Have you heard of the Sunday scaries? You may be experiencing them or some form of this phenomenon without even knowing it. According to a LinkedIn survey, 80% of professionals say they experience Sunday scaries.

Below we will talk about what the Sunday scaries are and what you can do to minimize the impact they have on your work week.

what are the sunday scaries?

The Sunday scaries (or sometimes referred to as the Sunday blues) are the feeling of anxiety or dread some workers feel on Sunday as the weekend is coming to an end. You know you have to go back to work on Monday, and you start to worry about the week ahead.

How these feelings manifest can vary from person to person. You could feel anxious, get nervous, and even experience physical symptoms such as an upset stomach, headache, racing heartbeat, and trouble sleeping.

According to a LinkedIn survey, “Professionals say worrying about your workload (60%), balancing your professional and personal to-do’s (44%), and thinking about the tasks you didn't finish last week (39%) as the top causes.”

If you have these feelings, you are not alone. It’s very common. 1 in 3 professionals say they have these feelings weekly. Having this feeling is normal and doesn’t mean you don’t like your job. Fortunately, there’s things you can do to limit the effect.

how to reduce the impact of the sunday scaries

There’s a lot of strategies you can use to reduce the occurrence and effect of the Sunday scaries. Here’s some techniques people commonly use:

1. plan ahead

Often anxiety stems from not knowing what’s ahead. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed with the idea of what you have to do on Monday, set aside some time in your Friday afternoons at work to plan for the next week. This way you will know what to expect at the beginning of the week. You eliminate the unknown.

2. disconnect on the weekend

Turn off work during the weekend and disconnect. This means no answering emails or working on ‘quick’ things. Try to be 100% present in your ‘off’ time. This allows you to rest your mind and come to work on Monday feeling more refreshed.

Man leaning on the kitchen counter top, looking at his phone.
Man leaning on the kitchen counter top, looking at his phone.

3. make to-do lists

This often-overlooked task has helped put your mind at ease.  Simply writing down the tasks you need to work on helps you mentally plan for the week ahead. Sometimes just knowing what needs to get done and prioritizing your list can make a big difference.

4. take a hard look at your schedule

Are you being realistic with your time, or are you overbooked? Having too much on your plate can be a source of anxiety and dread. Take an honest look at your schedule to make sure you are not trying to take on too much at once. 

Being ambitious is one thing, but you can also overwhelm yourself, which could have the opposite effect and hurt your productivity.

5. make sundays your day of rest

Use the day as an opportunity to schedule some self-care. For example, you could spend some time doing mediation, taking a bath, ordering take-out, watching your favourite show, enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend, etc. 

Spend some time doing things you enjoy. This helps you relax and rejuvenate before starting a new week.

6. make your monday a day that you enjoy working

How? Schedule work tasks that you look forward to on Monday. For example, it could be a video call with your team to catch up, recalibrate, and plan the week. To go further, here are 10 little ways you can be happier at work.

7. talk about it

Talk with other professionals about their experience with the Sunday scaries. You don’t have to deal with it alone. It's common. Talking with others about it can create a conversation about how to manage it. Plus, the simple act of addressing an issue that’s bothering you can help you overcome it.

The Sunday scaries are common. It happens to the best of us. But you don’t have to let it get you down and consume you. Use the tips above to minimize the impact and have a more productive work week.

However, if your Sunday blues persist, perhaps it's time to re-evaluate your career and think about getting a less toxic work environment or a job that works for you!