Back in my city days, the week was split into quadrants. Monday to Thursday the pressure cooker, Friday the release valve. Saturday was some sort of recovery time (of sorts), but why the Sunday blues, especially evening time, right after Top Gear, which was a running thing? On paper, you sell your soul Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday are yours, and the evenings are thrown in for free. In reality, depending on the role, it’s not quite like that, if you are lucky the stroll home on Friday is yours. How did we ever let it get to this, and is it reversible?
What are the Sunday blues and what causes them?
Sunday blues, like other forms of anxiety that are triggered by an event or situation, is brought on when we begin to take on board the looming spectre of the work week ahead. The effects of these thoughts can be overwhelming, and over time can have a destabilising effect on our mental health.
Another factor that can contribute to Sunday blues is the sense of isolation that often accompanies the end of the weekend cycle. Especially If you have spent the weekend socialising with friends and family, it can be difficult to transition back to a more solitary routine that is not so much filled with the same level of free abandonment. You may have spent your free time engaging with others who appear on the outside quite devoid of stress and worry, which can also have a destabilising effect on your own thinking, for example ‘Am I in the wrong job’.
Effects of Sunday Evening Anxiety
The effects of the Sunday blues can be far-reaching and can impact many areas of your life. Some common symptoms include:
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Increased irritability or moodiness
- Physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, or stomach problems
- Decreased productivity and motivation
- More inclined to job jump, affect career progression
- lead to other forms of mental health issues such as depression
Can Therapy Help cope with the Sunday Blues?
Fortunately, there are many different strategies you can use to manage Sunday blue symptoms. If you feel something has resonated with this blog post, and you wish to pursue some therapy to work on this domain or any other domain that is worrying you, we would be happy to hear your story. Please get in touch.
Sunday blues can be a difficult and overwhelming experience, but it’s important to remember that it’s a common experience that many people share. By practising good self-care, staying connected with others, and planning ahead, you can reduce your anxiety and feel more prepared for the week ahead. Remember to be kind to yourself and take things one day at a time.
Practical Tips to Alleviate Sunday Blues
1. Establish a Weekend Routine:
By setting a regular weekend routine, you create a sense of predictability that can counteract the uncertainty and anxiety of the week ahead. This could include regular weekend activities like hiking, attending a fitness class, or even simple rituals like reading a book or cooking a special meal.
2. Set Aside Time for Relaxation:
Plan at least one relaxation activity for your Sunday. This could be anything from taking a long bath, practising meditation, doing yoga, or simply listening to calming music.
3. Prepare for Monday:
To alleviate the dread of Monday mornings, set aside some time on Sunday evening to plan and prepare for the week ahead. This can be as simple as laying out your clothes for the next day, preparing meals in advance, or creating a to-do list for the week.
4. Limit Exposure to Screens:
The blue light from screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep. Try reducing screen time at least an hour before bedtime to improve sleep quality.
5. Practice Gratitude:
Spend some time reflecting on the positive aspects of your life. Consider keeping a gratitude journal where you jot down three things you’re thankful for each evening.
6. Seek Social Support:
Talking to a friend or family member about your feelings can be therapeutic. Surrounding yourself with supportive individuals can make a world of difference.
7. Engage in Cognitive Behavioral Techniques:
As a Cognitive Behavioral Hypnotherapist, I’d recommend identifying and challenging any negative thoughts associated with the upcoming week. Consider what evidence supports or refutes these thoughts and practice re-framing them into more positive or neutral statements.
8. Grounding Exercises:
If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, grounding exercises can help bring you back to the present moment. Techniques such as the “5-4-3-2-1” method, where you identify five things you can see, four you can touch, three you can hear, two you can smell, and one you can taste, can be particularly effective.
9. Consider Professional Help:
If your Sunday blues are particularly severe or persistent, consider seeking professional therapy. A therapist can provide personalized strategies and coping mechanisms to help you navigate and overcome these feelings.
Raypole, C. (2020, May 17). Meet anticipatory anxiety, the reason you worry about things that haven’t happened yet. Healthline.
Raypole, C. (2020, August 25). Sunday scaries are real – here’s how to cope. Healthline.