Well-Being//

5 Ways to Beat the Sunday Scaries, According to a Psychotherapist

If the start of a new week feels overwhelming, here's how to mitigate those uneasy feelings and begin Monday on a positive note.

By ismagination/ Shutterstock
By ismagination/ Shutterstock

Many of my clients talk about how they have trouble sleeping on Sunday nights. There’s no doubt, people stress out on Sunday nights more than any of the other six nights. It’s a time when they focus on everything they dislike about their work and lives. They ruminate over deadlines, projects, and satisfying their managers – all while neglecting their own health. Despite their best efforts they can’t seem to turn off the worrying about what lies ahead and finally get to sleep.

Here’s what you can do to beat the Sunday night blues:

1. Decipher fact from fiction.
What makes you anxious about returning to work? Is it based on reality or on something you imagine? For example, did your manager actually say you need to work at home over the weekend or are you assuming he or she expects you to? Focus on what’s within your control, not on what’s beyond it, and certainly not on that which might be based merely on fiction.

2. Prepare for Monday every Friday.

At the end of each work week, take 5 or 10 minutes to prepare for the next week by straightening up your work space, tying up loose ends, and making a to-do list. Investing the time now will help ease your mind for the next 48 hours.

3. Relax as much as you can.

When planning your weekend, don’t over schedule and certainly don’t leave stressful activities for Sunday.

4. Plan your Sunday according to your mood.

If you ordinarily feel depressed on Sundays, then arrange a fun activity such as a special restaurant dinner or hanging out with friends. If you typically find yourself edgy, then indulge in something relaxing such as a movie or reading.

5. Balance your sleep patterns.

If you get up at 6 a.m. during the week but sleep in on the weekends, you may not be tired come bedtime on Sunday. Leave Saturday for sleeping in. On Sunday try not to deviate too far from your regular wake up time.

So, drift off to sleep looking forward to what you like about your job rather than dreading what you don’t like and know that tomorrow will present another opportunity to shine.

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