Beat the Sunday Scaries

Everybody knows that Sunday afternoon feel: with the day half-wasted and gone, the hours dwindling as the promise of work looms overhead, the thought of another week hangs heavy in our heads and in our hearts. For a long time, I've lived with and accepted that feeling without second thought. My reasoning was, if I really hated life enough, I was in the wrong field, and if not, I could suck it up and deal with it. The problem is, life isn't black and white. I realized that I never really looked deep down and examined why the idea of the upcoming week was so terrifying to me, and I'm finding now that it's a lot more complicated than a simple desire to evade responsibilities. Relinquishing the hold Sunday afternoon has on you doesn't have to be solved by making huge life changes. We can combat Sunday scaries by taking a few small steps to organize our thoughts and regain control over our hectic schedules!

#1. Journaling

Part of what makes the prospect of the new week so overwhelming is the sheer volume of stuff--often we have meetings and deadlines and specific responsibilities, mashed in with all the things we hope to accomplish over the next five days. The jumble of different desires, plans, and responsibilities can form into a huge snowballing mass and inflate itself as a terrifying prospect in our heads, much like how our minds can turn night-time shadows into silhouettes of terrifying, but often imaginary, monsters.

I've turned to journaling, just the act of writing and tracking my tasks, to help me organize, schedule, and better control my life during the week. I'll take a cute journal and make three checkbox lists per month: One for deadlines/responsibilities, i.e. things I have to do, the second for goals I want to accomplish, and third for the top three things I want to avoid that week. This gives me clear goals and guidelines to help organize my life. Honestly, when life feels a bit more structured, this can ease the stress of the prospect of an upcoming week.

I've been really loving the journals of Rifle Paper Co, and am starting to do my journaling with some of their super cutesy notebooks! I also love Moleskine notebooks for note-taking. I have linked some affiliate links below to the sites I have mentioned. The first two products are products I own, along with some other cute things I'm thinking of getting in the future!

#2. Early to Rise, Early to Bed

Sleeping early on a Sunday is probably the best favor you can do for yourself before an upcoming week. That way you'll end up on well-rested and ready to take on the week. If that doesn't appeal to you, imagine the opposite: binging on TV shows and Facebook until 3 AM, being jarred awake by a 7 AM alarm and feeling like a zombie until 11:00 AM, and then again after lunch. It really puts you in a bad mood for the rest of your week, and I would not recommend it. However, I understand the inclination to while away the midnight hours on Sunday evenings--staying awake doing something I enjoy or indulging in a guilty pleasure almost seems a way to deny or escape from reality. The way I combat this is by planning something for myself to do early Sunday morning, whether it be a workout or an early breakfast, and force myself to wake up. That way, when it's time to retire, I'll be too tired to put up much of a fight.

#3. Focus on the positives

As with anything, working comes with its pros and cons, that much is unavoidable. When I find myself focusing only on the bad parts, it becomes very difficult to see the good aspects within them. That's nothing to do with the job itself, just my expectations, my biases, and my own attitude. It's important to remind yourself daily why you are doing this. I find writing them down and making a list can help, or allowing yourself throughout the day to take note of what part of your job makes you feel happy. If after a few weeks of field work, there's nothing, you may want to reconsider. But I bet you there's a reason that brought you there in the first place that just needs a little polishing to shine through.

If you take this too much to heart, it can sound like I'm telling you to just "be happy!" We all know that's not as simple as it sounds. But small doses of positivity, like telling yourself "I enjoyed that" after learning something new or experiencing a small moment that is valuable to you, can go a long way.

#5. Give yourself something to look forward to

I know it's technically not a good habit to continuously bribe yourself with treats... people say you should love life for life itself. However, I don't think there's much harm in allowing yourself a few small treats on a long day. For example, if my hardest day of the week is Wednesday, I'll let myself buy a coffee drink that day instead of mooching the free black coffee all around the hospitals. Or I'll visit the climbing gym after a particularly long day at work. It's a bright spot to help you keep your morale up!

#6. Go out and do something

Last but not least, if any of these tactics fail to beat the Sunday scaries, the last resort is always to distract yourself. Go somewhere, talk to somebody, make plans or do something interactive (movies don't always work) where you're engaged and immersed. It will distract you, and at least you won't feel anxious. Monday will come, infallibly, stressing out about it only hurts you twice. So you should indulge yourself in fun things, or tasks around the house that keep your mind off the future and help you focus on the now. I find that getting out of the house often helps, for me.

Photos by: Me
Dress: NastyGal
Heels: Zara (Not currently in stock, similar products linked below)