The only thing worse than dreading Monday is dreading Sunday night.
I remember back when I was trapped in a series of jobs I loathed, Sundays became a tear-fest — filled with emotions and fear that often just robbed me of any restoration I had planned.
While you may need to make some changes to get unleashed from a toxic career cycle, there are some things you can do to squash the Sunday blues...or at least make them less painful. Yes, self care is essential on the weekends. But we're talking about taking steps specifically to tackle the overwhelming cloud that can creep in during the final hours of the weekend.
1. Get a gut check
What exactly do you dread about the week ahead?
A difficult conversation? A meeting with your boss? An overwhelming project? Fear of failure?
Getting to the heart of what specifically is eating at you can help you reframe or just face what’s truly at play.
Once you can identify the source of your anxiety, take some time to process what it means to you. Is it a fear that’s based in truth? Or, is it based on an insecurity or lie? Is this even a problem you have control over? Will the problem get worse if you ignore it? If so, would it be better to address the issue now or later?
2. Write it down
Get out that journal or just grab a blank page. Do a brain dump or emotional vomit onto paper and don’t hold back. It doesn’t have to be long...but it may be if it’s really eating at you.
The act of writing it down does wonders on its own. It helps you process your feelings, and it’s also a good way to see what’s really going on in your head.
Feel overwhelmed by the blank page? Start with "What I dread most right now about the week ahead is..."
3. Make a plan (for what you can)
If your anxiety stems from an overwhelming list, get it out of your head and onto a list that, come Monday morning, you can organize, prioritize and even delegate. To-do lists, if not documented, can become suffocating to our brain and emotions.
If your anxiety is more fear based, create an action plan for how to get through that fear in the days ahead. This doesn’t have to be a long-term strategy (although it can be), but just something that will get you through the next few days.
4. Reach out
This may be through prayer — offering up what you wrote down and asking God for strength and guidance, If prayer isn't your thing, you may decide to share it with friends or your spouse to work through your fears. Either way, reach out. Get it out of the dark vacuum of your mind and bring it into the light.
5. RESTore your spirit
Sundays are perfect for giving your brain and spirit space to rebuild and restore. One of the best ways to do this is through activities that allow your brain to go into “autopilot” mode. Take a walk (phone off), fold the laundry, create something, tend to your garden — anything to allow your brain to do its thing. While your body may be active, you’re allowing your spirit to be still. It’s amazing what happens with a little space.
6. Practice Gratitude
A miserable work situation can cause us to focus only on what's broken in our lives. This not only makes us feel worse, it also prevents us from seeing the good. When you find yourself experiencing the Sunday Blues, take a moment to reflect on all that is good in your life — a child’s smile, a friend’s laugh or an act of service completed. Think about three things that you're grateful for at work, specifically. This doesn't necessarily negate your legitimate misery, but it can help add some hope to the week ahead.
7. Be Still
When you feel the Sunday Blues coming on, take a moment to be still. Take a deep breath and ask God what He would have you do. Then let go of the outcome and just be with Him. God may use this time to help you refocus your thoughts on what is important and bring clarity to the situation.
After some stillness, solutions or discernment will move in. Listen. You may find the Sunday Blues melt away as you prepare your heart for the week ahead.
What will you try this week?
The Sunday Blues are a real thing. They can be hard to handle, but they don't have to get the best of you. When you feel those blues creeping in, try these tips to help ease the pain and keep your mind focused on what matters most.
I would love to hear what worked for you. What do you do on those Sundays when the upcoming week feels heavy?
Chronic case of the blues?
If the blues have become your Sunday standard operating procedure, it may be time to rethink how you make a living and join the community that will help you break free from your misery.