Five Ways to Beat the Sunday Scaries
“Your blessings are bigger than whatever is stressing you out” - UNKNOWN
What the heck are the Sunday Scaries, exactly? Well, let me tell you.
They are similar to a “case of the Mondays”, but happen Sunday evenings, and tend to be more foreboding and filled with uncertainty you just can't explain. I'll paint the picture. Your Monday is predictable - nothing new on the schedule than the previous week, or the 30 before that. You’ve revisited your to do list for the coming week, made sure your alarm is set for work, and your laundry is mostly done. Check, check, check. Yet, you still have that feeling in the pit of your stomach. Your heart is racing. And if you are able to fall asleep, you get a few hours at the most - then lie awake until the birds start chirping. These, my friends, are the phenomenon known as, the Sunday Scaries.
They are different for everyone, but what I’ve found is it boils down to a sense of worry about some aspect of your life. AKA, STRESS. For some it could be work - the feeling of starting yet another week, faking it until you make it. For others - it’s running through the list of things we have to do that week over and over in our minds, fearing how we will get it all done. And then there’s the rest of us - who honestly have NO CLUE why we are suddenly overcome with Sunday night blues. I happen to fall into the latter category most often. There is just something about the start of a new week that used to really get to me.
If you’ve experienced any of these feelings, the good news is, you’re not alone! The unexplainable feeling of dread that overcomes you when the clock strikes 9:00 PM on Sunday evening is fairly common, with about ⅘ people across the nation succumbing to the Sunday Scaries. I’ve discovered so many friends of mine or people I've met have experienced these feelings, but simply never talk about them or know what to call them. Did you know that Sundays are literally the NO. 1 day of the week for panic attacks?! Makes SO much sense.
Also good news, you don’t HAVE to feel this way week after week. I’d been experiencing the Sunday Scaries for a couple months, which lead me to do research and experiment with various ways to banish them from my life. TBH, my anxiety runs fairly high on a normal day, leaving me with quite a high tolerance. My breaking point was when I would experience a panic attack from 9:00 'til about midnight, with no way for me to calm myself down. I would lie in bed for hours feeling like I had run a marathon, wide awake. So when I say I was DONE with getting 4 hours of sleep on Sunday nights for 5 consecutive weeks - y’all know it’s serious.
These are my top 5 tried and true strategies to combat the Sunday Scaries:
Self Care Routine -
I cannot stress having a self-care routine enough. It can be as simple as washing your face, brushing your teeth, having your outfit ready for the next day, and getting into bed at a decent time. It’s all about doing what brings YOU peace and calm. Taking care of yourself is SO important and doing what makes YOU feel good before calling it a night can leave you in a better position for Monday morning. I personally do all of the above, with a glass of wine and some kitty snuggles, of course. So tonight - light a candle, maybe take a bath with a bath bomb, play relaxing music or listen to your favorite podcast, read a book. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to calm your body before getting in bed.
Don’t leave your to-do list for Sunday night -
Y’all. I can’t tell you how many times I would wait until I got home from celebrating Sunday Funday at 7:00 p.m. and realize I still had 500 other things to do before bed. This is when the anxiety would realllly kick in. So, I started making a to-do list Friday morning for my weekend and pushing myself to get it done before Sunday afternoon. I also got REAL and remembered that a lot of what I thought I needed to do on Sunday, could honestly wait until Monday. Set aside time Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning to make your lunch for work on Monday, finish that load of laundry, and answer any work emails you may have forgotten about. This way you will feel relaxed and a little less stressed for the upcoming work week.
Scheduling something fun for Monday evening -
Part of my anxiety used to be about the long wait until I had something fun planned for later in the week. There was nothing to look forward to but work, ugh. Changing the mindset on Monday’s has helped with my Sunday night anxiety by giving me something to look forward too the next day. I’ll either plan to grab a glass of wine after work with a friend or plan to cook dinner and watch one of my favorite shows by myself!
Practice gratitude, using prayer or meditation -
This will look different for everyone. For me, this includes taking time to sit with God and say thanks for all the blessings from the weekend, and pray for the upcoming week. I do my best to attend church on Sunday mornings also, which has helped tremendously with setting a tone of gratitude for the week. Take 10 minutes and write in a gratitude journal if this is more your style! I find this a great way to say thanks for things we sometimes take for granted, can anyone say air conditioning and cool sheets??
Eat and drink well -
I am SO guilty of eating like a teenage boy in puberty on the weekends (who’s with me!?). I’m not supposed to eat highly acidic foods, but I REFUSE to give up pizza. Which then leads me to suffer throughout most of Sunday evening, paying for my poor food choices and being upset with myself once again. Try introducing new, fun brunch places with healthier options, swapping out one mimosa for a glass of water, and not binge eating past 8:00 p.m. I promise you will thank yourself the next morning and throughout the week! Your friends will be thankful, too.
Play around and find what works for you! I was inspired by this article from The Zoe Report when I first was looking at ways to beat the Sunday Scaries: http://thezoereport.com/living/wellness/sunday-scaries-anxiety-causes-prevention-tips-study/
Some additional tips I’ve found beneficial include writing, which I used to NEVER do, and limiting my time on social media. We have all been caught in the Instagram trap, where you check the time and you’ve been mindlessly scrolling for 30 minutes, yikes.
I’d love to hear about your experience with the Sunday Scaries!
What have you done to combat them and any tips you’d like to share??
Hoping these make for a great start to your week ❣