Sunday scaries tend to be negative thoughts or emotional distress about the upcoming week. Although the terms are often used interchangeably and overlap, the “Sunday blues” differ slightly from the so-called scaries because they are associated with the end of the weekend. Rather than anticipating the weekend, [the Sunday scaries] tend to look back on it like it’s a distant memory. In both cases, you are ruminating in nature and are not in the present moment.”

Sunday scaries can affect anyone, especially those who are burnt out, overly stressed, or in otherwise unpleasant work situations. The weekly phenomenon isn’t exclusive to those who have a clinical diagnosis of an anxiety or depression disorder, but Manly says those who do may experience the sensation “more intensely, because of the ongoing toll of the mental health issue.” “Sunday scaries” aren’t a clinical diagnosis in and of themselves.

Sundays aren’t the only days when we feel anxious and overwhelmed: We can experience this feeling on any day of the week before returning to our other tasks. Those who suffer from social anxiety may experience anxiety before returning to social interaction.

Possible Causes To Sunday Scaries

Having to return to work, school, or another activity after the weekend (or another period of time off) often leads to Sunday scaries, but what exactly is causing all this anxiety? They often feel this way when their personal time is winding down, which is rooted in a natural desire to continue enjoying a relaxed weekend pace.

People often experience anxiety or low mood when they transition from personal time to work or school. It takes on a different role, and it often requires entering a separate brain space. Likewise, many people don’t look forward to the prospect of a busy, stress-filled workweek, so it makes perfect sense that they feel uneasy and distressed at the prospect of yet another chaotic week juggling work and life.

Imagining the worst-case scenario for the week ahead, or being insecure about your ability to cope with stress, can exacerbate Sunday scaries. However, since the week hasn’t yet begun, perspective is essential. When people think that this week will be stressful and awful, they are more likely to have Sunday scaries than when they think, ‘I have a lot going on this week, but I’ll handle it. 

Use these tips on Sundays to manage unpleasant feelings rather than ignore them or suppress them.

Understand The Cause Of Your Sunday Scaries

Before you return to work, figure out what is making you feel anxious or overwhelmed. As an example, if you miss your personal time or sense of freedom, what can you do to bring that into your life? When you identify what the real source of your anxiety is, you will be able to look at it more objectively and find actionable solutions. Your dread might actually stem from being in the wrong job in general – a moment of reflection on Sunday scaries could end up being the turning point in making a life-changing decision.

Take A Moment To Accept How You Feel

As soon as you have a better idea of what’s triggering your Sunday scaries, pay attention to how you feel. Notice if you’re feeling sad, scared, worried, angry, or irritable; don’t judge or push away the feelings, just allow them to be present for a few minutes. You are far less likely to be controlled by your feelings if you validate and normalize them.

Set A Worry Time Limit

Limit the amount of time you spend worrying about Sunday scaries so that it doesn’t ruin your entire day. In behavioural research, it’s often recommended that anxiety-prone individuals schedule ‘worry time’. For instance, you could give yourself an hour to let your fears run wild. By doing this, you learn to control your own thoughts and not be at their mercy.

Schedule A Restful Plan For Your Sunday

Consider having a restful Sunday or the day before you return to work or another activity instead of cramming too much into your schedule. Try to fill your day with activities that feel soothing or upbeat. Focus your attention on something positive like baking, exercising, or spending time with a friend. Depending on your personality type, either stay away from work completely (keep your phone and computer away) or create a weekly checklist to help you feel prepared and not overwhelmed by tasks ahead.

Create A Transition Routine

Enjoy your weekend to the fullest, winding down with a transition routine before returning to your weekday routine. By keeping a routine, we can be in a more relaxed state of mind. You can take that a step further by incorporating some grounding techniques into your routine, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and stretching, to reset your mind and make Sunday a day to look forward to instead of dread.

We hope you find these tips helpful, and it makes entering a new week less stressful. Until then, have a wonderful Sunday!