Do you feel dreadful as the Sunday night kicks in? Do you feel like your stress levels spike before the workweek begins on Monday morning? If you’ve ever had these feelings, you aren’t alone. Most people struggle with Sunday night depression and experience the new week’s work blues and fear the monotony and work pressure. It is a form of anticipation anxiety, an overwhelming dreadful feeling that starts on the evening before work or school. Sunday scaries is an all too real experience that 80% of adults go through, shows a recent LinkedIn survey. Whether you have just joined the workforce, worked for many years, or started a new school or college, Sunday night or afternoon anxiety can be scary if not dealt with healthily.
In this article, we shall discuss the causes of Sunday night anxiety, also known as the Sunday Scaries or the Sunday blues. We shall also look at what research has shown regarding Sunday night anxiety and how you can overcome this problem and not let it affect your life.
What Are Sunday Scaries?
Sunday Scaries is a type of anxiety that a person experiences for the events that haven’t taken place, especially about the week that’s yet to come.
It is further accompanied by feelings of dread, overwhelming stress, tension, and worry associated with the thoughts of completing work piled up for the week.
What Causes Sunday Night Anxiety?
Before looking at what causes Sunday night anxiety, you need to know that some people go through this and unaware that it’s a severe issue.
If you have any of these symptoms on Sunday afternoon or evening and you struggle to fall asleep, you most likely have Sunday night anxiety:
- Stress levels skyrocket
- Sense of restlessness
- Feeling of irritability
- Stomach problems
- A feeling of unease
- Unable to fall asleep
Sunday night anxiety doesn’t necessarily show up on Sundays itself. An individual might experience this phenomenon on any day of the week, depending on their work or school schedule.
For instance, if your work week starts on Friday, it may show up on Thursday night, or if you have your classes beginning on Tuesday, you will probably experience it on Monday night. So whatever day you experience it, it’s essential to know what may be causing it.
Here are some reasons that cause Sunday Scaries.
1. Monotonous Life
One of the significant causes of Sunday Scaries is the fear of facing the coming week. This could result from fear attached to repeating the same routine and anticipating the week’s work pressure.
Simon Rego, PsyD, explains that getting back to a regular schedule can trigger your mind to start creating different predictions and reflections, resulting in feeling anxiety or sadness.
Also, a poll done by monster.com revealed that 62% of workers experience anxiousness after the weekend since they are now back to the same old routine.
2. Not Being Able To Meet Expectations
Another reason why you might have Sunday night anxiety is the expectations you might have had for the weekend. If you had plans to be productive and finish the tasks on your to-do list that you weren’t able to do before and don’t fall through, it might cause you pressure and lead you to be in a low mood.
3. Childhood Experience
For some people, the end of the weekend might bring back memories about the stressful times they had in their childhood when the end of the weekend depicted the end of fun that they fell unconscious. Hence you may have carried this onto your adulthood.
On the other hand, Gail Saltz MD explained that many children experience separation anxiety when they are supposed to leave home to attend school on Monday. She further said that Sunday night anxiety soon becomes the mind’s habit even if you’re years out of school.
4. Stress At The Workplace
Stress has been classified as the health epidemic of the 21st century by the World Health Organization (WHO).
There are several sources of stress especially with the pandemic in place. On top of it, having a stressful work environment is also a rising cause of Sunday night anxiety for many individuals.
Research done by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) stated that:
- 40% of employees revealed that their job was very or extremely stressful.
- 25% revealed that their job was the number one thing causing stress in their lives.
It’s evident from the above statistics that stressors related to work pressure could aggravate anxiety levels in a person.
5. Weekend Hangover
Since most people indulge in partying late at night during the weekends, this could also be a reason for Sunday night anxiety.
The actions you take on the weekend significantly impact how you will feel on Sunday. So drinking lots of alcohol may cause a hangover and lower your mood on a Monday morning.
How To Overcome Sunday Night Anxiety?
Sunday night anxiety is an all too real experience, and sometimes it might be too hard to get rid of. There are, however, some ways of getting through this challenging experience.
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
The first step to overcome Sunday night depression is to acknowledge your feelings. Listen to your feelings and sense what the feeling of dread is telling you.
Understand what’s the cause behind feeling the work blues. Often, it’s your subconscious mind conveying something deeper. Maybe it’s time to change some areas of your life, whether a financial, professional, relationship, or health.
2. Change Your Job
Consider a change.
If the idea of returning to work makes you feel depressed on Sundays, perhaps you don’t love what you do and it’s time to change your job.
Strategically find ways to find the right career that will excite you to work and not go through the dreadful work blues.
Also, keep all your work-related stress at the office. Don’t bring your work home after a long hectic day. This will cause you more stress and remind you of the week ahead, making your anxiety worse.
3. The Bag Technique
Try using the bag technique to get rid of negative emotions. To stop anxiety from ruining your everyday life, it’s important to use strategies that engage both the mind and the body.
The bag technique helps get rid of associative weight and tension while reinstating your sense of control effectively.
Here’s how to do this technique:
- Stand about a meter and a half in front of a wall with your eyes closed.
- Imagine that there is a target on the wall, i.e., the bag.
- Whichever negative feelings that you have, place each one of them in the bag.
- Name each one while placing them physically into the bag.
- Remember, you can do this with situations or feelings and not actual people.
- Now close the bag and picture yourself assuming a position of strength and crashing the bag into pieces.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Research has claimed that the mindfulness technique is a proven tool to calm anxiety and lower depressive emotions.
