Sundays, have you feeling a little anxious? Well, you aren't alone. You may be struggling with the Sunday Scaries.
According to a survey by The Sleep Judge, a mattress review website, 81% of Americans experience “Sunday Scaries.”
Sunday Scaries are the anxiety symptoms that arise midday Sunday as you prepare for the week ahead. It's the sense of dread that creeps in and consumes you as your Sunday draws to an end.
Sunday Scaries are also a fancier way to describe anticipatory anxiety.
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?
Your cortex can prepare you for future events, and also imagine potential consequences. When your worrisome thoughts get the best of you, they frighten your amygdala and activate your anxiety response. When this happens, your sympathetic nervous systems comes to your rescue by activating your fight-flight-freeze response.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Don’t let Sunday Scaries sabotage your weekend. Below you'll find 20 tips and tricks to help you show anxiety who's boss. Pick what works best for you and leave the rest.
Are you ready to take back your Sundays? Let do this!
20 TIPS TO HELP YOU DITCH YOUR “SUNDAY SCARIES”
- Prior to leaving work on Friday, clean up your desk, check off a few tasks that you typically leave for Mondays, and send any final emails.
- Establish boundaries with your work life. That means leave work at work. Keep that inbox closed over the weekend, and if you HAVE to check it, set aside 15 minutes for a quick check-in and then walk away.
- Avoid alcohol on the weekends. I know, I'm a party pooper. Alcohol negatively impacts your REM sleep, and when you lack REM sleep, your amygdala gets mad. When your amygdala gets mad, you get anxious. Is it really worth the drink?!?
- Identify the “why.” Why are you anxious? Your Sunday Scaries might be a sign that something deeper is going on. Reflect inward and try to identify why you are dreading Monday. If your job leaves you miserable, it may be time for a change.
- Track your worries and look for a pattern.
- Make a plan for how you'll tackle your worries, and then move on.
- Take a digital break over the weekend to give yourself a chance to reset and relax. Maybe a no cell phone Sunday?!? To much? Okay, how about no cell phones, social media, computers after 3 pm on Sunday? That's doable, right?!?
- Do all your chores, errands, meal prepping, planning on Friday or Saturday. Not Sunday!
- Make Sunday a day of relaxation, not planning and prepping. Engage in self-care, and recharge your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual battery.
- If you ignored #9, at least make Sunday evenings all about relaxing. Rolling into the next week a wound-up stress case doesn't do anybody any good.
- Lace-up your sneakers, and move your buns. If you only exercise one day a week, make it Sunday. Twenty minutes of aerobic exercise resets the anxiety loop and stops amygdala activation (fyi – you decrease anxiety). It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Just move your body!
- Ground yourself in the present moment, and get out of your future-focused worries. Need grounding technique ideas? Click here.
- Reframe how you view your Monday. I like to look at Mondays as a fresh start to a new week.
- Create a fun Monday morning routine to help you start your day on a good note. Maybe a dance party while you get ready or how about you treat yourself to a Starbucks coffee?
- Still feeling anxious? Slow down, check-in with your breath, and practice your deep breathing exercises. No clue how to belly breathe? Click here to learn.
- Make sure your sleep hygiene is on point. No clue what sleep hygiene is? No worries, Click here to snag your freebie where I share great tips on how to create your own nightly routine and rituals.
- Before you go to bed Sunday night, jot down any worries racing through your mind. Get that to-do list out of your head and onto paper.
- Keep a journal next to your bed. If you wake up in the middle of the night worrying about the week ahead, jot down your worries and go back to bed.
- Avoid hitting that snooze button Monday morning in an attempt to put off starting the day. It’s a fresh start to a new week. Get to it!
- Schedule self-care throughout the week to make weekdays a tad more exciting and relaxing.
If you found this helpful, be sure to share it with all your anxious buddies. Sundays don't have to be scary anymore!