In Anxiety

What are Sunday scaries? After taking it easy for a couple days, Sunday evening begins to approach and you start to think about the coming week. It can be stressful knowing your relaxation period is about to come to an end. By Sunday afternoon or Sunday evening, you may begin to worry and feel anxious. This anxiety and worry is called the “Sunday scaries” or “Sunday blues”.

If this sounds like you, we’ve got 15 tips and tricks to help you beat the Sunday scaries!

What Causes Sunday Scaries?

You spend the majority of the week anticipating Friday night and being able to relax, uninterrupted, for the next two days. Within the blink of an eye, it’s Sunday night and Monday morning is looming and your two days of freedom are gone. Maybe you feel like you didn’t get to enjoy the weekend or even that it wasn’t long enough. Many people can relate to this feeling.

Worries & Anxiety Over The Future

Recycling the same worry-laden thoughts can cause anxiety as you begin to dread what you have coming up during the week. Maybe it’s a big presentation or a tight deadline to meet. On top of that, you know you have to wait five more days to have another break. Whether you’re in work, school or something else, this worry easily leads to anxiety the night before and can even result in physical symptoms.

Sunday scaries can manifest in a number of physical symptoms, including:

  • Upset stomach
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Cardiac issues (in extreme cases)

In addition to these symptoms, you may find that you’re wasting a lot of your weekend caught up feeling stressed about the weekend hourglass running out.

Therapy Might Help Your Sunday Night Blues

If you think you have the Sunday scaries, we’ve got a number of tips coming up to help. Just remember to always speak to your doctor about any symptoms you have or if you’re becoming very concerned about your anxiety levels.

Anxiety therapy is a great way to help manage the symptoms and underlying cause of your Sunday night anxiety.

Young people partying Friday afternoon and planning their Saturday night

How Do I Get Rid of Sunday Scaries?

There are many changes you can make that may seem small, but will likely have a significant positive impact when dealing with Sunday scaries. Having an overall set routine that includes  healthy habits can give rise to so many beneficial outcomes in various aspects of your life.

1. Create Sunday Night Goals

Many people find organization puts their mind at ease. Rather than worrying about what could happen this week, you can write down exactly what you need to get done. Having that list in front of you may help you feel more in control of the week ahead and can aid you in getting to sleep knowing all your thoughts are written down.

Writing a Sunday night to do-list will also give you the chance to see if you may have over committed yourself. In the coming days you can keep this in mind and try to adjust the commitments you make to people.

If you see that you have a huge, stressful to-do list, you may wish to rearrange your time in order to take some of the pressure off of Monday. It may be that after work you have a number of errands to run or a daunting number of social engagements to attend. If you have trouble asserting yourself when others make requests of you, assertiveness training may help you feel more in control of your time.

2. Exercise During the Weekend

There’s a reason why your doctor is always telling you how important exercise is. It’s not only great for physical health, but your mental health as well. Many people find that when their anxiety becomes too much, doing some exercise helps to calm them down and reduces their stress.

Exercise has a number of benefits for mental health. One such benefit is increasing the release of endocannabioids into the bloodstream. These interact with parts of your brain that regulate stress, resulting in reduced anxiety and a feeling of contentment.

A woman taking care of herself during the weekend practices mindful meditation after her online yoga class, helping to reduce her life stress

3. Meditation to Help Reduce Anxiety

If you’ve never tried meditation before, you may be skeptical. However, many people have tried meditation to relieve anxiety and have found success. In fact, a 2013 study found that “Twenty minutes of mindfulness meditation significantly reduced state anxiety in each session that meditation was practiced.” (Zeidan et al., 2013).

In particular, mindfulness meditation helps train people to focus and stay in the present moment. Focusing in on the present moment can help to reduce unwanted thoughts and feelings people may experience about their overwhelming to do-list or work week.

There are many free and paid for meditation guides and some specifically designed to address the anticipatory anxiety which drives Sunday anxiety.

4. Improve Your Eating Habits

The food you put in your body can also make a big difference. From helping you sleep better, to fighting off anxiety, eating the right food can stave off or at least make stress management more attainable. Eating the wrong food, such as sugar before bedtime, can keep you awake worrying. Try to avoid eating processed meat, refined cereals, pastries, candy, high-fat dairy products, or fried foods.

If you don’t drink enough water you may be dehydrated which can reduce some function in your brain, potentially increasing the feelings of dread associated with the Sunday night blues. This can also make you work much harder than you need to. Having an overall balanced lifestyle is one of the best ways to stay healthy and beat the Sunday scaries.

5. Take a Social Media Hiatus

Screen time and social media can impact your mental health. Social media can be addicting. Apps like TikTok that are designed to keep you hooked can have you suddenly realizing you’ve just spent 5 hours watching videos and now it’s 3 o’clock in the morning.

We’ve all been there. Not getting enough sleep is only going to start your Monday morning on a bad note. You’re not going to feel like you’ve enjoyed your weekend at all when all you’ve done is been on social media, despite how much you may enjoy it in the moment. It’ll just make those Sunday scaries worse.

