It’s Sunday evening and the sun is dipping below the horizon. You’ve finished dinner and are lounging on the couch reading a good book. At least, you’re trying to. Something isn’t quite right. You’re a little sad and maybe a touch anxious. You wish the weekend had an extra day.
You, my friend, have got a case of the Sunday scaries.
And you’re not alone. In fact, if you don’t feel this way on Sunday evenings, you are in the minority. According to a 2018 survey from LinkedIn, 80 percent of working adults in the U.S. become worried about the upcoming workweek on Sundays.
This stress, fear, and anxiety happens for a variety of reasons. You might have a stressful job or big project on your to-do list. You may also love your job but find it creeping into your weekends. Maybe you aren’t taking enough vacation. And the pandemic is certainly not helping things since the lines between work and home have blended and many kids have remote school.
While there’s no cure for the Sunday blues, there are practices to help you ground yourself for the week ahead and manage these negative feelings. Take a look at the tips below:
- Three exciting things: When anxiety about the week sets in, it’s easy to start spiraling into a negative space. That big project weighs on your mind. You feel guilty about the chore you didn’t finish. Maybe you didn’t get enough rest. Whatever the reason for your anxiety or sadness, pull out a piece of paper and write down three things you’re looking forward to during the week ahead. They can be big—like a fancy dinner or an exciting date—or small—like sunny weather in the forecast or a new show. Make a point to do this exercise each Sunday.
- Set an intention: Rather than set a goal or make a long to-do list for the upcoming week, set an intention about what you’d like to embody. Maybe it’s patience. Perhaps, compassion—for yourself and others—makes the most sense. Whatever it is, write your intention on a piece of paper and tape it on your bathroom mirror or slip it in your wallet. Put it somewhere where you’ll be reminded daily. By focusing your energy on what you want to embody, you’ll be less likely to dwell on negative feelings.
- Create a self-care ritual: Carve out half an hour each Sunday evening to treat yourself. Take a bubble bath, enjoy a fancy drink, or go for a long walk. Do something that feels luxurious and that you don’t normally make time for. This will give you something nice to look forward to each Sunday evening.
- Rooting meditation: Do a Sunday evening meditation, focused on your connection to the earth. Sit in a comfortable position and feel the floor or grass (if you’re outside) beneath you. Imagine a warm, yellow light emanating from your body down through the earth and up into the sky. Take several long breaths and continue visualizing the warm light. You can even add a mantra to this meditation, including “All is well” or “I am grounded.” This will help you root yourself in the present moment and help you shed any fear or anxiety.
These exercises will help you manage your Sunday scaries and feel more grounded as you head into the upcoming workweek.