What Are The “Sunday Scaries” And Four Tips to Combat Them If You Have Them

Jennifer McDowell
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The Sunday Scaries. No, it’s not the exasperated feeling you had as a kid when your mom made you wear stockings to church. It’s the term used for the anxiety that can set in every Sunday night at the thought of returning to the office, school, or work.

You’re not alone if you feel this way, in fact there’s an entire podcast dedicated to it, plus T-shirts and mugs stamped with the phrase to validate the issue. I think most people would agree that any weekend time spent in such a state is a tragedy that is almost Shakespearean. So, what should you do? Let’s break down a few ways to ensure you encounter Monday when it comes—and not a moment before!

1.  Take it easy on Saturday
After a Saturday of too much merrymaking, “Sunday Scaries” tend to creep up as the day is spent wasted on the couch regretting decisions from the day before and dreading Monday. Listen, no one wants to begrudge someone having a good time. Having fun is basically the point of the weekend! That being said several sources tie overindulgent weekends to the “Sunday Scaries”.

2.  Set goals and accentuate the positive
Additionally, according to PhD, Art Markman on Fast Company, he suggests three other ways to tackle these feelings that creep up at the end of the weekend: write it down, face it, and find your joy. In regards to writing it down, he says, “When you have a goal that you haven’t yet completed, information about that goal remains easy to think about, because your brain wants to help you complete that goal.” He goes on to say that the best way to handle this is to keep a written to-do list. That way, your mind will be free from the need to remind you of things that it’s worried you’ll forget.

To face your fears, he suggests making a pact with yourself to work only when you’re at work—and not at home. Stay off your phone and computer too, as it will help you gain the confidence that work won’t fall apart without you. Finding your joy can be done by focusing on the “beautiful, wonderful, desirable things you can accomplish at work.” This will likely surprise most of us, as work is usually associated with the negative, but we need to remember there are triumphs we can all be proud of—and they shouldn’t be disregarded or forgotten.

3.  Make Sunday fun and Monday special
Other tips and tricks include getting your weekly grocery shopping done on Friday rather than the weekend, purposely scheduling something fun on Sunday, and attempting to make Monday morning special on purpose. What’s something you really enjoy and love? Scheduling time to read with your first cup of coffee? What about a special breakfast on Monday mornings—your favorite perhaps? Get creative with it!

4.  Search for a new job
Also, don’t be quick to rule out this very important option: getting a different job. While there will always be ups and downs to any position, if you particularly loathe what you are doing, that’s not the Sunday Scaries—it’s the Sunday Horrors. Looking for new job is easy online, so check out what’s available when you have an extra moment. It could give you that fresh breath of excitement you’re looking for—even if you feel quite stuck at the moment. Remember, it’s always an option—you’re not destined to work somewhere indefinitely if you don’t want to.

In closing, we will always have moments where we groan about the responsibilities of the following day! That’s life! Hopefully, if you follow the helpful tips above, you’ll be on the fast track to enjoy both days of the weekend. Who knows? Maybe even Monday too!


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  • linda r.
    linda r.

    good tips


    Good thoughts, but sometimes it's easier said than done.

  • Matthew M.
    Matthew M.

    Good article Jennifer

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