I’m sure many people aren’t fans of Monday mornings. How about Sunday afternoons? Turns out those feelings of worry and anxiety through to overwhelm and dread that start mid to late afternoon on a Sunday are experienced by many people. Whether you call them Sunday Scaries, Sunday Syndrome, Sunday Sads or you haven’t given the gosh darned awful feeling a name, it exists.
It’s sometimes a little comforting to know that something you experience #isathing.
The New York Times describes as ‘…sometime past three o’clock. The weekend hourglass is spilling its treasure… unmistakably, there is company’. It’s an eloquent way of describing the roller coaster beauty and sadness of Friday arvo to Sunday (for those that have ‘weekends’). That ‘company’ is a sense of pre-anticipatory worry about the week ahead. This might be a sign that all is not well at work, but it is still experienced in those that love their jobs. If you have really busy weeks a negative feeling associated with the end of the weekend and downtime, and the start of the approaching week is common.
It’s when this meets the preparation for the week ahead that Sunday Syndrome often starts. Your trigger might be something else – working to identify it is a great method to address it.
For me – I love the weekend. My oft quoted phrase is “I haven’t had a bad one yet”:) And yet hit 5pm some Sunday’s and I’m running at full tilt getting ready for the week ahead: putting away shopping, cooking, cleaning, family time, juggling upcoming appointments, cases, meetings and deadlines. It’s hectic. All self inflicted – I’ve eeked out every available minute enjoying my time off – and then bam, responsibility comes on back with a vengeance.
My #52weeks goal this week was to embrace Sunday afternoon AND ENJOY IT!
My tips: Don’t procrastinate life admin. Don’t store it up until Sunday 5pm. Triage what *really* needs to be done v. what *should* be done. Actually abolish the word *should* – it’s got to be one of the most anxiety causing words out there. Channel your inner Yoda “Do or not do’. This dealing with procrastination extends past Sunday afternoon of course 🙂
Build in your own version of self-care. If that’s a warm bath and scented candles – knock yourself out. Right now, on Sunday afternoon I’d probably be too preoccupied thinking about cleaning the bath afterwards to enjoy it!
For me, a part of self care is not doing anything that feels like work. And leaning into it. Hell, immersing myself totally in it. This could be cooking, listening to music, podcast, webinar (learning is not working!), reading, board games, bike ride, kicking the footy around the park and lately, watercolour painting. Right now I’m trying to master painting monstera leaves … for a non creative, the struggle is real (!)but enjoyable.
Fun is an undersold panacea. Find fun.
Stop, pause, breathe. Slow, deep, steady breathing switches on that part of your nervous system that drives ‘rest and digest’. You can do this anywhere and it can be incredibly calming. Or, maybe incorporate a Sunday yin yoga session.
Support your nervous system over the weekend with nourishing foods rich in vitamin B’s, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, zinc, omega 3s. This might be a simply prepared greens, grain, healthy fats, salmon or tofu bowl on Sunday night.
Flower essences work well here! Bach Elm, Hornbeam, Impatiens, Wild Chestnut & Wild Oat makes a great mix. A Sunday blend might be the initiator to your self-care routine. Nervous system herbs are a wonderful adjuvant also. Starting with herbal teas such as chamomile, lemon verbena, tulsi, passionflower. Use loose leaf, chose organic, and brew these fairly strongly and sip on. You can cold brew these teas in a mason jar and serve over ice as a replacement for that other medium we often use for calm on Sunday: alcohol. A glass of wine with dinner might be great. But it may also not stay at one to two glasses, negatively impacting on sleep and contribute to fatigue. Not a great way to *start* the week on Monday morning.
Adrenal herbs are also useful at reducing anxiety – by either tincture or tableted formulations which also contain stress busting nutrients. This next level intervention is best addressed by seeing a Naturopath.
Talk therapy might be something you consider. At minimum, check in with friends and maybe give them a short call on Sunday. Invite people over for a very simple dinner, or ask them to bring a plate, meet in the park in late afternoon while we still have some summer sunshine. If you find you need more directed help in this area consult with a psychologist or counsellor.
Enjoy your Sunday. Love to hear what your Sunday Rx entails.
Photo by Rahul Pandit