How To Defeat The Sunday Scaries

It’s a real thing—but you don’t have to let it ruin your weekend
It’s a real thing—but you don’t have to let it ruin your weekend

It’s Sunday evening and instead of enjoying a dinner you had the time to leisurely cook, watching a couple episodes of your favourite show and going to bed looking forward to the week ahead, you’re stressing over the weekend being over and dreading getting up on Monday morning. That feeling is called the “Sunday Scaries” and, while not a scientific term, it’s completely real.

The Sunday Scaries is both a physical and psychological reaction. While your stress level tends to go down on Fridays when you have the whole weekend to look forward to, they go right back up on Sundays. Stress levels are affected by your adrenal glands and the hormone cortisol. When you feel more stressed or fearful, your body releases more cortisol which leads to heightened anxiety. So basically, your body’s physical reaction to the knowledge your weekend is coming to an end is making everything worse than it needs to be.

Mondays may never be your favourite day, but there are ways to reduce the Sunday Scaries and make sure the dread of the work week doesn’t ruin your time off.

Stop living for the weekend
Yes, the work week can be hectic and full of things you have to do rather than things you want to do, but it’s also a big part of your life. It’s up to you to figure out what would make getting through the week a little easier. Maybe you need something to look forward to on Monday morning, like a fancy coffee instead of your regular home-brewed cup. Sign up for a yoga class Monday evenings or make plans to see a movie on Tuesday night. Make sure you have a couple things going on during the week that don’t revolve around work so you don’t feel like the week is just something you have to endure to get back to living your actual life on the weekends.

Get out of bed
Sleeping in on the weekend might be something you look forward to, but the key is to not overdo it. If you normally get up at 7am, sleeping in until 9am should feel pretty luxurious. You’ll probably wake up naturally pretty early anyway, but the best part is knowing your alarm isn’t going to jar you out of a really good dream. Be productive with your Sunday—go grocery shopping, tidy up the house, meet a friend for brunch—just don’t spend the entire day sitting in front of the TV dreading the next morning because that’s definitely not going to help.

Get moving
Even if you overindulged on the drinking front on Saturday night (we’ve all been there), getting a little exercise on Sunday will help you feel better physically as well as mentally. If you can only manage a leisurely walk, that’s better than nothing. Not only will the fresh air will help you relax but you’ll feel like you did something somewhat productive. It’s easy to be looser with your healthy habits on the weekend, but if you get a little activity in, it’ll help make getting back on track on Monday a little easier.

Stay in the moment
It can be hard not to think about the week ahead and start dreading all the stuff you’re going to have to deal with at work, but the fact is you still have Sunday to relax, so why not enjoy it? Appreciate the present and do something you enjoy—read a book, go for a hike, try out a new recipe—so you’re making the most of your Sunday. There’s no use dreading something that’s going to come whether you like it or not, and besides, it probably won’t be quite as bad as you think it’s going to be. It might sound cliche, but life is short, so you probably shouldn’t be wishing your weeks away. Try to appreciate every day!

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on AmongMen.com, 29secrets.com, therichest.com, and ELLECanada.com.  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

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