Beating Sunday Blues
We all experience it. The dread that starts to build in your gut then travels throughout your body. The shift in your mood from happy to gloomy.
Ugh, tomorrow is Monday.
It’s not the day Monday we dread, it’s jumping back into the long work week, the stress that we left behind on Friday and the overall responsibility of being an upstanding member of society. Back to the grind, back to the rat race. No matter how much you love (or hate) your job, we all feel or have felt that dread.
Sunday, which should be the day of rest, is now filled with anxiety. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When I was younger, school aged, I loved Sundays because it marked the beginning of a new week, new adventures. Monday meant I could see and talk to my friends again, learn something new and discover more of the world. I was excited and happy, not feeling as if I were going back onto the battlefield.
I want that feeling back and in an effort to do so, here are some tasks I’ve implemented (or are still trying to implement) into my Sunday schedule.
Get up and exercise
I’ve recently moved one of my workout days to Sunday and it’s great. It helps me work off the alcohol from the night before and the anxiety that comes with a hangover. It also helps me feel productive. Many times when I just sit around on Sunday, I end up feeling even worse because I think I’ve wasted my day. Even though doing nothing is sometimes the best thing you can do, it’s hard to shake the feeling that I should be doing something, anything. However, after I workout, I feel accomplished and relaxed -- which is a two for one deal.
Reflect and create a positive thought for the week to come
Not thinking about the upcoming work week is generally not possible. Even on the ride home from the gym you could have a quick thought pop in your head about that project that is due Wednesday, or the angry client you have to follow up with it. It’s natural. To work through this, I like to do a quick reflection of the past week, try to learn from wins and loses, then repeat a short mantra to myself: I will approach each obstacle calmly and with grace.This helps stop my nerves from getting out of control and reaffirms the positive space I’m trying to create for Sunday.
Try to plan something to look forward to during the week to break up the long week
Another reason I dread Monday -- it’s the beginning of the very long work week. The work week is long for everyone but I feel it is especially long for me since I’m working east coast hours on the west coast. I’m working from 6am - 3pm, then from the time I lock my computer to when I fall asleep around 10pm, it feels like another day went by. It might be because I was use to having my 8 hour work day and then I would come home, eat, relax, then be in the bed about 4 hours later. Now, I work my 8 hours, then there is an extra 7 or so hours in the day before I get back in the bed. My days are long. This shouldn’t be a bad thing because now (in theory) I should be able to get more done. But I have to admit, sometimes it’s overwhelming. I have 7 hours, so the pressure to fully jump into the second hustle is high. Though, just like everyone else, I’m tired after those 8 hours, so I sometimes don’t want to use those additional 7 hours to do more work, even if it is for my betterment (or is it?). I haven’t started yet, but I want to try to give myself a mid-week events to look forward to. Even things as small as getting my nails done. Just something that isn’t as far out as Friday.
Forget the evening wine
Alcohol is a depressant. We all know that, but we also still like (love?) alcohol. I did a little experiment and on ‘school nights’ (nights where I have to work the next day), if I drank, it amplified whatever anxiety I was feeling and that stayed with me until the next day. If I didn’t drink, I still felt the a bit anxious, but it wasn’t as bad as if I would’ve drank. So I’ve stopped drinking wine with my dinner on Sunday nights as a way to help curve that anxiety.
Read a book before bed or just don’t scroll through social media
I know, we’re all addicted to social media in some way. (Yes, you are.) But even if you’re just in the scrolling through the ‘fun’ moments on Twitter (like I love to do), you’re still absorbing the crazy, mixing pot of emotions that is social media (and the blue light too). It’s the small things -- like reading an annoying comment, seeing yet another story about the president, or reading about a 7-year-old who made a couple million dollars on YouTube (congrats, kid!). All these things can involuntarily snap your mind out of zen and into anxiety inducing thought. “Why am I not further in my career?” “What can I review on YouTube to make a million dollars?” You know what I’m talking about. However, this thought is more damaging than productive. You know your goals and you’re actively working to complete them, so why freak out right before bed for a few scrolls? I now read a physical book before turning off the light. In addition to falling asleep faster, I’ve noticed that I wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to take on the day.
I hope the above helps you! Until next time!