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Have you ever experienced a sense of dread or anxiety on Sunday evening that keeps you from enjoying the remainder of your weekend? If so, you may have experienced what is commonly referred to as “Sunday Scaries.”
According to the latest survey by the Sleep Foundation, 79.5% of adults have trouble falling asleep on Sundays compared to other days of the week, triggering the “Sunday Scaries.” Let’s explore the concept of the Sunday Scaries, the factors that contribute to it, and practical strategies for managing it.
What Are Sunday Scaries?
Sunday Scaries are feelings of worry, stress, and unease that arise as the weekend ends and the workweek looms ahead. This phenomenon is widespread among young professionals juggling multiple responsibilities and commitments, including work, family, and social obligations.
Dr. Alex Dimitriu, MD, explains what Sunday Scaries are: “Sunday scaries are essentially a form of performance anxiety, much like before a test or a presentation. Part of it is natural but can also be too much, leading to stress, insomnia, and a worsened night of sleep.”
According to the Sleep Foundation survey, every age group identified Sundays as the most challenging day to fall asleep. It was No. 1 among men (31.6%) and women (30.4%).
Causes of Sunday Scaries
Have you ever wondered what causes the uneasy feeling? The causes of Sunday Scaries can vary from person to person, but some common triggers contribute to this phenomenon.
Busy Work Week
One of the primary causes of Sunday Scaries is the anticipation of a busy work week ahead. This survey shows that 63.9% of people find next-day worries as a critical factor in their Sunday Scaries. Tackling a long to-do list, deadlines, and meetings can create stress and anxiety, leaving you feeling overwhelmed.
Lack of Work-Life Balance
Another cause of Sunday Scaries is a need for work-life balance. If you spend most of your weekends catching up on work or worrying about work-related matters, you may need more time to relax and recharge. This can lead to burnout, making it harder to face the week ahead.
Since Gen-Z and millennials have a significant contribution in the work-life environment, the survey reveals 33.9% of millennials ages 26-41 say they always or often have trouble falling asleep on Sundays, proving a generational difference in Sunday Scaries.
Poor Work Environment
In today’s diverse work culture, 55% of people link these worries to their employment. If you dread going to work, feeling anxious and stressed about the upcoming workweek is natural. A poor work environment or an unpleasant work culture can contribute to Sunday Scaries.
More than 2 in 5 people who experience the Sunday Scaries have anxiety that stems from trying to balance work and family. Personal or family commitments that need to be addressed during the workweek can add to the tension. The thought of juggling work and personal responsibilities can cause apprehension and unease.
By identifying the triggers that cause your Sunday Scaries, you can take proactive steps to address them.
How Can You Beat Sunday Scaries?
Do you suffer from the Sunday Scaries? If you experience a sense of worry or dread as the weekend ends, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to beat the Sunday Scaries and start your week off on the right foot.
While some people may try to make up for lost sleep on the weekends, studies have shown that this approach doesn’t fully counteract the effects of consistently getting insufficient sleep. That’s why it’s crucial to prioritize sleep every day of the week.
To make sleep a priority, it’s essential to establish healthy sleep habits. For this matter, maintain a consistent sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up simultaneously every day, even on weekends. By sticking to a compatible plan, you can help regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and improve the quality of your sleep.
It’s easy to get caught up in the demands of work, and we need to remember to take care of ourselves. However, neglecting our physical and emotional well-being can lead to stress, burnout, and even physical illness. That’s why prioritizing self-care is essential, especially when dealing with the Sunday Scaries.
This can include activities like exercise, spiritual exercises such as meditation and manifestation, or spending time with loved ones. Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being can help reduce anxiety and create a sense of calm.
Plan a Week Ahead
Another way to beat the Sunday Scaries is by creating a plan for the week ahead. This can help you feel more in control and prepared for the tasks ahead.
This involves taking some time on Sunday to review your planner and tasks and to make a to-do list for the upcoming days. By doing so, you can feel more in control and prepared for the jobs ahead, which can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
Enjoy Your Weekends
It’s also essential to take breaks and enjoy your weekends. Doing things you love, such as hobbies or spending time outdoors, can help you feel refreshed and energized for the week ahead.
Hobbies are an excellent way to take a break from work and do something purely for enjoyment. Whether it’s reading, painting, or playing an instrument, hobbies can help you relax and unwind while also providing a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Engaging in creative activities can also help reduce stress and anxiety by providing a healthy outlet for self-expression.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for overall well-being and happiness, and setting boundaries around work is a crucial component of achieving this balance. Establishing clear boundaries around your work life can reduce stress and anxiety and help you enjoy your time more fully.
One of the most effective ways to set boundaries around work is by avoiding checking work emails or taking work calls on weekends. While it may be tempting to stay connected to work all the time, doing so can lead to burnout and make it difficult to switch off and relax. By setting aside specific times for work-related tasks and avoiding work-related communication outside of those times, you can create a clear separation between work and personal time.
End The Sunday Scaries
Sunday Scaries can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can use to manage them. By caring for yourself, creating a plan, setting boundaries, and seeking support, you can shift the script on Sunday Scaries and start your week positively. So, embrace your inner superhero and conquer those Sunday Scaries like the champ that you are.