Do you suffer from the Sunday Scaries? Do the Monday Blues get you down?
My mood shifts, starting mid-afternoon on Sunday. My mind starts reminding my body that it is almost time to switch from weekend mode to working mom mode. Physical cues of this increased anxiety include an increased heart rate, a shortening of breath, irritability with my husband and kids, and marked restlessness.
For years, I’ve fought this feeling, attempting to distract myself from the anxiety by scrolling social media, flipping through magazines, and fussing at everyone around me. But recently I’ve decided to try a new approach: facing the fear head on, while reminding myself that the reality I’m facing isn’t actually much to be afraid of. I call my approach the Sunday Reset.
How I Respond
I start the Sunday Reset in the afternoon, while my littles are napping. During this time, I start taking mental stock of what lies ahead of me in the coming week. My husband and I usually compare weekly calendars during this time. I update my paper planner and add any iCalendar invites for my husband to make sure we are on the same page regarding school drop-offs and extracurricular transportation.
I’ve also started incorporating a creative aspect into Sundays, to provide something to look forward to — a new or more elaborate recipe. I love to cook and to try new things, but Monday-Friday is focused on efficiency. So something new and different allows me to stretch myself, and enjoy some uninterrupted time in the kitchen.
After dinner and getting everyone settled in bed, I tackle the task that is at the core of the dread – my work To-Do List. Taking a half hour to plan for the workweek ahead actually doesn’t’ overwhelm me as I feared it would. Instead, it allows me to clear my mind of the mental load that has built up over the previous days, which helps me to rest better and enter Monday morning feeling like I’ve already accomplished something.
And finally, my Sunday Reset closes out with some time reading and/or journaling. I alternate between the two, some weeks opting to zone out for a bit with a good fiction book. Other weeks I reflect on the previous week or two, noting challenges and “wins”, lessons learned and questions I’m working through. Both types of quiet are important, and I don’t have time for both each week, so I’ve decided that what works best for me is to alternate.
Sunday is (or can be) hard. Transitioning from weekend to workweek isn’t actually fun. But it is necessary. I’ve found a helpful “routine” (if you can call it that) that has helped me with that transition.
- Review personal/family calendar and make logistical plans.
- Do something fun/creative
- Plan for your work week
- Read or write or both
I hope you find some aspects of this process to be helpful as you work to combat your own Sunday Scaries. If you have any other tips or practices, I’d love to hear them.