You’ve heard the term, and like roughly 76% of other Americans (according to this study from Monster.com) you’ve probably experienced the phenomenon at some point in your life. It’s the “Sunday Blues,” and just as the name implies, they are not very fun.
Usually starting sometime in the afternoon on Sunday, the “Sunday Blues” drain the joy from our day and take over the remaining hours of our already-too-short weekend. We begin to feel moody, tired, and stressed out long before the work-week even begins. The long sighs and not-so-subtle complaints begin and we allow ourselves to be completely consumed with the fact that we must say goodbye to our free time and start another five-day stress-fest at the office.
So, short from quitting our job and moving to the coast to become a professional beach bum, is there anything we can do to prevent or at least lessen the blow of the Sunday Blues? Here, we’ve listed some simple yet effective acts to help alleviate the Sunday Blues.
Prepare for the Following Work Week Before Leaving the Office on Friday
I know – the last thing you want to do on Friday before the weekend festivities commence is think about the week ahead; however, if you can manage to set aside a few minutes to prepare before heading off to Happy Hour, you’ll have less to stress about on Sunday afternoon. Make a to-do list, write down anything you didn’t complete by Friday afternoon so that you can pick back up on Monday morning, and plan out the tasks that need to be completed by the end of the following week. Having a predetermined plan to tackle all those daunting tasks will allow you to relax more on Sunday, rather than think about all the items you need to accomplish come Monday morning.
Disconnect (or at Least Limit Your Access)
You’ve heard it a hundred times: “Turn your phone off,” “don’t check your e-mails,” “leave your stress at work.” All of these are great suggestions, but are easier said than done. A good number of American workers are consumed by their careers, serving in positions that make it nearly impossible to simply “disconnect.”
If you are in a position that doesn’t require the constant checking of e-mails, don’t. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by reading through countless items that can wait until Monday. If you are not fortunate enough to ignore those never-ending ‘pings,’ then at least limit the time you spend on them. Allow yourself a small amount of time in the morning on Saturday and Sunday to ensure the sky isn’t falling and complete any critical tasks, then allow yourself to enjoy the remainder of the weekend knowing that whatever it is going on at the office will be there when you return come Monday morning.
Complete Chores on Saturday
One of the many items that stress us out come Sunday afternoon is thinking about what we are going to wear, what the kids are going to wear, how much laundry needs to be done, what meals we will be cooking, and so on and so forth. Why not complete chores and plan out meals and outfits on Saturday when weekend-mode first sets in and we are less likely to be consumed with the tasks at hand? By knocking out the required items on our weekend to-do list and planning out meals and outfits ahead of time, we free up our Sunday afternoons and feel more prepared for the week ahead.
Schedule Something Fun for Sunday Night
Now that you’ve completed all of your necessary chores on Saturday, you’ve freed up your Sunday for pretty much anything! Rather than sitting around the house dreading the week ahead, why not schedule dinner with friends or a date with your significant other? This article from RealSimple.com suggests that the more time you spend being active, the less time you have for work-week anxiety. So end your Sunday on a positive note and save the hard feelings for your alarm clock on Monday.
Unless you are 100% satisfied with your job and schedule, there’s a good chance that you’ll never fully eliminate the Sunday Blues from your weekend routine, but by practicing the acts above, you can significantly reduce the burden they have on your weekend. So, take your weekend back and limit your blues to the nine-to-five!