Places Pointer: Sunday Scaries

How to ease Sunday evening anxieties

No matter how fun the weekend can be, many of us still have feelings of anxiety or dread about the week ahead which typically creep up on Sunday evening. These are the so-called “Sunday scaries”.

Of course, it’s normal to feel worried about stressful situations from time to time, but the Sunday scaries are something many people deal with every week. Research has shown that 80% of professionals say they experience Sunday scaries, with Millennials and Gen Z feeling it the most.

Perhaps you didn’t get everything done that you were supposed to during your weekend, and now feel you need to squeeze more into next week. Or you didn’t get to take time to chill out, so the week ahead now seems even more overwhelming.

If they’re happening this frequently then it’s time to do something about it. Instead of wishing every Monday away, we can implement more habits like the ones below into our Sundays to help take the edge off:

Have a digital detox

Taking regular breaks from screens can help you switch off properly during the weekend. Setting our phones aside also means getting closer to focusing on the things you need to get done - scrolling away on our phones can be more time consuming than we think!

It benefits the body too. Being glued to a phone or the TV for several hours can lead to eye strain, dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches. Not to mention lower back and neck problems from hunching over to look at a screen.

Make time for movement

It’s no secret that exercise is a fantastic way to reduce stress, so why not see if it makes your Sundays feel lighter?!

It doesn’t have to be a long or intense workout, low-impact activities such as swimming, yoga, or a quick stroll to get your Sunday coffee are great options. If you’re somebody who centres their workouts around certain days, it may be beneficial to do so during your working week so that it frees up more time for rest at the weekend.

Prioritise sleep

Many of us are guilty of going to bed later than planned on our days off to prolong any remaining free time, so much so that there’s now a term for it – revenge bedtime procrastination.

To avoid procrastinating sleep, it’s good to ensure that what we’re doing during the day sets us up well for good sleep hygiene. Having a set bedtime, cutting down on caffeine, and creating a better sleep environment by adjusting room temperature, noise, and brightness are all beneficial.  A digital detox can help in this area too, as the blue light emitted from screens suppresses melatonin, the hormone that controls when and how we sleep.

We know that it’s hard to stop our minds ticking, but being able to avoid carrying the weight of the week into well-earned days off is a practice that pays off. Be kind to your mind!

Sources: The ‘Sunday scaries’ are all to real for many workers – but there are simple ways to help (The Guardian) | Sunday Night Blues caused by weekend emails and blurred boundaries, study reveals (University of Exeter) | Your Guide to Winning @ Work: Decoding the Sunday Scaries (Blair (Decembrele) Heitmann via LinkedIn) | Digital Detox: What to Know (WebMD) | Bedtime procrastination: introducing a new wave of procrastination (Frontiers) | Blue light has a dark side (Harvard Health Publishing)