I know I’m not alone when I say that Sunday dread can be real. Despite how fun or relaxing one’s weekend might have been, we can all suffer from the doom that seems to rear its ugly head like clockwork.
As someone who has long struggled with anxiety as it is, this couldn’t be more true. Throughout high school and college, I battled the Sunday scaries big time even though the worry on the frontend was almost always worse than what the week actually had in store (*sigh*).
This type of anticipatory anxiety causes us to spend our Sundays stressed about what hasn’t even happened yet rather than enjoying and making the most of the free time.
These days, while the scaries can still pop up time to time, I’m better able to manage my anxiety and prepare for the week ahead by practicing and implementing a few tweaks to my overall routine and mindset.
Check out these simple but effective techniques to squash the stress and maybe even make Sundays your new favorite day of the week!
Plan a fun activity
Let’s face it, we all need something to look forward to, right? We tend to make plans for Fridays and Saturdays (which is great!), but that often means we’re left coming down from a social high on Sundays. This can unfortunately make us feel lonely and sad for no apparent reason.
Therefore, making sure we have something fun and enjoyable to look forward to on Sundays is the first step!
If this looks like Sunday funday with friends at your favorite bar, then by all means. But I personally recommend laying off of the booze to save your Monday from being even scarier, if you know what I mean?
Some other ideas I enjoy include:
- walking with a friend
- planning a coffee date
- scheduling a massage
- taking a trip to the farmer’s market
- booking an infrared sauna session
- cooking a new or favorite recipe
The options are endless!
Don’t leave all of your tasks for Sunday
You’re probably thinking, “yeah, yeah, yeah,” but this is perhaps the BIGGEST reason we feel overwhelmed and far from relaxed on Sundays – we have too much to do!
Instead of appreciating the down time & mentally preparing for the week ahead, we’re so busy trying to get caught up on the errands and tasks we’ve put off all week that there’s no time to enjoy.
Try to get to the grocery store, drop off your dry cleaning, go to the pharmacy or clean your apartment on Friday or Saturday when you have a free moment instead of leaving it all for Sunday.
You’ll be shocked by how relaxing this day can be when you actually have the time to soak it in!
Slip in some self care
“Self care” tends to be a trendy way of saying “treat yoself!” these days, but I see it as nothing more than getting back to the rituals and routines that make you feel grounded and whole. Everyday self care can include seemingly simple activities like movement and nutritious meals.
But the weekends, Sundays especially, are the perfect opportunity to take it a step further in order to recuperate and go into the new week feeling rejuvenated.
This might go hand-in-hand with your “fun” activity like an infrared sauna session or spa service. Or simply draw yourself a bath at home, take 20 minutes to meditate or watch your favorite show!
Purposefully make Mondays less jammed with obligations
Okay, highlight, underline, boldface this one! While I absolutely understand that our work schedule is often out of our control, there are always factors within our day that we have more power over than we give ourselves credit for.
If you have the ability to dictate your own work day for the most part, perhaps this looks like blocking off Monday mornings to get organized and prepare for the week. Or maybe this means purposefully not allowing certain meetings or appointments to be booked on this day to give yourself time to get ahead.
What does this have to do with the Sunday scaries, though? Well, remember that anticipatory anxiety we talked about? The worry we experience rooted in what the future holds is often brought about by the overwhelm of a packed Monday.
One of the best things you can do to protect your energy and increase overall happiness is to learn to say no and put your needs first at times and when possible. Find those opportunities to do so, and you’ll never look back!
Get outside and avoid too much technology
I sound like a broken record as I repeatedly emphasize to clients, Instagram followers and loved ones how healing nature is. I’ve always felt called to the outdoors and feel 100x happier when I’m able to squeeze in a run or walk on the trail here in Austin.
But don’t just take my word for it – research in a growing scientific field called ecotherapy has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety and depression.
On the other hand, too much use of technology can increase stress and anxiety, so working to limit screen time and prioritize more outdoor time can significantly boost both mood and mindset.
Get organized for the week ahead
While this might been counterintuitive to many of the messages above, I don’t think that planning and getting prepared is a bad thing – on the contrary actually!
Much of our Sunday anxiety comes from feeling unprepared for the coming week but not doing anything about it. If we can instead use these feelings as fuel to be proactive, that’s another story.
I personally take a little time on Sundays to look at my upcoming meetings, events and goals for the week and make lists of:
- 1-4 top priorities
- meetings & appointments
Once this is accomplished, I’ll try to set these lists and my planner aside, knowing I’ve done all that I can for the time being. And then come Monday morning, I’m not starting from scratch with no idea what’s to come and where to begin.
Beating the Sunday scaries can often be easier said than done, but I always want y’all to know that you are NOT alone. These feelings and emotions are normal but likewise don’t have to determine the quality of your weekend. Instead, work to implement these methods above to ease the stress and set yourself up for success!
Let me know which tip you’ve found the most effective and beneficial for your Sunday routine 🙂 .