Just moments ago you were skipping out of work merrily on a Friday at 5pm with the weekend stretching out ahead like the open road and now you’re mournfully looking out the window and dreading the week ahead. You are not alone, my friend. According to a 2015 poll, 76% of Americans reported “really bad” Sunday night blues.
The moment 4pm hits on a Sunday and the sun starts to lower in the sky, my spirits descend with it. I become more irritable, less vibrant. When my head hits the pillow, it fills with a crackling fire of thoughts that glow into the early hours. The embers are usually only turning to dust on Monday morning, as I open tired eyes and put the keys in the ignition of my exhausted mind.
Surely it doesn’t have to be like this. As humans, we created the concept of time, so why can’t we make it recreate it? I’m on a mission to rebrand Sundays – and by extension, Mondays. However stressful you might anticipate the week ahead to be, it is possible to prevent those grey clouds looming ahead over a gloriously sunny Sunday. Here’s what my three-step methodology for combating the Sunday night gremlins. Disclaimer: I’m still a willing student and by no means a master just yet, but this method most definitely does help.
Step 1: Look and listen
It isn’t easy seizing your mind, grabbing it and planting it firmly back into the present. But every time you notice it strolling off at a pace, take a moment to grab the reins and give it a good shake. Feast your eyes on the vibrant flowers at the market. Fill your lungs up with that fresh park air. Listen to the birds chirping. Being present is like training a muscle. The more you do it, the easier it gets. When you’re in the present, the past and future cease to exist and all you can do is focus on squeezing every last morsel out of your Sunday.
Step 2: Make plans past 4pm
Remember, every second of the weekend was created equal. The minutes and hours don’t depreciate in value as the clock ticks its way towards Monday. Whether it’s chilling in your PJs watching Harry Potter, gallivanting across the city or going on a run, make sure you continue making the most of your weekend. It’s two days long, not one and a half. Feeling particularly anxious about the week ahead? Be kind to yourself. Run yourself a hot bath, adorn yourself with a face mask, and listen to that podcast you’ve been meaning to listen to. Indulge yourself. You’re worth it.
Step 3: Organise your life during the week
Sunday can often be synonymous with chores. Don’t let meal prepping, showering, cleaning and getting organised for the workweek take over every Sunday. Instead, try chipping away at these jobs throughout the week before so they don’t take up a solid block of time. Order a food delivery for a Thursday evening and do your meal prep, pack your workbag on a Friday as you’re leaving work and clean your apartment on a Saturday morning as the weekend begins.
Sunday evenings are not to be feared, they should be enjoyed with the same fervour as a Friday night. Inject some TGIF spirit into your Sunday night, you won’t regret it.