We’ve all been there. After enjoying a fun-filled and relaxing weekend, you begin to feel miserable while counting down your last hours of freedom. If you've ever dreaded the hectic week ahead of you, there's a good chance that you've experienced what’s called the Sunday Scaries.
What’s to blame for the feelings of doom and gloom? Well, these episodes aren't fully understood. Whatever the cause, it’s no fun!!
For most people, the Sunday Scaries result from anticipatory stress that causes people to feel anxious about one major thing that’s about to happen—the upcoming week.
As the Sunday hours tick past, you may begin to feel some anxiety symptoms, such as:
- Feeling tense
- Being unable to concentrate
- Having feelings of foreboding
- Experiencing waves of dread or fear
Fun fact: Sunday isn't the only day you can have Sunday Scaries, meaning they can occur on any day of the week. For example, you may have Monday Scaries if you begin work or school on Tuesday.
Today, we'll cover different ways to ease your reaction to the Scaries so you can enjoy your weekends to the fullest.
What Are Sunday Scaries?
Sunday Scaries are when a person feels a sense of dread or fear on Sunday, often because they’re unhappy about returning to work or school after the weekend.
The feeling usually passes, but sometimes the scaries can linger for hours. Some people experience Sunday Scaries just once or twice, while others experience them repeatedly. Overall, it’s pretty common.
What Are Potential Causes of Sunday Scaries?
The cause of Sunday Scaries is not well understood, but speculation ranges from a placebo effect to the return of memories from the previous day. Some people find that Sunday Scaries can be treated with certain types of music or with exercise.
While the exact cause of Sunday Scaries is unknown, it appears to be related to how the brain responds to stress.
One theory claims that Sunday Scaries or Sunday night anxiety stems from the mental preparation for the week. Our fight or flight response is triggered as we become tenser about our upcoming tasks. This tension arises within our minds versus something that’s actually happening. Technically speaking, it has to do with hormones. The power of our minds can stimulate our adrenal gland, which in turn releases two hormones, adrenaline, and cortisol. With these hormones coursing through your body, you start to experience a real stress reaction to something you’re just perceiving.
Sunday Scaries can rear their frightful heads even if our forthcoming workweek is light. Like many habits, Sunday Scaries can become a conditional response as our brains learn to see work-related ideas as a threat if we repeatedly associate them with stress. In the long run, this relationship can lead to anticipatory anxiety, in which we feel more anxious and stressed about an upcoming event.
It's also possible to get the Sunday Scaries if we don't think our weekend was all that great. If you’re working for the weekend, you want to make sure it counts so that you’re recharged and ready for another work week. If we don't feel like we genuinely made the most of the time, a feeling of unhappiness can take over. The same is true if you feel like you’ve been procrastinating on your work list or house chores. And, now that the weekend is over, you have to scramble to get them done. All of this leads to a sense of anxiousness and dread—neither of which are enjoyable!
It's time to find a way out of this weekly rut. Find out how to fight off the Sunday scaries and reframe the way you approach the upcoming work week.
How to Fight Off Sunday Scaries
Sunday Scaries can be difficult, but impossible, to deal with. It’s all about having the right approach. Here are five strategies to help ease Sunday scaries symptoms:
1. Identify Why They’re Happening
In some cases, you may be able to pinpoint the source of your Sunday night Scaries.
For example, you might conclude that the source of your dread is that your Monday morning class is your least favorite. Or, maybe you have a recurring Monday meeting with your boss that makes you feel uneasy.
Regardless of the situation, figuring out what's causing your stress will help you develop a plan to deal with it. Solutions might include doing a little more studying so you feel prepared for your Monday morning class or addressing the issues as to why that recurring meeting makes you nervous.
2. Create a Sunday Ritual
Creating a Sunday night ritual will help you feel more secure and less stressed as you switch from weekend mode to weekday mode.
Sunday night is the perfect time to catch up on your favorite shows or prepare a nice dinner. Consistency and regularity can do wonders for our mind-body connection. Make Sunday evenings a time of comfort and relaxation to set you your week up for success!
3. Ease into Monday
For many people, Mondays are their least favorite day of the week. Let’s face it: it can be hard to get motivated on Mondays. We are often dragging from the weekend, and have a mountain of things to work on.
As you can expect, repeatedly leaping headfirst into work on Monday morning can be jarring for our systems. Want to begin your week another way?
Set your alarm so that you can greet the day slowly. Feeling rushed can quickly make us irritable. So, give yourself enough time to get ready, have some breakfast, and take a moment to clear your mind, focus, and even give yourself a pep talk. Taking time to care for yourself can help improve your mindset for the week.
4. Get Better Sleep
One of the easiest ways to relieve Sunday anxiety is to get a good night’s rest. When you sleep well the night before the week starts, you’re set up for success when Monday morning hits. Try drinking herbal tea, meditating, and turning off all screens an hour before retiring to bed to improve your sleep.
5. Take Time for Positive Reflection
Remember that we have the weekend to rest and recharge. While it's great to catch up on some of life's necessities, you shouldn't overburden yourself to do it.
When easing into the week ahead, focus on what you accomplished over the weekend and use that as motivation. Even if you had a lazy weekend, that’s okay! Sometimes rest and relaxation is exactly what we need, so that can be something to celebrate.
Taking a moment to engage in positive self-reflection may be just the thing to fix those Sunday Scaries.
Remedy Your Sunday Scaries with Wish
If you are experiencing the Sunday Scaries, go to Wish.com or download our app to discover items that can bring you relief. The last thing you want is for your anxiety to impact your mood week after week.
At Wish, you can find the perfect items needed to recharge over the weekend and tackle your Monday mornings, such as notebook planners, stress toys, aromatherapy oils, anxiety coloring books, and more!
Main image photo credit: Nata Bene - stock.adobe.com