The Sunday Scaries

When the clock strikes 5pm on Friday many people switch into weekend mode and start getting ready for a night out or a night in. Trying to hold onto and make the most of the time away from work or school, we relish in the ease with which we can enjoy our Friday evenings and Saturdays. Unfortunately, before we even know it, Sunday rolls around and the “Sunday Scaries” hit. For shift workers, the Sunday Scaries can happen on a different day of the week with the same effect. 

The Sunday Scaries, oftentimes felt strongly on Sunday evenings, refers to the anxiety, stress, and worry that kicks in as we anticipate the week ahead. It might consist of nerves about a big meeting, stress about deadlines, preoccupation with a long to-do list, dreading the tasks that didn’t get done the week before, or anxiety about balancing a multitude of obligations and responsibilities. Some symptoms may consist of difficulty sleeping, racing thoughts, irritability, restlessness, and trouble concentrating. The frustrating part about the Sunday Scaries is that it takes away valuable weekend time that could otherwise be enjoyed. Weekends already feel so short and losing this time on a weekly basis can feel incredibly defeating and overwhelming.  

So, you may wonder if the Sunday Scaries are something that we are stuck with because of the grind that is life. The answer is no. There are strategies that can help us take back our Sundays and enjoy them to the fullest. 

Firstly, if your mind is racing and it feels hard to stop thinking about the week ahead, try writing it down. Rather than letting our mind take over and run endlessly with worries, putting them on paper can act as a release, which will free up mental space, while also providing comfort and reassurance that it is on paper and cannot be forgotten. Secondly, try noticing the anxieties and thoughts about the week ahead and then challenging them with reminders, such as home and work are separate and that there is space for these worries on Monday. Thirdly, practicing mindfulness by noticing your surroundings and utilizing strategies that bring you back to the present moment can create distance between you and your worries or negative thoughts. Lastly, engaging in activities that are relaxing, such as going for a walk or listening to a meditation can help ease the anxiety and bring you back to enjoying the day. Activities that reduce stress may also be beneficial and might vary from person to person. Discovering which activities are most helpful for you generally and in response to the Sunday Scaries can change the trajectory of your Sunday experience. These are just some tools to utilize to start overcoming the Sunday Scaries; however, it can also be beneficial to work with a professional as they can tailor strategies and tips to a client’s unique situation and needs.  

Kaitlin Chapple, MA RCC