Last Updated on June 7, 2022
One of the least fun things about being an adult is dealing with the dreaded feeling of the Sunday Scaries. You know, the feeling that you can’t fully enjoy Sunday knowing that you’ll have to go back to work on Monday? It can be a daunting experience and take away the joy of enjoying your Sunday.
I for one want to savor my Sundays without having to think about work tasks I have to do for the upcoming week. But how do you get rid of that feeling without being a complete mess on Monday morning?
If all you can think about is work on your day off, I’m sharing 7 tips to help you make the most of Sunday to prepare for the week ahead. That way, the anticipation of Monday won’t take over your whole Sunday mood.
What are the Sunday Scaries?
If you work on Mondays as most of us do, your Sunday probably involves a nagging reminder in the back of your mind that you’ll have to deal with work the next day. This can be a daunting experience and makes Sunday feel like the least enjoyable day of the week.
That’s where the concept of the Sunday Scaries comes into play. Sunday Scaries can be defined as, “The feeling of dread knowing that Monday is going to be rough.”
Even though I’m self-employed, I still get the Sunday Scaries when I haven’t prepared myself for the week ahead. The thought of how many emails have accumulated over the weekend or the fact that I have to trudge through whatever I didn’t finish last week isn’t exactly a calming sentiment.
Though many of us deal with the Sunday Scaries, there are (luckily) ways to deal with them and make Sundays a little less overwhelming.
How to Deal with the Sunday Scaries
There are a few key things I do to get prepared for the week on a Sunday evening. I don’t always do these things perfectly, but when I do them, I notice that my week goes a lot smoother. Here are the things that help me prepare for the week ahead:
1. Find the Cause of the Scaries
If you often find yourself dreading Mondays and getting anxious on Sunday night, it’s important to dig into where that feeling is coming from. Awareness is the most important thing when it comes to making changes in your life.
Can you figure out why you’re getting hit with the Sunday Scaries? What are you anticipating? Is it inbox-related? A certain task? The feeling that you didn’t get to make the most of the weekend? I recommend grabbing a journal and writing down some thoughts and ideas that come up around this topic. From there, you can brainstorm ways to make things easier for yourself.
2. Plan Your Schedule for the Week
I have a recurring task in Asana that reminds me every Sunday of what I need to do to prepare for the week. Having this automatic reminder means that I don’t forget to do these things. It includes things like:
- review my calendar
- identify projects and tasks to work on
- plan my workouts and dinners
I take about 15-30 minutes to review my work projects and tasks for the week. I’ll plan when I’m going to work on each task and add this to my calendar. If I’m feeling brave, I’ll check my inbox to make sure I’m not hit by something on Monday morning.
I always write my to-do list the night before, so I’ll make sure I have a solid (and reasonable) plan for Monday. I recommend that you avoid cramming too much into your schedule on Mondays because it can make Mondays that much more daunting. It’s okay to do less if it means your to-do list is actually achievable.
Related: How To Plan Your Weekly Schedule For Success
3. Write a Brain Dump List
If there seems to be an infinite number of things to do for the upcoming week, I’ll write a brain dump list to get everything out of my head. Then I organize the list based on what’s important and what’s not. If you have trouble prioritizing your tasks, you can grab my free brain dump worksheet here.
Related Post: How To Declutter Your Mind With The Brain Dump Method
4. Plan Dinners
There’s nothing worse than getting off work at the end of the day and realizing you have no brain power left to figure out what to make for dinner. To help with that, I plan my dinners for the week ahead in Google Calendar. I try to build dinners around the different types of protein I have in the fridge (e.g. shrimp or veggie ground “meat”), and I’ll look up recipes based on those ingredients.
I’ll then add these as events in my calendar and paste the recipe link into the description of the event. This makes it super easy to find the recipe when it’s time to cook. From there, I’ll just slot the event into a day of the week that I think it’ll work best for. I only do this for 3-4 meals to keep some flexibility.
