76% Of American Workers Say They Get Sunday Night Blues
Have you ever found yourself feeling sad that the weekend is about to end? Not just sad, but an almost overwhelming sense of existential dread. This feeling creeps up on you on the last day of the weekend, on Sunday, especially towards the evening.
You are sitting there in your house watching an episode of your favorite show, but inside your chest, you can’t seem to get rid of this uncomfortable sadness.
It feels like loneliness, like wistfulness, like regret. It’s a sort of sorrow, as if you are grieving for the dying weekend.
At the same time, it’s some sort of terror, since you are afraid of what is coming tomorrow morning – the alarm clock that will rouse you from your pleasant dreams and force you to crawl out of bed and start the new work week.
According to a poll conducted by Monster.com, 76% of Americans are familiar with this feeling – which is aptly referred to as Sunday night blues. Monster did a global poll, and they found that in the rest of the world, only 45% of respondents reported that they experience “really bad” Sunday night blues.
Are you a part of these statistics? Do you experience extreme Sunday night blues when your weekend is nearing its end?
If your answer to these questions is yes, we have compiled a list 6 things you can do to alleviate the Sunday night blues, but first, let’s learn more about the blues and what causes them.
WHAT EXACTLY IS SUNDAY NIGHT BLUES AND WHAT CAUSES IT?
Even if you have never heard of the word “Sunday night blues”, you are probably familiar with the feeling – particularly if you are employed.
On Sunday evenings, a sinking feeling settles in your stomach as you begin to realize that the end of the weekend is fast approaching. This is when you realize that you have just so many hours before Monday arrives. For a lot of people, it is a terrible feeling!
A lot of people loathe Mondays – many of us can relate with Garfield the Monday-hating cat! Crawling out of bed in the morning when the alarm wakes you up is always difficult, but especially so on Monday mornings.
It’s the first day of the week, and after a weekend of fun or relaxation, you are not so eager to get back to the office or the grind. That is when your pillow and bed sheets get especially cozy and warm. It takes an intense willpower to tear yourself away from this comfort.
This is the exact cause of Sunday night blues. The dread you feel when you realize that in so many hours you are going to have to force yourself to crawl out of bed and go to work, after spending the last two days relaxing and having fun.
Sunday night is the purgatory of every employed person’s week. It exists in that uncomfortable state of limbo where it is no longer a part of the weekend but it has not yet become a part of the work week. It is this lack of definition that makes it so disheartening.
At least on Monday mornings you are already in the work week. You shower, have breakfast and leave the house to go to work – before long, you have already settled into the rhythm of the new work week.
Sunday nights, however, are still part of the weekend. You are still in relaxation mode – but your awareness that the morning is so many hours away kills your ability to enjoy the moment.
Sunday nights give you the blues because in your mind, they register more as the beginning of something you aren’t looking forward to rather than the end of an enjoyable weekend.
Our minds focus more on the coming Monday morning than on the fact that we are still in the weekend. Instead of enjoying the moment (weekend), we start fretting about tomorrow (literally).
This is what causes the heavy feeling of dread that ruins most of your Sunday evenings, particularly if your weekend has been especially lengthy or enjoyable.
The Sunday night blues affect you more if you hate your job. If your job is a drudgery to you, it is natural that you will dread going back to the office/grind after having had two days of sweet reprieve.
However, everyone experiences the Sunday night blues, even people who love their jobs. Everyone enjoys a break. Moving from weekend mode to work mode is bound to give anyone a dreadful feeling, even if you love with what you do.
DIFFERENT WAYS TO AVOID SUNDAY NIGHT BLUES
The good news is that there are things you can actually do to get rid of or prevent the Sunday night blues. Below are six thing you can do to keep the Sunday night blues at bay:
1. Do The Fun Stuff On Sunday Instead Of Saturday
You could be experiencing Sunday night blues because of how you organize your activities during the weekend. Most people have fun Saturdays and then do all the boring chores on Sunday.
For instance, on Saturdays, you might go hiking, fishing, shopping with friends, go on dates, go on long rides with family, and so on. Then on Sunday, you stay home cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, catching up on some assignments that need to be turned in the next day, and so on.
Unfortunately, having such a dull Sunday reinforces the blues. One good trick to get rid of Sunday night blues is to do the fun stuff on Sunday and the chores – the boring stuff – on Saturday.