A couple going for a hike during the weekend to sharing their feelings and getting some exercise

6. Go For a Long Walk

Going for a walk can really bring you back to reality. We are overwhelmed with images on our screens and endless to-do lists. A simple walk will help you clear your head and feel grounded again. You could try a nature hike or simply a stroll through our city. Invite some friends and make it a social event.

Picture the sun in your face, the wind in your hair. There’s so much to explore and fun to be had. We sometimes forget that there’s a whole big world beyond our phones waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.

7. Wake Up Early

Make the most of your weekends by waking up early. Enjoy as much of the sunshine as you can. Chances are, you are stuck inside an office or school all day. Get outside, nice and early, to make the most of your time.

8. Clean Your House

There is nothing better than having a clean house for the week ahead. Cleaning is a natural stress-reliever and helps a lot of people feel in control. Having a clean house means you’ll have less to do during the week. Plus, it will feel so satisfying walking into your sparkling house knowing you’re on top of it.

Some people find that doing a deep clean on the weekend, while spending the week doing a little tidying here and there, just to stay on top of everything, works best. You can achieve this any way you please. Knowing your house is dirty will only add to your anxiety and de-motivate you from doing the things you really want to do.

A couple visiting an art gallery on Sunday to get some feel good fun time in before Monday arrives

9. Make Fun Plans For Sunday Evening

Take the dread away from Sundays by making it your favourite day. Plan to do your favourite things on Sundays.

Some ideas include:

  • Join a sports team
  • Cook your favourite food
  • Watch your favourite show
  • Visit your market, museum, or art gallery

Make it a day all about you, doing anything and everything you can to enjoy yourself.

10. Do (a Little) Retail Therapy

It might be nice to treat yourself within your budget. We’re not saying go on a crazy shopping spree every Sunday, but maybe go get yourself a new shirt for work. This may inspire you to go into the office with an upbeat attitude even if it’s primarily triggered by the idea of showing off your new threads.

Having a meal out might be a nice way to enjoy your hard earned money and give yourself a little treat. You could get some snacks and have a home movie night. Get yourself a face mask and some baths salts and give yourself a mini spa day. There’s a lot you can do to treat yourself, even on a budget!

11. Make an Effort to do Mid-Week Activities

Plan some enjoyable things to do during the week. Having fun stuff to do will help you look forward to the coming days ahead. You could make a plan with friends, play a sport you love, go see your loved ones, go on a walk somewhere you enjoy, watch the sunset, or have a relaxing bath. Whatever it takes to give you a little motivation, the self-care will go a long way.

12. Prepare For Monday On Friday

You can take some of the pressure off your Mon-Fri obligations by preparing. This can mean writing your goals and to-do lists for the week, cleaning your house or meal prepping so you don’t have to cook as much. Answer some emails so you don’t have to catch up on them during the week.

A woman and her friend stave off depression by learning something new at a pottery class

13. Learn Something New

Nothing will make you feel more productive during your weekend break than learning something new. It could be anything from a new song on the guitar or a new recipe.

Knowing you’ve improved a skill or learned something new will not only help you grow as a person, but this will help you make the most of your valuable time. You could focus your learning on things that will help you achieve your goals. Or, you may simply just want to try new activities you have always wanted to check out. After all, the weekends are all about enjoying yourself!

14. Party Less

While there’s nothing wrong with partying with your friends, drinking too much may cause you to spend your whole weekend hungover. Your Sundays are bound to be filled with regret if you’re spending them in bed or too tired to have any fun. This will only make your Sunday scaries worse and, chances are, you will still be recovering come Monday.

15. Write a Gratitude And Goal Journal

Writing down all the things you are grateful for can help you refocus your mind. Remembering all the things you have to be grateful for can help keep you grounded. Think about the things you have and all the things you’re thankful for. Keep going until you completely run out of things to write about.

Write about things you are excited to do and goals you have for the future. You can keep a separate Goal Journal where you write down all the things you are working towards. Goals keep us motivated and remind us what we’re working so hard for.

You can write about what you hope to achieve. This could be anything from learning a new skill, earning a promotion at work, saving up for a holiday, moving into a new house, or exercising for a certain amount of time every week.

A happy couple get some rest together on a couch not worrying about heading back to their job the next day

Beat Your Sunday Night Worries & Save Your Weekend

The Sunday scaries can be really psychologically overwhelming and can morph into physical symptoms detrimental to your health. If you are experiencing concerning levels of stress, it’s important to speak about your symptoms to a professional, such as your doctor or a therapist.

There are so many things you can do to eliminate your Sunday scaries. Anxiety is an extremely common condition and Sunday scaries ties in neatly with this feeling. Remember that you’re not alone. While you may feel you’re going through this alone, you’d be surprised at how many people around you are likely feeling the exact same way. Don’t fret-we are in this together and can combat the Sunday scaries together too.

References

Zeidan, F., Martucci, K., Kraft, R., McHaffie, J. and Coghill, R., 2013. Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief. [Accessed 4 July 2022].

Dietrich A, McDaniel WF, 2004. Endocannabinoids and exercise. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2004;38:536-541. [Accessed 4 July 2022].

Recent Posts
woman very stressed out about holiday season searching for holiday stress tips online