You might have even started Sunday morning in a great mood, with a delicious breakfast and a lie-in.
Then suddenly, the afternoon brings with it a slew of unexpected emotions – anxiety, worry, sadness.
The Sunday blues might sound like a great band name – but it’s a real phenomenon that many of us deal with every week.
It may even be particularly common in the UK, where around 2 out of 3 Brits suffer from Sunday sadness. In the US, 81% of Americans say that they suffer from Sunday night blues.
So, what do you do about this sudden increase of negative emotion?
Do you let the rest of your Sunday dissolve into darkness as you worry about going back to the office and lament the loss of yet another weekend?
Today, we’re going to show you how you can avoid the Sunday blues, prevent the Monday blues, and get more out of every day of the week!
What are the Sunday night blues?
The “Sunday blues” is the common term used to describe the feeling of sadness you get at the end of a weekend. Psychologists say that there are two things causing our low mode when this phenomenon happens.
First, we’re worried about going back to work, school, and nervous about the challenges we might have to face.
Secondly, the Sunday night blues can also come from a sense that the weekend moved too quickly and that you haven’t gotten enough out of it.
Suddenly the party of Saturday is over, and you’ve got five days of exhausting work ahead of you again.
Whether the majority of your stress comes from thinking about your job or not depends on how unhappy you are at work.
If your Sunday blues often turn into Monday blues because you’re concerned about stress, office politics, and a headache of a boss, you might need to think about a change of career.
However, before you hand in your letter of resignation, remember that even people who enjoy their work can experience Sunday night blues.
Most of us only have 2 days to recover from an exhausting working week, and this limited time off often creates resentment.
So, what can you do to change the pattern?
Beat the Sunday blues by reworking the schedule
Feeling anxious and down every Sunday can really ruin your weekend. You get so upset about the concept of going back to work, that you forget to enjoy the rest of your day off.
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to change the status quo.
Start by thinking about how you spend your Friday. Can you do anything on Friday that might make the Monday more appealing to you?
If you have some control over which tasks you do on which days, it might be worth tackling the biggest challenges on Friday.
You’ll be more stressed on that day, but then you can let loose on Saturday and Sunday without having to worry about what Monday might bring.
Swap some tough tasks on Monday over to Friday and your Monday blues could disappear.
After that, think about your Saturday. Rather than having fun on Saturday and piling all of your adult obligations into Sunday, spread the chores out over the whole weekend.
Do a handful of tasks on Saturday morning, then have the rest of the day to yourself. The result will be less to do on Sunday when you’re already stressed about work.
Avoid doing things that are going to negatively impact your Sunday too. If you tend to drink a lot of alcohol on Saturdays, then you’re going to feel awful on Sunday morning. Take it down a notch and give yourself a more relaxing Sunday morning without the hangover.
Beat the Sunday blues by planning something fun
Sometimes, the Sunday blues have nothing to do with your return to work on a Monday, and everything to do with the fact that you’ve left all of your least-favorite tasks until now.
If you let all the dish washing and house cleaning throughout the week, so it takes hours to do on a Sunday, you’re not going to have much fun.
Try to keep on top of the adult tasks that you have to handle each day throughout the week to have more time to yourself on a Sunday.
Even if you still have chores to overcome, make sure that you’re done by the time the afternoon arrives, so you can do something else with your day.
To reduce your chances of feeling like you’ve wasted a day on the couch, plan something. Get the kids ready and go for a trip to a local park. Learn how to cook a new meal or follow a tutorial for how to make something on YouTube.
Stop making Sunday about getting your life together ready for the work week and start making it about doing the things you enjoy.
Planning something fun will help to get you out of the habit of seeing Sunday as a time when you often feel miserable and anxious. If you expect to feel that way – you usually will.
Beat the Sunday blues by being kinder to yourself
Why should you spend your whole weekend dreading the Monday blues? Ignore worries about tomorrow and try to take them out of your mind. You’ve got a whole day before you have to think about seeing the office again.
During that time, why not do something that makes you happy? We’ve already mentioned having some fun but taking time to relax is helpful too.
Consider starting a ritual where you give yourself a nice hot bath on a Sunday, complete with your favorite tea just a few hours before bed. This gives you something positive to look forward to on a Sunday night.
Try listening to music, or only reading a certain book on Sunday each week to amp up the excitement.
While you’re at it, practice the power of positive thinking. Remember that worrying about Monday isn’t going to fix anything.
If it helps, you can always write down some notes in a journal about the things you’re worried about. You might find that writing issues down helps you to see solutions to them.
No matter what you decide to do to be kind to yourself on Sundays, remember to look after your body and mind.
Eat healthy (even if you’re feeling lazy) and make sure that you stick to your sleeping schedule as much as you can. Staying up late on a Saturday night will mess up your tiredness levels for the next day.
Plus, better sleep means a better mood too!
Beat the Sunday blues by staying social
It’s easy to slip into hermit mode on a Sunday. You’re exhausted from a long week, and maybe a little hungover from your activities on Friday and Saturday.
You know you’ve got work on Monday, so you can’t be bothered to use what little energy you have left to do anything but lie on the couch and watch Netflix until your eyes hurt.
While giving yourself a day off isn’t a problem, it’s sometimes the worst thing you can do for Sunday blues – particularly if you’re a social creature. If you know that being around other people gives you more energy, then get out and enjoy the world on a Sunday.
Even if your friends aren’t available, you could always sign up for a Sunday exercise class or try doing something that’s related to your hobbies to ensure that you have something fun to look forward too.
Being around other people will get you out of your head and make it easier to forget about the fact that you’re going back to work the next day.
Heck, if you’re feeling particularly generous, you could even use Sunday as a volunteering day and give something back to your community.
Beat the Sunday blues by identifying the triggers
Talk to someone about the Sunday night blues and half the time they’ll say, “I don’t know why I feel so terrible.” That might not be totally true. There’s a good chance you have a good idea of why you feel so crappy.
If you like your job, then maybe the problem is that you’re not carving out enough time for fun throughout the week, as well as on the weekend. You don’t have to have all your great times on a Saturday and Sunday.
Try doing something nice on a Wednesday evening too – like a meal out, or a trip to the movies.
Maybe you hate Sundays because you know you always have tons of emails to get through on a Monday morning. Perhaps going through some of those messages on a Saturday morning as part of your chores will help you to feel better.
Just be careful you don’t turn into a workaholic.
If the problem is that you just don’t like where you work – you can take steps to solve that too. Stop settling and start looking for alternative employment. You can find countless career opportunities online these days.
You might even be able to talk your boss into changing your responsibilities if you feel like you’re under too much stress.
If you think that your issues with Sunday blues and Monday blues go beyond the days themselves, you might also need to think about talking to a professional. There’s no shame in getting help for feelings of depression or anxiety.
Enjoy week long mood management
Why should fun be reserved for Fridays and Saturdays, while Sundays and Mondays leave you feeling down in the dumps? Sunday isn’t an evil day, and Mondays aren’t the cause of all your misery. These two days just have a bad reputation.
If you’re willing to change things up, then you can get rid of Sunday blues forever and enjoy your Mondays a little more in the process.
Good luck getting the most out of your week.
ReWired: ReThink Your Life.