Coping with the Sunday Scaries

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:

Be strategic in your use of time on the weekends

If you find yourself working throughout the weekend or keeping busy with tasks that aren’t necessarily relaxing such as household tasks, parenting responsibilities, or things viewed as “obligation” then planning breaks and moments for yourself to re-charge can help achieve balance.

Designate Sunday as a day of rest/ relaxation

Keeping busy by distraction can be a helpful strategy but it isn’t sustainable long term as your body (and mind) also need time for rest. Try intentionally engaging in enjoyable, relaxing activities during the Sunday afternoon and evening hours to help ease back into your work/ school week. Tailor these to fit your lifestyle. If you work on Sundays, pick a different day of the week. Try taking a break from emails to unplug. This is a great day to try new foods, socialize, enjoy a leisurely walk, relax by enjoying your favorite content, or enjoy an intimate moment with yourself or a loved one.

Clear your mind and re-work your mindset

Utilize strategies to help ease anxiety and clear your mind (without the use of substances). If you are not sure what would be helpful, your therapist can help explore some options. Some of my favorites include cognitive defusion, naming the emotion to tame it, reframing, mindful meditation, utilizing my planner, prioritizing tasks, problem-solving, talking to a friend, and exercise. Try keeping a gratitude-journal. Reflect on your values and how that has shaped your school and career choices. These can be powerful tools that impact your mindset.

Take care of yourself and get enough sleep 

As you take care of yourself and focus on sleep hygiene, you will begin to get a sense of your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. For most adults (ages 18-60), at least 7 hours of sleep per night is recommended. For teens ages 13-17 recommended hours is 8-10 and for school-aged ch

ildren ages 6-12 recommended hours of sleep per night is 9-12.

Make Mondays memorable

Start your Monday off in the best way possible by implementing things-successful-people-do-on-Monday-mornings. Waking up early, starting the day off with exercise, and eating a healthy breakfast is the first step. Coming in to a clean, cleared off workspace and blocking off time on your work calendar to address the most important tasks first while also creating space for any unexpected items helps ease into the morning while staying focused. Connecting with colleagues is also important to help build community. Participating in rituals such as getting your favorite coffee on Monday morning, doing mindful Monday meditation before work, and greeting colleague can help boost mood. Finally, remember to breath and smile. You got this!

Written By : Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC

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