Unfortunately, the weekend can’t last forever. Once Monday rolls around, the work week starts up again. So, come Sunday, you may start to feel stress and dread regarding the week ahead.
There’s even a name for this feeling. The internet has dubbed it the “Sunday scaries.”
Some surveys show more than half of workers experience anxiety on Sunday as the upcoming work week looms over them. So, if you experience stress on Sundays, you’re not alone. However, you don’t have to spend your last day of the weekend dreading your Monday.
We have a few strategies that can help you overcome the “Sunday scaries” and protect your mental health.
Recognize when there’s a problem
A little nervousness before work isn’t always problematic. Stress is a natural response and can help prepare you to tackle a challenge.
But if that Sunday night feeling begins to affect your relationships, physical health or overall sense of well-being, it’s time to address it. For example, perhaps you feel the need to drink alcohol to calm your nerves. Or maybe the fear of Monday keeps you from actually enjoying time with loved ones during the weekend. If so, these are definitely problems you’ll need to address.
Experiment with relaxation techniques
For some people, the best treatment for anxiety may be to simply spend more time outdoors. A walk in the park on Sunday evening can help you shake off nervousness and focus on the moment. Being social can also be relaxing, so invite friends along. You can even plan to cook dinner together after a short hike.
If social activities don’t appeal to you on Sunday evening, try enjoying a relaxing bath, reading a book or spending time with your pet. Exercise and meditation can also help.
Maintain your sleep schedule throughout the weekend
Sleep deprivation can worsen anxiety, depression and other mood disorders. With that in mind, try to stick to your usual weekday sleep schedule during the weekend. Straying too far from that schedule can throw your sleep cycle into disarray.
If you have problems sleeping, a few strategies that may help include:
- Avoiding electronics (yes, including your smartphone) an hour before it’s time to sleep
- Avoiding naps throughout the day
- Ensuring your bedroom is dark and cool
- Limiting caffeine consumption
- Listening to soft music or background noise
- Writing down your anxious thoughts before bed
Establish weekend boundaries
If your work is supposed to end on Friday evening, try to avoid bringing it home with you. This might involve learning to say “no” to extra work requests from coworkers or bosses. By doing so, you’re more likely to fully enjoy your weekend and use those days to clear your mind.
If you absolutely must complete a work task over the weekend, carve out a time and space for it. Work in your home office, rather than in your bedroom, kitchen or living room.
You should also focus on establishing workplace boundaries. Once you’re in the office, try to leave personal stressors at home.
Foster workplace friendships
One smart way to reduce Monday anxiety is to make your workplace feel a little less daunting. You can do this by getting to know your coworkers a little better. Invite them to non-work-related activities and try to establish more personal connections. This can help you all feel a little more comfortable during work hours and introduce some levity to an otherwise stressful environment.
Sometimes people need professional help with managing stress. If your anxiety seems to be chronic and leads to persistent fatigue, irritability or lack of concentration, we’re here to help.
Learn about the behavioral and mental health services we offer at Bon Secours.