Heard of the “Sunday Scaries?” That’s that sense of foreboding you get about dinner time on Sunday, when you realize you’ll have to head to work the next morning. It’s a clear sign you aren’t getting the right levels of satisfaction from your job.
Look, work is work. Few people look forward to Monday morning. But, in general, you should like your job. You should want to go there every day…it shouldn’t cause your stomach to tighten up every Sunday night.
There are a couple key causes for the Sunday Scaries. First, your job might create too much stress. If you suffer extraordinary anxiety over your workload, it can cause a minor form of PTSD. You end up dreading the start of a new work week.
Second, you might not be getting enough benefit from your downtime. Your weekends should help you relax and recharge. At the end of your days off, you should be ready for another week of work.
Here are a few things you can do when you get the Sunday Scaries:
Find the Joy
Now, you might groan every time you think of returning to work. But try to remember why you took the job in the first place. Something drew you to this particular position. Focus on those elements, rather than the stressful part.
If that fails, look for other positive aspects. Maybe you have a coworker you like spending time with. Maybe you have a vacation coming up. Concentrate on some positive aspect of your day-to-day routine, so that Monday doesn’t seem like such a daunting prospect.
Get a Hobby
Want to get your mind off of work over the weekend? Find a new hobby. The anxiety caused by work becomes more manageable if you have a stress reliever waiting at the end of the week.
Just as an example, the Mayo Clinic reports that exercise of almost any kind can cut stress levels. But even if you don’t want to hit the gym, you can find your Zen in any number of pastimes. Try out some new weekend activities and see if they can eliminate the Sunday Scaries.
Turn Off for the Weekend
The modern world makes it difficult to define a strict barrier between work and home. Just think about how our lives have been taken over by cell phones, email, and the expansion of the work-from-home concept (accelerated recently by the spread of COVID). All this has made it almost impossible to leave your job at the office door.
Try to rebuild the work/life separation. When the weekend comes, turn off the connection to your 9-to-5. Let coworkers know you’ll respond to their messages Monday morning. This added space will make the weekends your haven…and hopefully make that Sunday anxiety disappear.
Talk to Your Boss
Don’t suffer in silence. If you’ve reached the breaking point in terms of workplace stress, talk to your boss about the situation. There may be steps you can take to improve your conditions.
After all, your boss doesn’t want you dreading your workday. They get the most out of you when you’re happy and motivated. Small tweaks might be enough to fix the problem.
Look for a New Job
If you get nervous thinking about Monday morning, it’s possible you need a career change. A little stress at work is normal. Excessive anxiety can lead to an unhealthy situation.
Gauge just how bad the Sunday Scaries have become. Once it gets beyond a certain point, you should begin weighing your options. It might be time to seek out some new (less stressful) opportunities.
How do you begin that process? A strong staffing firm, like Recruiting In Motion, can help. They can steer you towards a position that will have you excited for Monday morning.