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How to Cope With the Sunday Scaries

by BetterSleep
Feb 25 • 3 min read

Since the invention of weekends, we have had the Sunday blues. Anyone who works knows what this feels like. You’re enjoying a relaxing Sunday when it hits you: tomorrow is Monday, which means back to work. The realization triggers anxiety or dread, an experience recently coined “the Sunday scaries.”

Is Sunday Anxiety Normal?

Some degree of stress, anxiety, and depression is normal. A survey of working Americans found that 76% of people experience a bad case of the blues on Sunday nights. Worldwide, the number is a little lower at 62%, which means Americans struggle more than workers in other countries.

Not only is it difficult to experience a gloomy Sunday, but it could impact your sleep and leave you feeling physically drained and apathetic as you begin your new week. Try these strategies to ease worry and stress so you can fully enjoy your whole weekend.

Find the Cause

If you stop to reflect on your Sunday dread, you can probably pin down a more specific cause. It’s often not a general sense of doom about Monday, but instead something more specific that you can target. For instance, maybe you have a project finishing up this week, or you have a difficult co-worker to face on Monday.

Find the root cause of your anxiety and worry, and then strategize ways to make it better. It may ease your mind to spend a few minutes on that project, just to be sure it’s going well. Think of ways you can manage your relationship with that co-worker. Taking action can help you feel less anxious.

Make Sunday a Fun Day

Get chores out of the way on Saturday so you can entirely devote Sunday to fun, whatever that means for you. Make a plan for an enjoyable day and put work thoughts on the back burner. Make plans with friends, get in a relaxing workout like yoga, or plan a treat, like a massage or special dinner.

Schedule Fun for Monday, Too

Take the dread out of Monday by giving yourself something to look forward to. Sure, you may dread the workday, but plan something you want to do as well. Plan to stream that movie you’ve been waiting to see or order takeout from your favorite restaurant.

Practice Mindfulness

What underlies Sunday anxiety is a preoccupation with the immediate future. Mindfulness is all about focusing on the present moment. Taking the time to focus on what you can see, hear, smell, and feel around you right now keeps worry about Monday at bay.

BetterSleep includes several guided meditations that emphasize mindfulness. Try to do this daily as a regular practice for the best results, although you may want to spend more time doing it on Sundays. Research shows that mindfulness meditation significantly reduces anxiety and stress.

Sunday scaries may be normal, but you don’t have to live with them. Take these steps to manage that anxiety that comes with reflecting on a new work week. With a targeted effort, you can take back your Sundays and enjoy the entire weekend.

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