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Anxiety, Stress & Coping
March 15, 2022
How To Conquer The Sunday Scaries

Jacqueline Lau

A desk showcasing a full coffee, phone, scissors, pen, and weekly organizer ready to plan the week.

Thank God It's Friday (TGIF)

You’ve probably heard of this term or use this expression yourself as an exclamation of relief when the weekend comes around.

For many, weekends allow for rest, reflection, connection with loved ones, opportunities to go on excursions, and engagement in enjoyable activities. Weekends allow us to reset. Weekends are precious.

All too soon, Sunday creeps up on us, which may be accompanied by the Sunday scaries. Have you ever felt a sense of dread on Sunday afternoon or evening as you think about the upcoming week? Maybe there is a deadline you are feeling nervous about or are dreading a meeting with a customer. Maybe you are worried about returning to the office after spending the past 2 years working remotely. Or maybe, you are feeling stressed in anticipation of your responsibilities for the week. Sunday scaries refer to the anxious thoughts and feelings that may come up when we anticipate facing a new week. The experience of Sunday scaries is normal as we transition from the weekend to the workweek.

Anxious thoughts and feelings may impact various areas of our life, such as mood and quality of sleep, but we don’t need to let them get the best of us. Below are some ways we can prepare for the week so that we feel more equipped to face it.

Get Organized

This may involve doing the laundry to ensure you have fresh clothes throughout the week, planning your outfits for the week, as well as meal prep - essentially anything that will make Monday morning and the week easier. Tidying up and decluttering your living space may help you to find things easier, reduce distractions, and ultimately, spend less time cleaning.

Create a Morning Routine

How your day begins can set the tone for the rest of the day, so it’s important to set up your morning routine in a way that cultivates a sense of calm. Waking up a couple minutes earlier may allow for the time you need to transition to work mode (i.e. eating breakfast, work commute) without feeling rushed. Other ideas you may consider building into your morning routine include moving your body, meditating, journaling, and reviewing your day’s schedule.

Plan Your Week

Utilize a planner to map out your week so that you can gain a better sense of the physical, emotional, and mental energy you will need to get you through the week successfully. Aside from scheduling appointments and errands, be intentional about scheduling self-care and fun! Examples include physical activity, breaks, connecting with others, and activities that bring you joy. Scheduling these activities in your calendar increases your level of commitment and likelihood of doing it - just like how you would schedule a meeting with a friend.

Set Weekly Goals

Sometimes, goal-setting can feel overwhelming, especially when we are setting long-term goals. Remember that goal-setting can also involve a shorter time frame. This may feel less daunting and more manageable. Examples of weekly goals might include being more informed about what’s happening around the world, reading for 20 minutes each day, stepping outside at least once a day, drinking more water, trying a new recipe, or showing an act of kindness to someone. You might choose to switch up your goals after the week is over or continue with it - your call!

Reframe Your Perspective

How we think about a situation impacts how we feel and respond. If we have the thought that we don’t have what it takes to complete a task, we might feel anxious and frustrated, which may affect how much effort we put into it. Shifting our mindset may help us to view and approach a situation from an entirely different angle. How might you feel and respond if you consider Monday as a fresh start, with new opportunities for personal growth? Sometimes we may need extra support with shifting our mindset. Inspirational quotes and podcasts are a few things that may be helpful.

Give one or several of these strategies a try this week to see if you can quiet the Sunday scaries. Be patient with yourself and be creative as you start experimenting with what works best for you.

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