helps reduce the amount of stress that builds up during the weekend trying to decide how to best use your time. It doesn't mean planning every minute either so that it feels like obligation to have fun.
When we over-commit to everything and pack our schedule with too many social obligations, it can leave us feeling resentful and depleted.
3. Get enough rest instead of over-partying
It can be tempting especially after a super stressful week to go wild on the weekend with parties and over-doing it to the point where we don't get quality rest. This is a trend for alot of people especially when they don't feel like they get to enjoy their time during the week.
If we spend the whole weekend drinking and partying, then we feel horrible on Monday and don't end sleeping well. Plus, sleep deprivation has been proven to increase anxiety levels, so make sure you get plenty of shut-eye over the weekend.
4. Eat healthy meals
Eating healthy meals throughout the weekend can help reduce stress and anxiety. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your meals. Avoid loading up on processed foods and sugary snacks, as these can make you feel sluggish and increase your stress levels. Use Sunday night to cook something healthy at home to prepare for the week ahead.
5. Do EFT Tapping to manage emotions
EFT tapping is a powerful tool for managing emotions and reducing stress. It involves tapping on specific points of the body while focusing on a particular issue or emotion. This helps to release negative energy and create a sense of calm. EFT tapping is a powerful tool for managing emotions such as stress and overwhelm.
It is based on the idea that we hold emotional energy in certain parts of the body, and by tapping specific points on the body, we can release this energy. This helps to reduce stress and anxiety by releasing negative emotions and encouraging relaxation. It also helps to rewire our brains to create new positive patterns of thinking and feeling. EFT tapping is an easy technique to learn and can be used whenever you need it!
EFT tapping can be done in just a few minutes, making it an ideal way to manage Sunday scaries quickly and effectively.
6. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. It involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations without judgment. Mindfulness can help you become more aware of your emotions and better manage them. Try taking a few minutes each day to practice mindful breathing or meditation.
Exercising is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety and it's good for your mental health. It releases endorphins, which can help improve your mood and make you feel better. Try going for a walk or jog, doing yoga, or taking a dance class in the late afternoon or early evening on Sundays. Even just 10 minutes of exercise can make a big difference in how you're feeling.
8. Get organized
Organizing your tasks and responsibilities can help reduce stress and make it easier to manage your time. Make a list of everything you need to do and prioritize the most important tasks first. This will help you stay focused and on track throughout the week.
9. Take time for yourself
It's important to take some time for yourself during the weekend. Whether it's taking a hot bath, going for a walk, or reading a book, make sure you give yourself some time to relax and recharge. This will help you feel more refreshed and ready to tackle the week ahead.
10. Have a Sunday night wind down routine
A routine gives us something to look forward to every week. We crave it. A routine helps us feel better about our lives, too. Having a Sunday night routine is a great way to manage stress and anxiety. By setting up rituals and routines that you can follow each week, it reduces the amount of decisions and choices you have to make, which helps to reduce overall stress.
A Sunday night routine can also help to create structure in your life. Knowing what tasks or activities you will do each Sunday night can help you feel organized and prepared and less anxious and stressed.
11. Get outside
Spending time outdoors can be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety during the weekends.
Going to the park, taking a walk in nature or even in the mountains or a lake outside of town is great for your mental health. Spending time outdoors can help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as boost your mood and energy levels.
Nature has been proven to have calming effects on the mind and body, so make sure you get some fresh air over the weekend. Going for a walk, bike ride, or just sitting outside is helpful
12. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for managing stress and anxiety. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, as this will help you feel more energized and ready to tackle the week ahead. Avoid using screens before bed, as this can interfere with your sleep cycle. Try not to stay up late watching movies or playing video games; instead, try to wind down before bedtime. Cut yourself off from "Doom Scrolling".
13. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude can be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Take a few minutes each day to think about the things you're grateful for. This can help put things into perspective and make you feel more positive about your life. Journaling for even a few minutes can put you in a healthy emotional state.
14.Connect with friends and family
One of the best ways to reduce stress is by connecting with those you love. Make sure to take time each week to reach out to your friends and family members. You can call, video chat, or even meet up in person if possible. Having meaningful conversations and sharing laughs with the people you care about can help reduce stress levels and improve your mood. Choose one person a week to write to or connect with. Let them know you appreciate them.
The Sunday Scaries can be a difficult thing to manage, but with the right strategies, it is possible to reduce stress and anxiety. By practicing mindfulness, reaching out for support, getting organized, taking time for yourself, eating healthy meals, getting outside, getting enough sleep, practicing gratitude and connecting with friends and family you can create a positive atmosphere for your week ahead.
ANDREA HUNT - Online Transformational Life Coach & EFT Tapping Practitioner based in Munich, Germany
I'm an accredited transformational life coach from Animas Centre for Coaching UK and a member of the International Coaching Federation. I'm also a Level 2 practitioner in EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) and a member of AEFTP (Association of Emotional Freedom Technique Professionals).
If you're not sure where to start transforming your life, you can download my free ebook on How to Start Your Personal Growth Journey.
Are you ready to change your life, let go of old beliefs, empower yourself for a mindset shift to move forward? Mark Batterson says: You're always one decision away from a totally different life.
Header image: Deleece Cook
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