Battling the Sunday Scaries

Battling the Sunday Scaries

For many of us, Sunday afternoon is the time during when begin to mentally prepare for the week ahead. We think about the events we have planned, the meetings we have scheduled, and the tasks we need to complete before the end of the work week. Unfortunately, this act of preparation can often lead to a sense of nervousness, overwhelm, and dread… all before the work week even begins. Sound familiar? If so, you’re probably one of 76% of people in America (or 47% of the world) who suffer from the Sunday Scaries.

What are the Sunday Scaries?

The term “Sunday Scaries” isn’t scientific, but it is certainly acknowledged around the globe. What exactly does it mean?

The Sunday Scaries are most commonly known as the sense of anxiousness that builds up in anticipation of returning to work after the weekend.

This experience of dread can ruin an otherwise relaxing weekend, and it’s just a shame when it happens. Admittedly, I can get pretty overwhelmed on Sundays, especially if I know a busy week is ahead. Luckily, I’ve developed a few go-to coping techniques over the last few years. I want to share them with you so that you’ll be well-equipped to combat the Sunday Scaries the next time they creep into your weekend.

How I Combat the Sunday Scaries

Keep Busy

One of the simplest ways to combat the Sunday Scaries is to keep yourself busy. When you keep busy, you take your mind away from the thought of work by focusing on other tasks. Idle time leads to a busy mind, so if you find yourself feeling a little anxious, find a distraction.

For example, I like to save a lot of my chores and errands for Sundays. I find myself running around town and cleaning up the apartment, too busy to think about anything but the task at hand. If chores aren’t your thing, you could set aside the day to indulge in some of your hobbies. Doing something you love is the best way to keep your mind occupied and happy!

Get Moving

If you ever get jittery when you’re experiencing anxiety, finding movement could help calm your down. Movement helps release some of the unused energy that could be contributing to your restless state of mind. Exerting even a tiny bit of energy will help tire you out your muscles, putting your body and mind into a calmer state.

Another way you could find movement is by hitting the gym or going on a run. If that’s your cup of tea, go for it! Not only will you release negative energy, but you’ll get a great workout in, too!

Write It Out

When your mind is racing with thoughts about the upcoming week, grab a notebook and try writing it out. You could try a stream of consciousness technique (where you write all of your thoughts as they come to mind, with no editing) or you could make a bulleted list of specific things you’re worried about. Whatever your preferred journaling method may be, you’ll find that the simple act of expressing your thoughts to something (even an inanimate object) will help relieve some of your tension.

If you have a LOT to say (aka me), you could also try talking it out. I wouldn’t recommend talking to a co-worker about your work-related woes, as it could be seen as unprofessional. Instead, you could use the memo or voice recorder app on your phone. I do this all the time! Open up one of the apps, lay your heart on the table, and find yourself feeling so relieved afterward. Sometimes, all you need is to get a few things off your chest, even if that means talking to yourself. Trust me, it will leave you feeling lighter!

Be Grateful

Choosing to be grateful can put your situation into perspective. I learned this from reading You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. She discusses how making the choice to see positive, rather than negative, can help change your reality. Your thoughts create your reality, so if you have a negative attitude toward something, you’ll react accordingly. So, catch yourself and make a positive change to your mindset!

For example, instead of saying, “My job sucks,” you could say, “I am grateful for my job because it helps me pay for my lifestyle.” Or “I am grateful for my job because I’m learning valuable skills that will help me further my career in the future.” Or “I am grateful for my job because it makes me stronger by pushing my limits.”

You see? A simple switch of mindset could be all it takes to turn your day around. I’ve been making a conscious effort to correct my thinking anytime I find myself in a negative spiral. It’s honestly made such a difference already. I feel more positive and much happier, and I’d highly recommend you try this, too!

Stay Focused on the Present

When all else fails, remember that you are here right now. All you can control is the present moment. Why waste time worrying about things that haven’t yet happened, or projects that you can’t even work on right now? Instead, shift your focus to what you can control.

I hope these tips can help you find peace if you ever experience the Sunday Scaries! Remember that this experience is normal and you can overcome it. However, if you start to experience work-related anxiety in unhealthy or unmanagable ways (like panic attacks or physical ailments), it could be time to seek out a better fit. You deserve it.


  • Miranda A Dolson

    Lately I’ve been feeling this! Thank you for the great post, I’m excited to use some of these on Sunday! Especially the writing things out to get the week or of my head.

  • Maria Rice

    YES! I feel this so deeply! I used to get Sunday evening “depression,” and its a really draining mindset to feel “stuck” in! I’ve found that if I start my day off with exercise, it totally jump starts my mindset, not only for the day, but for the whole week! I really love reading your blog! Keep it up!

    • Exercising is an excellent way to jump start your day! Great idea.