The Best Way to Beat the Sunday Scaries

How to take back your weekend and overcome the pressure of “job creep."

Benevolente82 / Shutterstock
Benevolente82 / Shutterstock

You’ve likely seen the hashtag #sundayscaries, and it makes sense, given the proliferation of “job creep” — those work emails that pop into your inbox on Sundays, and the pressure to be reachable over the weekend. That Sunday anxiety can rob you of the joy and recharging time that the weekends are supposed to bring. 

We asked members of the Thrive community to share their best strategies for beating the Sunday scaries, and overcoming weekend job creep. Their tips are simple, effective, and so good that you can use them any day of the week. 

Be mindful of weekend communication 

“I want my team to recharge after a busy workweek. The delayed delivery function for email has become my best friend in protecting their weekends. So even when I’m using Sunday afternoons to get ready for the week ahead, it doesn’t cut into their weekend time.”

—Shira Miller, chief communications officer, Atlanta, GA

Make Sunday a celebration 

“I take an hour for a meeting with myself and organize the week ahead. I plan lunches and dinners, and make sure everyone will have enough time for homework, family time, alone time, and most importantly, a ‘lights out’ time. Our master schedule includes a family project to keep the house running — this weekend was raking leaves! And then finally, we end our Sundays in celebration. We have a family dinner, a special dessert, FaceTime our oldest son in college, and celebrate an event from our week. We like to end the week in an upbeat way and create anticipation for our next Sunday celebration.” 

—Renee Tarantowski, mindfulness teacher, Chicago, IL

And make Friday a day to plan 

“On Friday afternoons, I sit down with my to-do list for the following week — and the list of to-dos I didn’t finish from the current week — and make a plan. I slot a specific time for each task. That way, I know I’ll have time to get everything done and don’t need to worry about them over the weekend! This also eliminates the need to spend time on Monday morning planning out the week ahead.” 

—Elizabeth Dorrance Hall, professor, East Lansing, MI

Get some fresh air 

“As the CEO of a growing agency, it’s often difficult to step away, especially on the weekends. Over the years, I’ve learned to treat Saturday and Sunday as vital days for replenishing my energy and creativity, so I can come to the virtual office refreshed. Sunday hikes have become non-negotiable for me. Breathing fresh air, moving my body, and enjoying the rewards of a spectacular vista grounds me in the present and help me recharge. Bonus points if I’m out of cell service!”

—Jessi Honard, CEO and copywriter, Berkeley, CA

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