You realize that you are struggling with the Sunday Scaries as you just can’t shake the feelings of anticipatory anxiety and dread that keep popping up Sunday evening. Perhaps you’ve tried some strategies that haven’t worked too well such as having a drink or taking a smoke break before getting back into your old routines. Your body continues to feel anxious, and you just want to avoid facing the thought of starting an entire week filled with responsibilities, decision-making, and deadlines. Here are some strategies to help cope with 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.
Several mental health disorders such as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), bipolar-disorder, and impulse-control disorders include impulsivity and lack of inhibition that are commonly associated with risky behavior. Individuals with impulse control disorders, substance use disorders, and certain personality disorders are commonly linked to impulsivity. Acting before thinking about potential consequences of behavior is something that we can all do at times, especially for young people whose brains are still developing.
Social media rumors, including “challenges” that encourage acts of defiance or violence, and the fear of school shootings recently had children, parents, and law enforcement supports on high-alert in response to a tiktok-school-threat warning. This warning was dismissed as not credible; however, many still feeling emotionally unsettled. Depression, anxiety, and responses such as fear impact can result from school violence and impact mental health. In 2021 alone, it was estimated that there were 149 incidents of gunfire-on-school-grounds, 32 deaths, and 94 injuries nationwide.
“My needs are not being met” is a common complaint in relationships. You may be experiencing loneliness due to lack of a fulfilling connections with a partner or family, friends, and/ or social connections. Perhaps you are not feeling respected or esteemed by others within your current role and feeling as though you are “not living up to your full potential”. While these needs are stressful, they are compounded when the foundational basics are not met.
If you are considering therapy for the first time and wondering what-to-talk-about-in-therapy, or maybe you have been in therapy for a while but not sure what you should be talking about, then this is for you! Talk about what is on your mind in the moment. First, there is no “right” or “wrong” thing to talk about in therapy. Many people will use the space to process what is going on in the present. If you do not find this an effective use of time, continue reading…
Teasing. What comes to mind for you? Do you think of friendly banter, affectionate, maybe even flirty teasing? Teasing to embarrass somewhat, but in a playful way? Maybe in the form of a nickname, joke, or light-hearted insult? Or Does teasing feel more like taunting, in which someone else is making fun of you in a mean way? Does your identity feel threatened due to being targeted or bullied for being different? Does teasing take the form of jokes that are inappropriate or offensive [e.g., racist, sexist, homophobic]? How is your sense of self impacted?
No one is immune to experiencing stress, trauma, or other challenging situations that shakes our foundation of safety and security. Reflecting on the last year, many have experienced serious medical and mental health problems or have been impacted by conditions affecting loved ones. Stressors affecting finances and relationships have been prevalent. Suffering is inevitable as it is part of the human condition. Yet during times suffering, there can also be tremendous growth through healing and rebuilding.
Can you think of something who is a bit “pricky”? Maybe their attitude is not very attractive. Perhaps they have been hurting, holding on to bitterness and in turn, pushing away family and friends. Try showing unconditional-positive-regard to demonstrate love and acceptance while also holding onto your own boundaries.
Awareness of emotional and behavioral patterns is an important aspect for change. If you are not aware that there is a problem, why change? During the holiday season, you will most likely be observing behaviors of your family and friends and may begin to reflect more on how these experiences have shaped your sense of self.