According to Dictionary.com, the Sunday scaries are “the anxieties one experiences on Sunday when thinking about the impending work week, school week, or other obligations that await in the week ahead. They are especially bad when accompanied by an end-of-the-weekend hangover.”
I personally never knew the Sunday scaries were a thing. Early in my twenties, I worked a job that required me to be in the office roughly seven (7) days a week. We had little to no time off, so there wasn’t any true moment to experience the sensation.
If I remember correctly, my wife was the first person to introduce me to the concept of the Sunday scaries. We were hanging out, watching a movie and she told me she had the “Sunday scaries.” I just laughed because I thought she just made it up and that it was clever. I stood corrected, and she explained what it was. Immediately intrigued, I Googled it and found that the Sunday scaries are indeed common and a sensation that many individuals battle with on a week to week basis.
Why are the Sunday Scaries so common?
“According to Dr. Albers, the Sunday scaries are triggered by the end of the weekend approaching and us anticipating our return to work. She says when people start to make their to-do lists or contemplate upcoming responsibilities, the transition from relaxation to work mode can be a tough 180.
The Sunday scaries are fairly common. Most people have experienced them at one point or another. It’s a normal reaction to adjusting to different roles and change. However, it’s not a clinical diagnosis.
Dr. Albers adds that during the weekend, your cognitive load is significantly lowered so it’s easy to let your guard down. It takes a lot of mental energy to prepare for upcoming tasks. Some of our Sunday scaries might stem from our brains gearing up to access the parts that we don’t use during the weekend.”
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Eventually, I changed careers and started working a schedule where I wasn’t required to work weekends. When it came to Sunday night… still no scaries. I was curious as to why? So I started doing some more research (similar to the question answered above)… practiced self-awareness and came to a conclusion and a possible theory/antidote to the Sunday scaries.
Now, my antidote is not for everyone. I’m slightly concerned that many of you are going to roll your eyes at my answer but this is something that has worked for me and has allowed me to set a strong foundation heading into my week. So, I’m going to put it out there and have zero shame in my truth.
What is my antidote to the Sunday Scaries?
Super simple: make Sunday your most difficult day of the week.
… okay I’ll pause and give you a minute to talk sh*t.
Hear me out though… If you make Sunday your most difficult day of the week and you attack all the hard and grueling tasks up front, by Sunday night you’ll be feeling accomplished. You will have momentum heading into Monday with the hard work already behind you. And mind you, I’m not just speaking about work-related work. I’m talking chores around the house, meal prep, workouts, whatever it is that you procrastinate on.
And I get it, you’re sitting there saying, “Great so you solved the Sunday scaries but don’t they just move to Saturday night?” Noooooo! And the reason for that is because you are in full control of your Sunday. I truly believe that one of the main reasons that people don’t enjoy Monday isn’t because you have to work. This is a sign that you aren’t passionate about what you’re doing. You probably don’t love it and unfortunately, you hate the fact that you have to wake up in the morning knowing the feeling you’re going to carry that cloud above your head for the entirety of the day.
I digress. We’ll save the passion for your work story for another time. Back to the Sunday Scaries.
I want to share an example with you.
I do not enjoy running. It’s not fun for me. It takes a lot of discipline for me to make sure that I hit my five (5) miles for the week. Which I understand is not an excruciating amount of running. But I prefer biking, lifting, yoga… really anything but running. It’s easier on my joints and it’s as mentally grueling, but I like to make sure I keep a sound base. So, I run those five (5) miles every Sunday. It’s painful but I know that if I get through those miles on Sunday that the rest of my fitness regime for the week is something to look forward to. And at the end of the day, even though I don’t love to run, I still know that it is a HUGE benefit for my health. I feel accomplished, catch some confidence and get the momentum going into the new week.
Now, imagine you carry my thought process with running and spread it across the other areas of your life. Going to the grocery store, meal prep, cleaning the bathroom, doing laundry, doing a difficult project for your side hustle, or a hard task at work. Attack those assignments on Sunday and I promise you when your head hits the pillow at night, you will not dread waking up on Monday.
And for those of you who are sitting there saying,” What about balance,” or “I want to relax.” No one is stopping you from still doing those things. I still work plenty of R&R into my Sunday stack. The difference is when you attack these tasks head-on versus trying to do them during the week, you’re working an entire day. Full autonomy on how you spend the time (unless you work weekends). Break up those tasks during the day, or front load them so you have the rest of the day to do some activities that feed you energy. I mean I took a nap this Sunday… and it was f*ucking awesome.
If my antidote doesn’t work for you, try this.
My antidote is tested and I do believe if you have the right mentality towards the work you need to get done there shouldn’t be any issues. However, in the case that it does not, I figured I would drop you all some energy-gaining activities I weave into my Sunday that can help you relax.
- Drink Tea
- Go for a walk outside
Hope you all enjoyed the article. Our team would love to hear your perspective so don’t shy away from using the comment section below.
Have an unbelievable start to your week!