Why Sunday's Suck: How To Kick Sunday Night Anxiety

It’s that butterfly feeling, but not the good kind. Something deep inside is triggering my fight or flight response that I know to be anxiety. I’m uneasy, stressed and restless yet all I want to do is veg. This feeling has been building through the day, as it often tends to do because today is Sunday. What I’m experiencing is not unique... this is Sunday night anxiety.

It’s a very real thing and I bet you’ve felt it too. You’ve probably heard of the Sunday blues, but for me I refer to it as Sunday night anxiety. It’s that feeling of melancholy, stress or anxiety that creeps in on a Sunday afternoon. Typically, it’s triggered by the sadness of an exciting weekend over, the reality of a workweek on the horizon and a to-do list that seems overwhelming. Sunday is still the weekend but when Sunday night anxiety settles in, my weekend comes to an abrupt end. But not always… Here’s how I fight it and you can too.

Distraction

This is my number one, go-to remedy. How many of us do nothing on Sunday night? Sure it’s good to chill before the week but if you are feeling that SNA, you need to do something about it. I now have a tradition to have dinner with my family on Sunday nights, tonight excluded for the purpose of this article. Being around loved ones always cheers me up, plus having something to look forward to through the day overrides the often unnecessary and unfounded stress that is SNA. So book that dinner plan, go to a movie you’ve been dying to see, call your best friend, just do something that makes you happy.   

Rearrange Your Weekend

Sundays are often used as a chore day, finishing up mundane tasks and prepping for the week ahead. Not fun, right? What about doing this on Saturday instead? Before you even launch into the heart of the weekend, get those minor stresses out of the way so you don’t have to think about them again. And like I said above, plan something to look forward to for the end of the weekend.  Sundays are the new Saturdays!

Get Active

One of the things Healthy is Hot has taught me is that you will never feel worse for going to gym. You’ll not only be distracted, you’ll also get that sweaty high that only an increased heart rate can provide. So why not have a good sleep in Sunday morning and workout in the afternoon/evening when you feel the stress settling in? If motivation late day Sunday is an issue (I get it), sign up for a fitness class so you are accountable for showing up. Another idea: join a social sport team that plays on Sundays. Meeting new people while being active is never a bad thing and I bet they’re in the same boat as you!

Reflection

Not originally on my list, but writing about how I feel is actually helping as we speak. Reflecting on our emotions and challenging the logic (or lack thereof behind it) can be SO beneficial.

Try this:

-Write down how you feel
-Rate the strength of these feeling on a scale of 1-10
-Is there any evidence that supports these feelings?

-What are some alternative thoughts?

-Rate the strength of your feelings again.  I bet it’s a bit lower.

Furthermore, reflect on the positives you have coming up in the week, write down a list of everything you’re looking forward to!

These methods to combat Sunday night anxiety help me, but before I leave you, I should also point out that accepting the feeling is important too, because at the end of the day it’s just a feeling. It can be overwhelming yes, but we know it’s not based in much logic, you’re not the only one feeling it, you’ve made it through Monday before and there’s always another weekend in the not-so-distant future.