The Sunday Scaries are the feelings of doom and anxiety that show up the evening before another week begins. Various factors, such as work, school, or personal obligations, can cause them. They can also be worsened by a lack of sleep, a hangover, or a busy weekend.
According to a Forbes article on How To Beat The ‘Sunday Scaries, LinkedIn research shows 80% of professionals and over 90% of millennial and Generation Z workers experience Sunday Scaries. However, they are inevitable and can be overcome with simple tips and strategies. This blog will explore the Sunday Scaries, how they affect you, and how you can fight them off and confidently start your week.
What are Sunday Scaries?
The term “Sunday Scaries” is not a scientific or clinical diagnosis, but rather a colloquial expression that describes a form of anticipatory anxiety. Anticipatory anxiety is the nervousness and dread that you feel about something that hasn’t happened yet, such as the week ahead.
Symptoms of Sunday Scaries
The Sunday Scaries can manifest in different ways, depending on the person and the situation. Some common symptoms of Sunday Scaries are
- Stomach issues, such as nausea, cramps, or diarrhea
- Restlessness, irritability, or difficulty concentrating
- A vague sense of unease, sadness, or hopelessness
- A racing heartbeat, sweating, or trembling
- Difficulty breathing or chest pain
- Trouble sleeping or nightmares
- Headache or muscle tension
The Sunday Scaries can also affect your mood, behavior, and productivity. You might feel less motivated, less creative, or less confident. You might also procrastinate, avoid, or withdraw from your tasks and responsibilities. You might also have negative thoughts, such as “I hate my job,” “I can’t do this,” or “I’m not good enough”.
“Stress primarily comes from not taking action over something that you can have control over”
The Impact of Sunday Scaries
The Sunday Scaries are not just a minor inconvenience or a bad mood. They can have serious consequences for your mental and physical health, as well as your performance and relationships.
The Sunday Scaries can increase your stress levels, which can lead to various health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and a weakened immune system. They can also trigger or worsen existing mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or panic disorder.
The Sunday Scaries can also impair your ability to function effectively and efficiently at work or school. They can reduce your attention span, memory, creativity, and problem-solving skills. At the same time, they primarily teach you how to focus. They can also lower your productivity, quality of work, and satisfaction. They can also affect your communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, harming your relationships with colleagues, bosses, clients, or teachers.
The Sunday Scaries can also interfere with your personal life and happiness. They can make you less present, less engaged, and less enjoyable with your family, friends, or partner. They can also prevent you from pursuing your hobbies, passions, or goals. They can also rob you of the joy and relaxation that you deserve from your weekend.
Who are Prone to Sunday Scaries?
Anyone can experience feelings of work-related anxiety, according to Dr. Berwise. However, in his experience, a few groups can be particularly vulnerable:
- People who already have symptoms of anxiety
- Those who feel they lack control over their lives or what happens to them at work
- People who feel their work isn’t aligned with their values and can’t see how it’s helping them meet future goals
It’s important to understand this last cohort who struggle to see how their work aligns with future goals or expectations, he highlights. While many people work jobs they don’t enjoy, they’re less likely to experience Sunday Scaries when they feel their time and effort are aligned with something important or helping them achieve a long-term goal, such as paying for education, travel, or time with loved ones.
A toxic or chaotic workplace could lead anyone to dread the work week, but Sunday Scaries aren’t limited to people who dislike their jobs. These feelings can be an indication that you care deeply about your work yet don’t feel sufficiently supported or have the resources necessary to perform effectively.
10 Tips to Combat Sunday Scaries
The good news is that you don’t have to suffer from the Sunday Scaries forever. There are many ways to cope with them and reduce their impact on your life. Here are 10 tips that you can try to beat the Sunday Scaries and start your week with confidence:
1. Change Your Mindset
The way you think about your week can influence how you feel about it. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects, try to find the positive ones. For example, instead of thinking, “I don’t want to go to work tomorrow”, think, “I’m looking forward to seeing my co-workers,” or “I’m excited to work on this project”. You can also use affirmations, such as “I can do this,” “I’m prepared,” or “I’m capable”, to boost your self-esteem and motivation.
2. Plan Ahead
One of the main causes of Sunday Scaries is feeling overwhelmed by the amount of things you have to do in the week. To avoid this, try to plan your week, preferably on Friday or Saturday. Make a list of your tasks, prioritize them, and schedule them in your calendar. This way, you can have a clear overview of your week and know what to expect. You can also set realistic and achievable goals for each day and reward yourself for completing them.
3. Prepare Yourself
Another way to reduce your anxiety is to prepare yourself for the week. This can include getting your clothes, bag, lunch, or documents ready the night before so you don’t have to rush in the morning. It can also include reviewing your notes, agenda, or emails so you don’t forget anything important. It can also include doing some research, making productive plans, brainstorming, or practicing so that you can feel more confident and competent.
4. Relax Yourself
One of the best ways to combat Sunday Scaries is to relax physically and mentally. This can include doing some breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or stretching to calm your nerves and release your tension. It can also include doing some self-care activities, such as taking a bath, reading a book, listening to music, or watching a movie, to soothe your mood and distract your mind. It can also include doing some gratitude exercises, such as writing down or saying out loud three things that you are thankful for to boost your happiness and optimism.