Practicing mindfulness and being aware of your surroundings can help you stay in the moment and not let you react to outward stressors. Hence, it becomes easier for you to enjoy each moment without focusing on what comes next fully.
How to practice mindfulness?
- Stop whatever you’re doing now.
- Take a long breath count to four.
- Exhale on the count of eight.
- Try to feel any bodily sensation.
- Chew your food properly while eating.
- Go on a walk-in nature and expose yourself to the sun.
5. Bubble Visualization Exercise
Being intentional can help you combat Sunday night depression. And one of the strategic ways to do this is by trying the bubble visualization technique. Doing this will help you have clarity and be focused so that you don’t dwell on your overwhelming anxiety.
How to practice bubble visualization technique to overcome Sunday night depression?
- First, sit comfortably on a chair and breathe.
- Close your eyes and visualize yourself sitting in a bubble.
- Now be in tune with your thoughts by imagining what the bubble looks like. Is it large or small?
- Concentrate on your feelings of calm and peace and picture that all that is causing you anxiety is on the other side of the bubble and can’t reach you.
- Finally, sit with this feeling of serenity for as long as you can, and when you feel like it’s all behind you, get up and continue with your day.
6. Indulge In Self-Care Practice
It would be best if you practice self-compassion. You deserve to get some rest sometimes and recognize all of the things you got done this weekend. Give yourself some credit for the stuff you got off your to-do list, and don’t focus on what you weren’t able to finish. Be kind to yourself.
Here are a few self-care tips you may indulge during the weekends:
- Plan for Friday fun at home.
- Cook healthy foods filled with green veggies and fruits.
- Meet your best friends.
- Dance your heart out.
- Engage in your favorite hobbies.
- Do mild exercises and yoga outside of your home.
- Get yourself a makeover.
- Drink herbal tea instead of gulping alcoholic drinks.
Bonus: Here are 15 healthy ways to self-care when feeling stressed out.
7. Plan Your Week
Now that you’ve pampered yourself with love, start planning your week at least on a high level.
Planning for the week ahead will keep you focused, avoid Monday blues and help organize your thoughts. Write a to-do list of all the things you need to do and consider rearranging your schedule if you feel like somethings don’t work for you. This will keep you excited for the task ahead.
8. Get Enough Rest
For people dealing with anxiety and depression, staying up late at night will keep them more restless. Therefore, it’s mandatory to provide your mind and body to get enough rest every night.
In fact, many clinical trials have shown that poor sleep patterns can trigger anxiety-driven symptoms.
Get done with your dinner by 7 p.m and hit the sack by 11 p.m. Also, ensure not to use any mobile or laptop one hour before sleeping as they can disrupt your natural circadian rhythm.
9. Plan Something Fun On Mondays
We all love Fridays for a fact. All the fun activities, and night-outs, and parties, are scheduled for a Friday. Despite the fact that Mondays begin with work/school, it doesn’t have to be so dreadful.
An easy way to beat the Sunday or even Monday blues is to keep something fun planned even on a Monday. For instance, you can plan to have your favorite meals prepared for Mondays, or get some pizzas delivered on a Monday night. Have a good Monday morning routine. Start focusing on your goals and how to better your life.
10. Go For Therapy
Lastly, if you feel like this, all is threatening and incredibly overwhelming, seek professional help. Talking to a therapist about your Sunday night anxiety is relevant as it might sometimes turn into something bigger. This will help you identify the causes of your stress and, in turn, how to address them.
A Word From AlignThoughts,
All in all, Sunday night anxiety isn’t something to be ignored, most people experience it, and the only ways of handling it are acknowledging that it’s real and you go through it. And then making the above methods a part of your routine. It’s also important to know what is triggering your anxiety and fixing that to live a healthier and stress-free life.
- Sunday night depression is an experience that many individuals struggle with at the onset of a new week. This is also typically known as the “Sunday Scaries.”
- Sunday Scaries is a type of anxiety where individual experiences repeated stress and tension for the week that is yet to begin.
- The most common symptoms of Sunday Scaries have increased stress levels, feelings of restlessness, irritability, stomach problems, and disrupted sleep routine.
- However, these symptoms can show up any day of the week, considering when your week starts.
- Living your life in the same old routine and stress at work are probably the major causes behind feeling depressed on Sunday.
- Also, people who party all night and booze during the weekend may feel depressed on Sunday because of the hangover.
- Despite this, there are few practices one can do to cope up whenever feeling depressed on Sunday.
- For instance, accumulating your self-care practice with mindfulness can help you calm and relax immensely during the weekends.
- Similarly, the bubble visualization exercise and the bag techniques are also a creative strategy to soothe your restless mind.
Why do I get depressed on Sundays?
Some of the common reasons why you may feel depressed on Sundays are:
- Dreading about all the new targets you have to accomplish at the workplace.
- Feeling guilty for not being productive during the weekend.
- Fear of unknown about the different situations you may have to encounter with the weekend coming close to the end.
- The anxiety of repeating the old daily routine.
How do I stop feeling depressed on Sundays?
There are a few practices you can incorporate into your daily routine to make yourself feel better during the weekend:
- List out all the tasks you have accomplished during the weekend, no matter how insignificant they seem to you.
- Go for a relaxing massage to replenish your body and release tensions.
- Keep a gratitude journal and write about things you’re grateful for.
- Plan your week.
- Decide on outfits you’d wear throughout the week.