“Sunday Scaries” became a thing as soon as I graduated college and started working a full-time job. If you’re unfamiliar with that term, I’m so happy for you. Simply put, “Sunday Scaries” are overwhelming feelings of anxiety for Monday or the upcoming work week.
As much as I appreciate the #1 tip from therapists to help with Sunday Scaries, I still feel them pretty strongly. Over the last few months, I’ve found a few things that help me calm my nerves and anxiety:
Sunday Scaries Tip #1: Morning Quiet Time
Personally, there’s nothing worse than waking up on a Monday morning to requests asking to be fulfilled. Once I see texts, messages, or emails asking me to do something—even if it’s not immediate—the day feels out of my control.
Now, morning quiet time is a must. I start every day spending time alone doing activities that fill me up, so by the time I start my day with other people, I do it with a full heart, not begrudgingly.
I like to start my days at 6 AM, so I have plenty of time to do my favorite things: drink lemon water, move my body, journal, pray, read my Bible, listen to praise hymns, plan my day, and do a creative activity like watercoloring or bullet journaling. Oh, and as tempted as I am to reach for my phone, I try not to touch it until I have my morning quiet time.
Sunday Scaries Tip #2: Plan a Fun Activity
Before I start the week, I like to plan a fun activity, so Mondays feel exciting instead of anxious. Most of my fun activities are actually quite simple. Some of my favorites have been going to the pool on a Monday, baking a dessert, painting my nails, or planning another activity that I wouldn’t normally do on a regular weekday.
Tip #3: Stick to Your Work-Life Boundaries
When I first started working, I felt a compulsive need to overdeliver by working late and answering messages past work hours to “prove my worth”. Over the years, I learned that the people I respected most had very personal and clear work-life boundaries. Plus, “proving my worth” didn’t feel sustainable for my health.
Now I shut off all work screens by 6 PM most nights, and I’m really strict about it on Mondays. If my full-time job or a freelance client messages me past then and I happen to see the notification, I either 1) don’t respond or 2) send a message saying something along the lines of “Thanks for the message! I’ll check in as soon as I start working tomorrow.”
I totally understand how the pressure feels like it’s ON when someone messages past work hours. It helps to set up an expectation early on that people shouldn’t expect a response past a certain hour. I don’t want people to be under the impression that it’s normal to expect a response back, so be communicative about it early on so there’s a mutual understanding! If you need some help here, I highly recommend Management Mess to Leadership Success by Scott Miller.
I’d love to know: is there anything you like to do to calm your nerves before the work week? Let me know your suggestions. I’m always up for trying something new.