Beat the Sunday scaries: Expert tips for managing pre-workweek stress

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As the weekend winds down and Sunday evening approaches, many people experience a familiar sense of dread and anxiety. This phenomenon affects a significant portion of the workforce. In fact, a 2023 LinkedIn survey of 2,000 U.S. workers found 75% of respondents experienced these feelings.

“I usually have trouble sleeping on Sunday nights,” Maxine Resnick, a Brooklyn New York-based real estate agent, told NBC News. “I’m looking at the expanse of the week and will sometimes feel like there are so many things that need to get done — not just at work but with the kids and the house, that I have no idea how I will make it all happen.”

Understanding the causes of the Sunday scaries and taking proactive steps to address them is key to overcoming this anxiety, according to Fast Company. Common culprits include a heavy workload, challenging projects or a stressful daily commute. Once you pinpoint the source, you can develop targeted strategies to tackle the problem.

One effective strategy, as suggested by Fast Company, is to plan your Monday. By organizing tasks, scheduling breaks and planning something enjoyable after work, you can create a well-structured plan that provides a sense of control and alleviates feelings of being overwhelmed.

Another strategy is to practice self-care. Peggy Neu, president of the Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit public health program, suggests a Sunday night S.E.L.F. Care plan. Neu told NBC News this method consists of:

  • Serenity — a form of relaxation, like meditation or deep breathing
  • Exercise — anything from yoga to running
  • Love — expressing gratitude
  • Food — eating nutrient-rich foods high in vitamin B6, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol

Finally, if your Sunday scaries persist despite your best efforts, it might be time to consider a change, according to Fast Company. Reflect on your current job and assess whether it aligns with your values, goals and well-being. If not, explore new opportunities or discuss potential solutions with your supervisor.

Remember, the “M” word doesn’t have to be dreaded — with the right mindset and tools, you can learn to embrace Mondays and thrive professionally.