5. Plan Workouts
For planning workouts, I do the same process as above. Lately, I’ve been following Sydney Cummings’ workout videos on YouTube (they’re free and INCREDIBLY high-quality) which means I can follow them in order (Day 1, Day 2, etc). I’ll add these to my calendar as events, and then add the video link in the event description. That way, I don’t have to go searching for the video when it comes time to do the workout.
6. Clean & Organize
I’ll be the first to admit that I hate cleaning, but I also can’t stand working when there’s a mess around me. I’ll take about 45 minutes on Sunday to clean my apartment, do laundry, water my plants, and put things back where they belong if they’ve somehow migrated to a random spot. I put on a fun playlist and try to knock it out as quickly as I can.
Related: My Sunday Routine: How I Prep for the Week
7. Relax & Unwind
I try to let myself truly relax for the last few hours before bed. I’ll take a bath, watch a show (without the distraction of my phone), put on a face mask, and read a book.
Last year, I started going offline on Sundays, and I definitely think that’s helped me to start the new week on a good note. Getting away from social media for one whole day a week has done wonders for my mental state.
Related: Digital Detox: What I’ve Learned From Unplugging Once A Week
How do you deal with the Sunday Scaries?
I hope this post has given you some ideas to better deal with that dreaded Sunday feeling. When it comes down to it, preparation is the key to dealing with the Sunday Scaries.
If you want to take action now, try adding a Sunday reminder in your calendar with a few tasks that will help you feel prepared for the week ahead.
I love the addition of planning your dinners to this outline. Just last night I was too tired to figure out what to make so I ate cereal. I have tons of good food here I just couldn’t make one more decision!
Ahh I feel you so much on that. But sometimes cereal for dinner is the way to go 😂
This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I usually work my Sunday’s away doing things I can’t get to during the week and prepping for the next. I will use your tip of going offline and actually relaxing on Sunday nights. Thank you for this post (:
I’m so glad this came at the right time, Jayda!
I like planning my schedule for the week on a Saturday or Sunday. That way, I don’t feel overwhelmed about my tasks on a Monday morning. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for reading, Yuri!
I like the idea of renewing your mind on a Sunday. Doing so allows me to not worry about tomorrow and think about myself and my needs. I want to really make this a part of my Sunday schedule so that I can feel more at ease and look forward to tomorrow!
Love hearing that, Ehiosa!
Really like the blog… Thank you for sharing.
Thank you! x
For years I worked unfulfilling office jobs with no prospect that I really HATED and I suffered extreme Sunday blues that would just get worse and worse every week to the point they spilled over onto Saturday because I’d spend all Saturday dreading that the following day was “Sunday Blues” day!
It reached the point where the only time in the week I had any glimmer of hope or joy was Friday evening at 5pm immediately after clocking off from work.
That is no way to live your life! Thankfully now many years on I’m self employed and doing my own thing so it’s no longer an issue, but I do sometimes still have that slight twinge of Sunday blues on a Sunday evening sometimes even though Monday is no different / better / worse than any other day for me now, strange!
You’ve shared lots of really useful and practical tips shared here, here’s my thoughts…
I actually prefer to plan the next week on the previous Friday evening after work, that way it doesn’t feel like I’m “working” on a Sunday or having to even think about work on a Sunday.
I’ll also try to get the cleaning out the way on Saturday morning because doing chores on a Sunday really does feel like a chore and I want a full day of 100% relaxation.
Have you tried clearing up your to do list and chores etc BEFORE Sunday so you really can truly unwind on a Sunday and not think about anything? It’s a great feeling.
I actually think it would be AMAZING to get everything planned and ready for Sunday – definitely something I’d like to try out. Sometimes I think the tiredness of Friday can prevent me from doing it though haha.
Thanks for this great blog article, I could totally relate :p.
I myself very organized so, it shouldn’t be too hard to apply all of your tips. I’ll definitely try and give feedback :).
Have a good day,
Planning the Sunday is like a daily rutine, it’s another great day of the week. Best wishes to you sir.
It’s Sunday Morning! Be solid and fearless; don’t be scared or terrified, for the Lord your God is with you any place you go. Good day. Have a Great Sunday!
Also, try and finish your work by Saturday evening/pre-evening (those who attend school, high school, college, universities etc.)