Over the course of a Sunday, do you ever find yourself feeling increasingly anxious? Are you filled with dread about the prospect of another work week? You may be experiencing what is commonly referred to as “Sunday Scaries.” While the name “Sunday Scaries” may sound funny, the feelings associated with it are not. Though not officially a clinical term, it can have clinical implications–especially if it makes you feel consistently crummy.
So what can be done to combat these feelings of doom and anxiety?
1. Practice mindfulness.
When you notice uncomfortable emotions arise, try to approach them from a place of curiosity. What is this emotion? Where is this emotion coming from? How intense is it? Acknowledge what you’re feeling and make a note of any information it may provide you.
2. Practice self-compassion.
After identifying what you are feeling, try to treat yourself how you would treat a friend in a similar situation. Utilizing negative self-talk or engaging in unhealthy behaviors will only make a difficult situation that much worse. Treating ourselves with kindness can go a long way when it comes to coping with uncomfortable feelings.
3. Seek social connection.
Social connectedness is a significant protective factor for overall wellbeing. People who are more socially connected report higher levels of overall happiness, even in the face of day-to-day stressors.
4. Find small moments of joy throughout the week.
If the Monday through Friday grind is typically unbearable, try sprinkling in few minutes of something you enjoy. You probably don’t have a lot of time to do this, so start small. Go for a 10 minute walk after dinner, read a book for 15 minutes, or treat yourself to a special cup of coffee to start your Monday off right. Giving ourselves something to look forward to, even when it is small, can provide a small respite when it comes to enduring the daily life.
5. Consider reevaluating your schedule.
Are there activities that would be more bearable if they were completed at a different time during the week? Does planning out your week on Sunday feel daunting? We don’t always have a choice about what needs to be accomplished throughout the week or even on the weekend; however, changing when we complete an unwanted task may serve to make it more bearable.
6. Practice self-care and relaxation.
We can’t always control where our thoughts go or the emotions that are stirred within us; however, we can choose to treat ourselves well despite what we are experiencing in the moment. Choosing to actively relax our bodies by using deep breathing techniques, taking a hot bath or scheduling a massage can help with managing the intensity of Sunday dread.
While there may not be a specific cure for Sunday Scaries, there are things that we can do to lessen these uncomfortable feelings. By engaging in activities that promote overall well-being, we allow ourselves to become more resilient to stress, including the stress of the dreaded Sunday Scaries.
Amanda Parmley (’10, ’14) is a licensed clinical mental health counselor in North Carolina. Amanda owns her own private counseling practice located at Carolina Beach, NC where she regularly works with clients who experience depression, anxiety and trauma-related disorders.
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