It doesn’t matter how relaxing or exciting the weekend was, come Sunday, it’s pretty likely that we will encounter some not-as-fun feelings. Dubbed the Sunday scaries or Sunday blues, feeling anxious at the end of the weekend is incredibly common.
According to a 2015 Monster.com survey, 76% of respondents reported feeling “really bad” Sunday night blues. This is apparently an even worse problem in the United States, with the global average for really bad Sunday scaries topping out at 47% of respondents.
While the Sunday scaries is not scientific, the problem is common, and it is likely because work and the pressure to perform is one of the major stressors in our lives. Anticipating a stressful, scheduled week ahead, coupled by ending a fun, loosely planned weekend, can understandably send any of us down a path of anxiety for what’s to come. In the United States, it is estimated that the recent economic downturn adds to this stress.
So what can we do about it? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but we put together a few of the tactics that work for us.
Fit in some light activity
When you wake up on Sunday morning and start to feel the anxiety kick in, it will be tempting to burrow back under the covers. Instead of dragging yourself to the couch for a Bravo binge session, find a way to work in some exercise. We know you may be recovering from a tough week of workouts, and possibly an indulgence-filled weekend, and you may not be up for a high intensity workout. That’s okay. If you’re looking for something more low key, consider a gentle yoga class, a walk in your neighborhood or trying a fun activity outside of your day-to-day fitness routine, such as kayaking or hiking. If you’re in Chicago, try one of these unique outdoor fitness ideas.
It’s easy to let the anticipatory anxiety set in when you feel like you don’t know what to expect for your week ahead. To combat this, take some time to organize your mind. It helps to calm your thoughts by writing down your to-do list for the week. There are a lot of different ways to tackle a task list, but I like to organize based on the area of my life, such as work, personal and social. You may also consider using a calendar, either on paper or on your phone, to plan out your meals, workouts and social plans for the week. If you like to organize digitally, try out this meal prep Google sheet to keep your shopping and prepping routine simple and stress-free.
Planning out the week ahead is effective on Sundays, but it is an even more ideal activity for Friday afternoons, so you’re able to head into the weekend knowing you have already taken care of the week ahead.
Set an intention for the week
Before you head into the hustle and bustle of the work week, take some time to yourself to meditate and just be. This can take on many forms; it may include the use of a meditation app (I like Headspace!), attending a mindful yoga class or just giving yourself some quiet time to mentally prepare for the week ahead. Just like you set an intention during yoga, set an intention for your week, and use that to center you as you battle the Sunday night blues. If you continue to feel anxiety on Sunday or into the week, you can reset by taking a few minutes to breathe and remind yourself of your intention.
Get ready to Carpe Monday with a workout
If you’re scrolling your social feed on a Monday morning, you’ve probably seen the tagline, “Never Miss a Monday,” or if you’re following aSweatLife on social media, you’ve for sure seen us #CarpeMonday. We love to start our weeks off on the right foot, and by that, we of course mean with a good sweat. Grab a friend and make a workout date for Monday morning and you’ll be able to rest easy on Sunday night knowing you’ve already made your next good decision. Unsure about working out with a friend? I have a post for that too.
Make social plans for Monday
It shouldn’t be a surprise that most of these tips aren’t about what to do on Sunday, but about planning what to do on Monday. We know starting the workweek is likely the true cause of anxiety, and nothing makes the Sunday blues fly by like having plans to look forward to on the other side. Reach out to friends to make plans for Monday, but keep the entertainment casual. Monday can be a great way to start the week off on the right foot and shouldn’t be used as an excuse to continue your weekend indulgence. Make plans to meet up with a friend over lunch, go for a walk during the day with a coworker, or get together to try a fun dinner recipe. Mondays are also a great day for a manicure because a lot of salons offer discounts early in the week – talk about a win-win!