5. Reconsider Your Schedule
Sometimes, the Sunday Scaries are a sign that your schedule is too hectic or unbalanced. If you feel like you don’t have enough time or energy for yourself, your work, or your loved ones, you might need to reconsider your schedule and make some changes. For example, you might need to delegate some tasks, say no to some requests, or ask for some help. You might also need to set some boundaries, such as turning off your phone or email notifications or leaving work on time. You might also need to create some routines, such as waking up and going to bed at the same time, or having a regular breakfast or lunch break.
6. Make Sundays Special
Another way to fight off the Sunday Scaries is to make Sundays special and enjoyable. Instead of seeing Sundays as the end of the weekend, see them as a new opportunity to have fun and relax. You can do this by planning some activities that you love, such as going for a walk, playing a game, or cooking a meal. You can also do this by spending some quality time with your family, friends, or partner, such as having a picnic, watching a show, or having a conversation. You can also do this by treating yourself to something nice, such as buying a gift, eating a dessert, or getting a massage.
7. Rearrange Your Week
Sometimes, the Sunday Scaries are caused by having a bad start to the week, such as having a difficult meeting, a boring class, or a stressful deadline. If this is the case, you might want to rearrange your week and move some of your tasks or events to a different day. For example, you might want to schedule your most challenging or unpleasant tasks for Tuesday or Wednesday when you have more energy and motivation. Try to make scheduling tasks more enjoyable by setting rewarding tasks for Monday or Friday when you might need some encouragement or a reason to celebrate. Consider utilizing Profit.co’s Task Management software for efficient and timely management of your tasks.
8. Reach Out to Others
One of the most effective ways to cope with Sunday Scaries is to reach out to others who can support you and understand you. This can include talking to your family, friends, or partner and sharing your feelings, worries, or hopes. They can offer you some advice, comfort, or encouragement or simply listen to you and empathize with you. You can also reach out to your co-workers, classmates, or mentors and ask for some feedback, guidance, or assistance. They can help you with your work, school, or personal challenges or give you some tips, resources, or opportunities.
9. Seek Professional Help
If your Sunday Scaries are severe, persistent, or interfering with your daily work routine, you might want to seek professional help from a therapist, counselor, or coach. They can help you identify the root causes of your anxiety, such as low self-esteem, unrealistic expectations, or unresolved trauma. They can also help you develop coping skills, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, or mindfulness-based therapy. They can also help you set goals, make plans, and monitor your progress.
10. Change Your Situation
If your Sunday Scaries are a result of being unhappy or dissatisfied with your work or school situation, you might want to change your situation and find something that suits you better. This can include looking for a new job, a new career, or a new school, that matches your interests, values, or skills. It can also include asking for a promotion, a raise, or a transfer, that meets your needs, goals, or aspirations. It can also include quitting your job, dropping out of school, or taking a break if you feel like you need some time off or a change of pace.
Strategies for Long-Term Sunday Scaries Relief
Addressing the Sunday Scaries for long-term relief involves a comprehensive approach that encompasses lifestyle changes, mindset shifts, and possibly professional intervention. Here are strategies that can be useful for you:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a well-established psychological approach that helps in identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. Applying CBT techniques can assist in challenging irrational fears about the upcoming week and developing healthier coping mechanisms.
Structured Time Management
We often juggle multiple roles and responsibilities. Implementing a structured approach to time management can be crucial. This includes designating specific times for work, relaxation, and personal activities, even on weekends. By clearly defining work hours, you can create a mental separation between work and leisure time, reducing Sunday anxiety.
In our hyper-connected world, constant digital engagement is often a significant contributor to the Sunday Scaries. Emails, social media notifications, and the never-ending news cycle can amplify anxiety, especially as the weekend winds down and the workweek looms. Implementing a digital detox can be a transformative strategy for alleviating these feelings and fostering a more peaceful transition into Monday.
Mindfulness and Stress-Reduction Techniques
We can benefit from regular mindfulness practices like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. These techniques help in managing stress, improving focus, and maintaining a clearer perspective, which is particularly beneficial for managing the anticipatory anxiety of Sundays.
Realistic Goals and Expectations
While ambition is important, setting realistic, achievable goals is crucial to prevent burnout and anxiety. Reviewing and adjusting these goals regularly can help maintain a healthy perspective and reduce the pressure that builds up over the weekend. Also, learn interesting tips for time management to make the process easier.
Amid the rush of preparing for a new week, it’s easy to become engulfed in worries and lose sight of the positives in our lives. However, practicing gratitude is a potent strategy to counter the Sunday Scaries, redirecting our focus from anxiety to a state of appreciation. This practice can be as simple as keeping a gratitude journal, where dedicating a few minutes each Sunday to jot down things we’re thankful for can have a profound effect.
Regular Breaks and Downtime
It’s essential to schedule regular breaks and downtime, including weekends. This could involve engaging in hobbies, spending time with family and friends, or simply relaxing. Such breaks are not just beneficial for personal well-being but also for maintaining long-term productivity and creativity.
Say Goodbye to the Sunday Scaries
Monday doesn’t have to start till Monday, so embrace the beauty of Sundays and let go of the fear; each new week brings new beginnings and new opportunities!!
Conclusion and Takeaways
While the Sunday Scaries can be a challenging aspect of modern life, they are not insurmountable. Understanding the root causes and implementing these strategies can transform your Sunday experience and start your week with renewed energy and positivity. Remember, it’s about finding what works best for you and being proactive in your approach to mental wellness. Here’s to conquering those Sunday Scaries and embracing each new week with confidence and enthusiasm!