Are Sundays days of leisure for you or days of dread? It turns out that many individuals experience the same back-to-work blues associated with dreading the arrival of Monday. The thing is that the anxiety associated with going back to work for the week can eat into your weekend and even leave you downright depressed.
Come on, life’s too short not to llke Mondays! With that in mind, here are six tips to help you enjoy all of your weekend (even Sunday) so you can approach the beginning of the week with a positive frame of mind…
1. Most of Us Suffer the Back-to-Work Blues
No matter what you call it…the Monday blues, the Sunday sads, Sunday fear syndrome, work fear, or dimanchophobia (the official medical term), Business Insider says you are definitely not the only one dreading going back to work.
Not surprisingly, numerous studies have been conducted on this anxiety about work that begins with the Sunday sads. Notably, research from a Monster.com (the jobs site) study that found roughly 78 percent of respondents admitted to suffering from the depressing and anxiety-inducing feeling on Sunday evening, even if they loved their jobs.
2. Weekdays Shouldn’t be All Work and Obligation
We often approach our weekends with a mindset of fun. For example, you might reserve the weekend for seeing friends and loved ones, watching a movie, going to a favorite restaurant or concert. While you may leave little time for these activities during the workweek.
There’s no reason why you can’t balance your workweek with some fun and entertaining activities to break up the work and obligation. So make plans with your spouse for a Wednesday evening date night at your favorite restaurant, attend a comedy open mic with your friends, see a movie, or attend the restorative yoga class that you also do on Saturday afternoon. This way you’re not dreading 5 solid days of work and no play.
3. Balance your Weekends with Fun and Relaxation
Seeing friends and loved ones over the weekend is a great way to reconnect and enjoy quality time. However, if you run yourself ragged on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday there’s little wonder why your anxious for Monday. You’re exhausted!
The weekends are meant for fun, but be sure to fit in plenty of relaxation, especially on Sunday to physically and mentally prepare you for the week ahead. Otherwise, you could be feeling the Sunday sads due the fact that your tank is running on empty.
4. Pro-actively Prepare for Monday
I know by the weekend that many of us have no energy for more than Netflix and chill. However, you can ease the stress and obligation of your work week with a bit of proactive preparation. For example, before I leave my job on Fridays I make sure to clear my desk of clutter and prep my (editorial) calendar for the following week. This way I’m not entering a world of chaos on Monday morning.
To ease my mornings, I make sure to prepare a few mason jar breakfast parfaits (with chia seeds, Greek yogurt, and frozen fruit) so they’re right there in the fridge for me to grab and go in the mornings. I also use Sunday to cook a flat of chicken breasts (or other protein), cook a big pot of quinoa, roast veggies, shred salad, and cut up fruit salad so I have plenty of DIY healthy options for work lunches. You can greatly ease your work week by stocking up on groceries, filling up on gas, organizing a carpool with coworkers, and creating a new “happy” podcast playlist for you weekly commute.
5. Pinpoint the Source of Anxiety
If you’re back-to-work anxiety has gotten so bad on Sunday evening that you spend the day utterly depressed, it’s time to examine the source of your anxiety. Don’t ignore your feelings, they may be indicating that you’re unhappy at your job, feeling undervalued by your boss, or unfulfilled by the work you’re doing. Many of us do, after all, spend over 40-hours each week in the workplace.
It may be time for you to face the anxiety head on by acknowledging an issue. If you’re not sure, speak to a friend, journal, or talk to a therapist of life coach who may be able to provide some unbiased advice on your Sunday sads.
6. Make Positive Changes
Once you’ve pinpointed the source of anxiety (i.e., unfulfilled, depressing workplace, unhappy in your job), take control by making some positive changes. If you’re workplace is drab, brighten up your cubicle with your kids’ art work, pictures of your last vacation, or with some air-circulating indoor plants.
If you’re feeling unfilled or unhappy at work, it may be time to talk to a professional therapist or life coach or begin to make the necessary changes. For instance, you can volunteer in an area of passion, take a continued learning course at your local college, or treat yourself to anxiety-busting hobbies after 5pm (i.e., yoga, mediation, painting class, or a massage).