Sunday Scaries: What They Are and What We Can Do | The Village Family Service Center

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Sunday Scaries: What They Are and What We Can Do

Friday, April 9, 2021
Woman looking concerned on couch

Sunday afternoon rolls around, and you start to feel a sense of dread. There are less than 24 hours separating you and the start of the work week, and even though you can’t stop time, you probably wish you could. Many categorize those feelings as the “Sunday scaries.” 

Sunday scaries are an anticipatory sense of nervousness about the upcoming week ahead. A 2018 study conducted by LinkedIn reported that 80% of Americans worry about the week ahead on Sundays. Professionals who participated said that their top three worries on Sunday afternoons were the stress of their upcoming workload, inability to balance professional and personal life, and finishing tasks they didn’t complete the week before.

While many people who experience Sunday scaries are happy and secure in their job, the loss of freedom and increase in responsibility or pressure to perform well at work is what can drive feelings of stress as the weekend wanes.

One might wonder, “Did I accomplish enough this weekend?” or, “Did I relax enough this weekend?” The battle between productivity, adequate rest, and anxiety for the week ahead can hinder our ability to even enjoy our weekend in the first place.

As the hours pass on your Sunday afternoon, your overall dread for the start of the week can bring on some unpleasant symptoms that can put your weekend on pause:

  • Increased stress and anxiety 

  • Temptation to drink or engage in numbing activities 

  • Irritability and lack of focus 

  • Changes in appetite, digestive pain, or insomnia 

We can’t do anything to stop Mondays, but there are strategies we can utilize to make the most of our Sundays. 

  1. Focus on what you can control. Acknowledge that you are anxious, accept that you can only control what you can control, and bring your thoughts back to things you enjoy and time spent with loved ones. 
  2. Find balance during the weekend. Don’t pressure yourself to have every single minute of your weekend planned. This can lead to burnout, so focus on creating time for rest and relaxation. 
  3. Put the phone away. You might feel tempted to check your email or glance at your calendar, but it’s important to disconnect and leave work at work. 
  4. Get your sleep schedule in check. Staying up and sleeping in has a way of messing up our weekends. Our circadian rhythm (internal clock) plays a role in regulating energy and mood, so adequate sleep is important. 
  5. Find a ‘Sunday Funday’ activity you enjoy. Planning something fun for Sunday afternoon can extend your feeling of the weekend and refocus your thoughts on more positive things. 
  6. Talk with your boss about work-life balance. Your schedule might be exhausting, and in that case, it’s important to speak with your employer about what steps can be taken to help make work more manageable.  
  7. Speak with a professional. While moments of sadness are normal, it’s worth speaking to someone if that feeling doesn’t go away. A therapist or counselor can help you identify causes of your stress and address them in a healthy manner.  

If your Sunday scaries are getting the best of you, The Village has your back. Our judgment-free and trusted providers are here to help you get back to loving your weekend. Contact us online or call today at 1-800-627-8220.

Information in this article provided by Healthline.