Picture this. It’s Sunday afternoon. You’ve just finished clearing the dishes after lunch. And you realize that the weekend is coming to a close. And that’s when it hits you all of a sudden. Tomorrow is almost here.
The deluge of emails, forced conversations with colleagues, all the household chores, everything seems to come crashing down on you and you can’t help feeling overwhelmed. This realization that you’ll soon be forced out of your euphoric weekend bubble back into the real world can feel paralyzing. When technically, the weekend’s not even over yet!
What we just took you though, is known as the Sunday Scaries. And according to statistics, more than 70% of us suffer from them. Having seen what they are, let’s now look at a few tried and tested strategies to equip ourselves with, to beat them!
1. Flush It Out Of Your System
It can be quite cathartic to write down what’s bothering us on a piece of paper. Seeing our thoughts clearly spelled out on paper is almost like flushing a toilet, and by writing your thoughts down, you flush the worrisome thoughts out of your system. Also, looking at them may also help you realize that many of those thoughts may be a little off reality and not something you should be wasting your time worrying about.
Breathing deeply is a quick way to relax our nervous system and bring us out of our fight-or-flight response. It can instantly make us feel better and make our world stop spinning out of control.
3. Get Cleaning
Even if you don’t enjoy cleaning, it can take your mind off your work worries and also help you feel more in control. Organizing has been scientifically known to prevent you from worrying about the past or the future and keep you focused in the present moment alone. So why wait? Just put on your favorite station on full blast and get cleaning!
4. Fix Sunday Rituals
Make the most of your Sunday. It doesn’t necessarily have to be packed with exhausting activities that’ll leave you feeling tired on Monday, but don’t waste it on random household chores or nursing a hangover from the previous night. Plan light and fun activities for the day like curling up with an exciting read, catching up with friends or going for a hike. Your mind will slowly start to rewire itself into associating Sundays with feeling energized instead of getting filled with anxiety over the next day.
5. Find Distractions
Keep yourself immersed in enjoyable activities that keep you as distracted as possible throughout the day as feelings of anxiety and stress tend to get heightened when we aren’t occupied with something. Having your attention directed elsewhere will keep the sense of impending doom from creeping up.
6. Don’t Postpone Life
If you are prone to putting off chores and office work that you’ve brought home – for the last minute and they threaten to consume your entire Sunday, you are overestimating what you can achieve on a single day and that can leave you feeling completely overwhelmed at the mountain of work that looms in front of you. It helps to spread things out and check a few of those tasks off your list on Friday. This would make your Sundays a lot lighter with no spillovers for the next day to worry about.
7. Get Up And Get Going
Do something that you enjoy and something that involves movement. This will keep you engaged completely in the moment and make sure that your mind has no room to allow work related worries to creep in and take control.
8. Try To Keep Mondays Light
If you can help it, try to avoid having a critical meeting or a deadline to meet, first thing on Monday morning. Think of keeping your Mondays light and ease gently into your hectic workweek. The knowledge that there isn’t anything critical waiting for you on Monday will help ease your anxiety the previous night.
9. Pamper Yourself
Treat yourself to something nice when it’s nearing Sunday evening. This can mean a late afternoon shopping trip or a special dinner that you cook for yourself – anything that makes you feel nice so that you don’t head into Sunday evening with anything weighing you down.
10. If They Still Persist, Trust Your Gut
If everything fails and you continue to feel intense dread for weeks together, at the thought of work the next day or have sleepless nights where you lie awake worrying about work, it may be a sign of depression or a toxic workplace that can both take a serious toll on your health. Don’t ignore these signs. You may need to speak to a doctor or think of a change of workplace.