We’ve all experienced it. The expectant joy of a Friday afternoon. The absolute freedom of a Saturday to yourself. And then, Sunday. It starts off alright. A little weekend lie-in, a few light chores. But as the afternoon drags on, the Sunday Blues creep in. Your anxiety grows, as Monday looms large. And then, the official signal of the end of the weekend: The dreaded Carte Blanche theme music. The week-end death knell. Yip, you’ve got the Carte Blanche blues!
If you’ve felt overwhelmed by dread and despair on a Sunday evening, you’re not alone. A 2015 survey by Monster.com found that 62% of global respondents who suffered from Sunday blues experienced them as “really bad”. In the US, that number leapt to 76%.
But why do the Sunday Blues strike so many, so often? According to Steven Meyers, a clinical psychologist and professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago, the Sunday Blues are a form of anticipatory anxiety – a feeling of fear or dread about a situation that has yet to occur.
As the weekend winds down, your thoughts turn to the stresses and responsibilities of the week ahead. But the brain doesn’t always work in a linear fashion – so you don’t just worry about Monday. Instead, your brain considers every worst case scenario, every potential disaster, and every task that needs to be crammed in five 40-hour work days. The result, of course, is a sense that the week ahead is too much to handle – and your stress levels spike.
But you don’t have to be a slave to the Sunday Blues. Just a few small lifestyle changes can give those Blues the boot – and give you back your Sunday evenings.
- Make Sunday plans
If most of your Sundays are spent vegging on the couch, try planning some active Sunday relaxation. Not only will you end the weekend on a high – you’ll keep your brain busy, and help stave off those anxious thought. “Feelings of anxiety and depression are most common when the person is not particularly busy”, says Meyers. So an evening of distraction might be just what you need to keep the Sunday Blues at Bay.
- Start your Monday on Friday
Cross off all the items on your to-do list before you leave the office on a Friday afternoon. While it might be tempting to leave a few loose ends hanging, particularly with the siren song of Friday freedom calling, it’s worth staying for a few more minutes, and clearing your desk. You’ll be able to start your Monday with a clean slate, and avoid a weekend of niggling guilt about the things you should have taken care of. In addition, make it a habit to spend a few minutes on a Friday afternoon sketching out a plan for the following week. When you leave the office with a plan, you’ll have fewer fears about the week to come.
- Treat Yourself
Take the sting out of Mondays by giving yourself something to look forward to. Whether it’s an after work manicure, a lunch date with a friend, or date night with your partner, have a positive experience on the horizon can help you counter the negative anticipatory anxiety of the week to come.
- Identify your anxiety triggers
When the void of despair starts calling, take a moment to identify what it is, exactly, that is making you anxious. Once you know what’s making you anxious, you can start working towards addressing the source. Are you worried about a particular co-worker? Afraid that a presentation won’t go well? Scared that you’ve got too much on your plate? Work through your anxieties proactively – and if you find yourself overwhelmed by negative self-talk, actively counter with positive affirmations of your strengths, rather than dwelling on your weaknesses.
Or, more simply put, we believe that you should be looking forward to Mondays! If you’re really dreading heading into the office, it’s probably time for a change. Why not send us your CV or check out the great Top Jobs we have available.