Adulting is Hard: The Sunday Scaries

Friday is here and the work or school week is wrapping up. TGIF. Many people, especially those who have a typical 9-5 schedule look forward to having two days off. It can bring an immediate sense of relief, and opportunity to “be off” and relax from feelings of pressure and responsibility.

Saturday is over before you know it, Sunday is here. As they day progresses, you notice feelings of anxiety that become more intense throughout the day accompanied by an overwhelming sense of dread. “I don’t want to go back to work or school already!” It can be described like an anticipatory anxiety, focused on the negative which can send the body into a fight-or-flight-response. The

thought along of returning to work or school can feel terrifying.

The pandemic has only intensified these feelings, especially for young adults who are experiencing Sunday-scaries. LinkedIn survey results show that 78 percent and an earlier survey at 90 percent of Millennials and Gen Z young adults feel the Sunday scaries as compared to approx. two-thirds of all adults.

I think of all those who have transitioned to college or their first professional job during the pandemic. I also think about all those who were feeling burnt out, quit, and started new jobs all over again. This is such as critical stage of development for young people who are developing their self and confidence while working hard to succeed in new endeavors. The stressors of learning and connecting with others while learning or working remotely can be anxiety-provoking. Ongoing

uncertainties and stress from mental overload and the need to make difficult choices related to “change fatigue” and “decision fatigue” such as choices during the ever-changing COVID guidelines.

Fear-of-failure is a big concern for many young adults. Limited face-to-face feedback combined with uncertainties and questioning may only exacerbate fears. Some people find themselves laying in bed and experiencing a bit of an existential crisis- ruminating about the past, while questioning the meaning and purpose of their future. Overall feeling of pressure, emotional exhaustion, and burnout can take their toll on performance and mental health.

While the Sunday scaries is all too common, there are times that seeking professional help can be incredibly helpful. If you are experiencing anxiety that is starting to feel “crippling”, or dread that is starting to impact your routines now is a good time to reach out to talk to someone.

Written By : Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC

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