5 Ways to Cope With The Sunday Blues
You glance at the clock: It’s 4 p.m. on Sunday. You feel your heart take a nosedive in your chest as you mentally calculate how many hours of sweet freedom you have before punching into work. Then, you spend most of that precious time dreading what’s to come.
If this scenario sounds like your Sunday routine, it’s time for a change. Is it a mindset issue or a sign that something deeper is gnawing at your psyche? Either way, spending time ruminating is unproductive and only makes you feel worse.
Here’s How to Cope With The Sunday Blues
Is there any rule saying you must report to the office no later than 8 a.m. Monday morning? If there is, how flexible is it? Some employers have chosen to play hardball with “return to the workspace” edicts, but others follow the science that says people are more productive when they feel comfortable in their environment. For many, that means the flexibility to work from home at least some time and have a greater say over their working hours.
Not everyone is a morning person. Mindfully examine whether it’s your position or facing rush hour lurking behind your Sunday blues. If it’s the schedule, talk to your employer — the iron is still hot to strike now with the Great Resignation having many willing to be more flexible. Set an appointment and stress the benefits of flexible hours, such as discreet crisis management, improved morale, and quality improvements.
Rumination is your enemy when coping with the Sunday blues. What’s the best way to ensure you don’t end up sitting on the couch, presumably watching Netflix while you muse over Monday? Get out of the house.
Do something to make Sunday night special. Do you have a clan? Why not dedicate this evening to weekly family fun? You can take the kids bowling or to the playground — anything to get your blood moving gently while bringing a smile to your face.
Turn Sunday evening into an occasion you anticipate. Are you partnered? There’s no saying date night has to be on Friday. Why not meet up for an early 5:30 dinner — you’ll probably have an easier time getting a reservation than on Saturday evening.
If you’re single, you could get the Sunday blues if another weekend has passed without you meeting “the one.” Don’t stress about it — wanting a relationship too much can lead to settling for the wrong person. However, there’s no need to sit around feeling lonely. Why not get the gang together? Maybe not everyone in your circle can make it, but hopefully, you have one pal you can count on to catch a yoga class followed by tea at your favorite shop.
If you have a family, you have plenty to do to keep your mind off the Sunday blues. Help your kids write their schedule in their planner, assigning time estimates for each task and adjusting them later as they mark items off their to-do list. Throw yourself into food prep — include the littles in the fun — lining your freezer with grab-and-go breakfasts for the busy week ahead.
Have you considered bringing back Sunday dinner? If you’re a culinary whiz, why not make this evening an occasion for lingering over a leisurely meal? You might not have time to savor much of your weekday suppers as you race from homework help to soccer practice, but you can come together once a week to share conversation and enjoy each course.
Even if your family doesn’t eat dinner together every night, consider keeping Sunday night sacred. Dining together helps your children form a secure attachment, gain confidence and develop a healthy relationship with food. You also have most of the day to bake — and dessert has a way of bringing kids to the table.
If you have the Sunday blues, your go-to response might be to distract yourself from your unpleasant feelings. After all, there might be little you can do about your immediate circumstances if you live paycheck to paycheck and have to do your boss’s bidding if you hope to keep your family fed and housed.
However, you can take back the reins and develop your sense of agency by meditating on what you could do to improve your situation. It’s often impossible to look at your situation objectively when mired in emotion. Meditating helps you clear your mind, giving your brain space to develop new answers arising from the sacred silence.
Sitting quietly can initially seem scary, particularly if your default mode includes seeking distraction. Start with no more than two minutes, gradually increasing your time on the mat.
If you decide through meditation that you need to change jobs, outline your steps and take action. Begin by dusting off your resume and seeking networking opportunities.
You spend a significant amount of your time at work. Don’t dedicate your precious time off to ruminating about how much you dislike your circumstances. If your job leaves you a sobbing heap every Sunday night, it’s time to find a new position.
The reality of Monday morning can ruin the day before, leaving you feeling low for part of your weekend. Why devote your downtime to despair?
Instead, try the tricks above for coping with the Sunday blues. You’ll wring more joy out of each free moment and be ready to tackle the week ahead.