Banish the Sunday Scaries

Have you ever been sitting at home on a Sunday, with a growing feeling of dread for Monday? You are not alone.





The "Sunday Scaries" can come from just about everywhere or even be a combination of several factors. A toxic boss or workplace. Lack of planning or preparation. Procrastination.


That existential "Here we go again" that can ruin your remaining time off when you are supposed to be recharging. Starting the week feeling like you are at the bottom of the hill, having to push the boulder back to the top again is no way to live your life.


You should (mostly) bounce out of bed ready to face Monday. To be engaged in winning the day ahead. To be excited to be back in your groove, doing what you love, with people you enjoy, and putting energy into you, not depleting it.


I've been in that situation many times - let's start with the most obvious causes:

  1. Toxic work situation. Maybe your boss is a jerk. Maybe you have awful coworkers. Maybe your job is to get yelled at by angry customers. Maybe you just hate what you do (ugh, spreadsheets!) or are really bad at it. Maybe work follows you home every weekend - with after-hours calls, emails or texts from your boss. You never get to unplug.

  2. Lack of planning. Rolling out of the office to the "freedom" of the weekend without having a plan for Monday can be stress-inducing. Coming into the week with no idea what needs to get done can be a disaster.

  3. Procrastination. Maybe you have grand plans for getting things done over the weekend. From chores, errands, to social plans. And maybe you did none of the things you wanted or needed to get done. Feeling like you squandered your weekend can amp up the stress.

Guess what? All of those things are within your power to change.


Toxic job? Now is one of the best job markets in the past 50 years. Barring a new employer, root out what the stresses are and talk to your boss about making changes. Maybe you have been working too many hours, from home, since the pandemic started. Set boundaries. Let them know that you won't be checking emails after hours and on weekends.


Lack of planning? Build tools for yourself to make a clean exit on Fridays (I have a whole checklist I force myself to do). One of my more self-inflicted wounds was to book interviews with job seekers all afternoon on Fridays. It's also the time when everyone else returns calls and emails. So I'd either get stuck working late on a Friday dealing with a full in-box or tell myself I'd take care of it over the weekend. Most of the time I would not - and spend have of the following Monday playing catch up. I no longer schedule meetings on Fridays if I can help it. You can take charge of your calendar by blocking out big blocks of time to get things done. I find rolling into Monday with a plan waiting for me is a much better answer (and much less stress-inducing) than starting Monday with "What do I need to do today?"


Procrastination? I get it. The bigger the list of chores, the harder it is to get started sometimes. Not doing them can add exponential amounts of stress for many people. Procrastination is a tough beast to slay - and probably worth several blog posts on the topic. When it comes to weekend chores, my recommendation is to try to find what works for you, or find new solutions to old problems. I HATE going to the grocery store on the weekends. It's such a hassle. So I would avoid it, and start the week with an empty pantry, which increased my temptation to just order takeout, which killed my fitness goals and budget. Easy fix: order groceries online and pick them up on Friday afternoon. Meal prep on Sundays lets me not have to spend much brain power on what to eat for lunch or dinner. Another idea is to do small chores each evening during the week. Yardwork on Wednesday, do the laundry on Thursday, clean the house Friday. Then having the weekend to do whatever I want to do vs. what I have to do.


The best advice I can give you is to just not accept the Sunday Scaries as just a normal part of life. Are Monday's hard sometimes? Yes. Most people would rather not have to go to work if they didn't have to. But you CAN have a job you enjoy. You find work where you like what you do, are good at what you do, and who you do it with. Don't settle for less.


If you are ready to find out what better looks like, let us know how we can help.


Thanks for reading and let's go get it done!



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