When Sunday afternoons roll around, do you get a nervous pit in your stomach about the week ahead? If so, you may be experiencing the “Sunday Scaries.” This is a type of anticipatory anxiety, where we get a strong sense of worry about our upcoming week of work or school. It’s not always easy to manage Sunday Scaries. We live in a culture where we’re often overworked, which can be difficult for keeping a work/life balance. Our weekends can feel fleeting, with a full schedule of obligations waiting just around the corner. In this blog post, we’re giving you our best tips on how to better manage this type of anxiety.
1-Schedule Something Fun on Sundays
One way to manage the Sunday Scaries is to plan ahead to do something you enjoy on Sundays. Perhaps you want to schedule a game night with friends, go on a long hike, cook a new recipe for dinner, or curl up on the couch watching your favorite show. Think of what healthy distractions will leave you feeling relaxed or able to have fun on your day off.
2-Plan Ahead on Fridays
It can be hard to feel like we truly have a day off on Sundays if we push all of our life maintenance, like grocery shopping, cleaning and meal prepping, to that day. We can enjoy our Sundays much more if we plan ahead on Fridays. Space out your personal chores throughout the week instead doing all of them on Sunday. Also try to map out your to do list for the upcoming week on Fridays, so that task is already taken care of.
3-Allow Yourself to Be in the Moment
If our thoughts are consumed with our upcoming week of tasks and meetings, we can’t truly enjoy the present moment of the weekend. Give yourself mindful activities that you can do, like spending time in nature, cooking or chatting with a friend, where you can be fully present. You might also try some mindfulness relaxation techniques aimed at calming anticipatory anxiety.
4-Incorporate Self-Care Into Your Mondays
Another way to make the upcoming work or school week seem less scary is to incorporate self-care into our Mondays. This can help us gently ease into the week ahead. Start your morning off right, by carving out time to drink your coffee and read a book, or get in a quick workout class. Or you can plan to order from your favorite place for lunch or spend Monday night catching up on your favorite show.
5-Try Maintaining a Work/Life Balance
The more that we can separate our work life from our personal life, the more we can enjoy our Sundays and time off. Try the best you can to separate these two things by blocking off your time and sticking to it. You may be surprised by how much this can help.
6-Spend Time Off Your Devices
Lastly, try to unplug as much as you can. If we spend a large amount of our weekends staring at our screens, it won’t feel very restful to us. We already tend to spend so much of our time during the work week on screens as it is. So we all need to take breaks. Resist the urge to check your emails on Saturday or Sunday. If you need to, turn off your work notifications too. Out of sight, out of mind.
Hopefully these tips give you some helpful ways to mitigate your Sunday Scaries. If you’re still feeling an immense sense of dread every Sunday afternoon or evening, it may be an indicator of a deeper underlying issue (like a bad work environment, wrong career path for you or not enough self-care in general). Consider speaking with a therapist if you think you might benefit from more helpful strategies to cope with the Sunday Scaries or other forms of anticipatory anxiety.