Sunday Blues: How to stop dreading your week ahead
It’s an all too familiar feeling, the weekend is coming to an end, the Sunday Blues are creeping ever closer and thoughts of Monday morning won’t leave us in peace. It’s becoming quite a common phenomenon in our busy lifestyles as various thoughts and feelings stop us from enjoying our Sunday evenings with a clear head. And as the nights start to draw in, often those feelings of dread seem stronger and stronger.
Here are a few simple tips from RESCUE® that can be easily adapted to help ease you into Sunday evening feeling calm, relaxed and ready for the week ahead.
1. Make time for me-time
We know how easy it is to get stuck on a Sunday night worrying about the week ahead, but being non-stop all the time is only going to make that feeling worse. It’s important to take time to reset at the weekend so that you can seize the day feeling ready and energised. We’re not saying you should set aside an hour to head to the spa on a Sunday, as we know that’s more likely to be a dream than a reality, but try implementing short 5-minute rituals into your weekend so that you can find time for yourself and reset. For example, journal for 5 minutes on a Saturday morning, meditate for 5 minutes on a Sunday evening, spend 5 minutes doing your skincare routine, flick through a magazine for 5 minutes Saturday afternoon, spend 5 minutes extra eating breakfast Sunday morning – think of the little things you love to do and try to squeeze in an extra 5 minutes to do them, that’s all it takes!
2. Physical activity
We all know the benefits of exercise for both physical and mental health. It can help increase endorphins, reduce stress levels and help you feel more energised long term. But sometimes the obligation to exercise can add to the feeling of dread we’re already experiencing – even though we know it will help, we just can’t bring ourselves to do it. That’s why it’s so important to find something that you truly enjoy, so that it doesn’t feel like another task you have to do. If you can’t think of something you like, set yourself a challenge to try something new every week for four weeks. For example, in week one: yoga, week two: tennis, week three: jogging, week four: pilates. You could also implement physical activity through family time at the weekend – maybe head to a park and play some ball games or tag with the kids. The most important thing is to find something you enjoy that isn’t going to add to your stress.
3. Be prepared
If all the jobs for the coming week keep whirling around your head on a Sunday evening why not set up a new ritual on a Friday afternoon. At the end of the working day, make a priorities list for the next week and decide the top two tasks to be started on Monday morning. This will help you to stop worrying about the week ahead as you’ve already got your plan ready and be more productive. You can also apply this to jobs outside work such as grocery shopping, cleaning and sorting the washing.
4. Ask for help and engage with others
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with tasks to complete over the weekend, don’t be afraid to ask a partner or a friend to watch the children for an hour or two on Saturday, so that you can run your errands sooner rather than later. If you’re a meal prepper, you can also try getting the kids involved. Set up different work stations in the kitchen and allocate some tasks to your children – not only can this be a fun activity to do as a family, but it might make things quicker and speed up the process, so that you can still enjoy your Sunday evening.
5. Face your fears
Visualisation and journaling are great ways to help you understand what exactly it is that is making you dread your week and lead you a step closer to overcoming fear. If you’re feeling that dread creeping in, grab a pen and paper, close your eyes and spend a minute visualising your week. Think of the things that you need to get done. Is anyone expecting anything from you? Is there anything you weren’t able to finish last week? Which day of the week is the most hectic for you? Then spend a minute thinking about the positives of your week. Is there anything you’re looking forward to? Will you spend any time with friends or family? Do you have any delicious meals planned for the week? Once you’ve thoughts about those things, set a timer for 2 minutes and write down anything that comes to mind, both positive and negative. Repeat this process anytime you’re feeling worried about the week and hopefully you’ll start feeling a little more clarity and control over your stressed.
6. Connect with nature
Cabin fever is a real thing. When you’re busy or find yourself overwhelmed with deadlines and responsibilities, it can be so easy to forget to go outside, especially if you’ve been working from home. But getting some fresh air, natural light and spending some time in nature can help calm you and ground you. It’s easy to say you’ll go for a walk when you have time but often the reality is that if you don’t make time, it won’t happen. Ask yourself two questions: when is your favourite time of day and when is your busiest time of day? According to those answers, try to find a regular time that you can go on a walk every day or every other day, depending on your schedule. The more it becomes part of a routine, the more you’ll enjoy and look forward to it. If you don’t live close to nature and can’t implement a nature walk into your daily routine, then try to plan a family Sunday Funday trip to a park or the countryside. It’ll give you the chance to have fun together while enjoying the benefits of being outside.