In fact, this changes everything. On Saturday, you will still be highly excited about the weekend, so you do your chores with a feeling of enjoyment.
Doing fun stuff on Sunday makes the day pass away in enjoyment, which helps you stay positive through the day. You don’t have time to dwell on the fact that the next day is Monday, since you are having so much fun.
If you have an active Sunday, you will be pretty tired in the evening and at night you will sleep early with a feeling of accomplishment – the feeling you get when you have had a good day.
Doing the fun stuff on Sunday is an attempt to make that feeling of accomplishment outweigh the Sunday night blues.
2. Organize Your Monday Schedule/Affairs In Advance
If your mind is filled with concerns about your tasks for the coming week, you are naturally going to feel a sense of dread about the coming week. The dread will heighten in sharpness on Sunday evenings as the clock ticks closer and closer to the end of the weekend.
That’s why you should always set your schedule for the coming week in in advance. Not necessarily your schedule for the whole week, but certainly it should be clear to you what you need to do on Monday, and if possible, you should do this on Friday before you leave the office.
If there are files you need to put in order, do so. If there are emails you want to write first thing in the morning when you show up to work on Monday, note them down.
The thing about planning for the future is that once you do it, you start to feel relaxed. That is exactly what you need to get rid of the blues – relaxation.
3. Don’t Be A Recluse
Isolation puts you in a wistful, introspective mood. The kind of mood that makes you muse on the passing of time.
Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of mood that will give you the blues, as you introspect on how fast the weekend has passed and reflect with regret that in so many hours you are going to have to contend with your alarm clock.
To beat Sunday night blues, avoid spending your Sundays in isolation. Find ways to connect with other people. Go out with your friends and have a good time. Go to church.
If you are not religious, go to the gym or attend a yoga session. Have a game of soccer with friends. Anything to keep you connected with other people.
It’s not enough to connect with people online – you are still isolated, even if it feels like you are surrounded by people! You need that one-on-one interaction, to see their smiles, and lose yourself in laughter and conversation.
You might even decide to try out volunteering. This ensures you are interacting with people while still doing something that is of use to others and therefore gives you a feeling of moral satisfaction.
This feeling of satisfaction will outweigh the feeling of regret about the passing weekend. You will go to sleep happy that you have had a good day and won’t care too much that tomorrow is Monday.
The Sunday blues are sometimes caused by dissatisfaction about how you have spent your weekend. You are reflecting on how much better you could have spent your time.
Reflecting on this naturally makes you feel as if you are wasting your time – and ultimately, your life.
This feeling is intensified if all you did on Sunday was stay at home and watch movies. You will naturally feel a sense of dread in the evening – the sadness of the weekend ending and you did not live it to the fullest.
This means that one way to beat the Sunday blues is to actually live your Sunday to the fullest. Go out and be with people, so that when night comes, you will be happy about how you spent your day.
One emotion will be driven out by another – the happiness and satisfaction of a well-spent day will outweigh the sadness of an ending weekend.
In addition, this primes your mind to crave that end-of-the-day satisfaction.
Since you have successfully demonstrated to yourself that the way to get that feeling is from living your day to the fullest, you are going to go into the work week with the same attitude.
In the work week, this will translate into a high level of productivity – the more productive you are, the better you will feel in the evening and the sounder you will sleep.
4. Avoid Passive Leisure On Sunday Evenings
What you do on Sunday evenings/nights determines the depth of your Sunday night blues. If you spend your Sunday evenings binge-watching your favorite shows, we can assure you that your blues will only intensify.
This may even interfere with your enjoyment of the show.
The same goes for most other passive leisure activities.
When you are just sitting back and being entertained, your mind easily starts to reflect on things – and of course one thing that will be heavily on your mind is the end of the weekend and the looming Monday morning!
If you want to beat the Sunday night blues, you have to keep your Sunday evenings active.
This gives you the sense that you are still using your weekend to the fullest. The weekend is not yet over, since you are actually doing something! This will help you feel the satisfaction of a day well spent that we have spoken about.
5. Create Boundaries
Create a boundary between your work and your free time. For a lot of us, the work week often encroaches on our weekends. We take our work home. Instead of spending the weekend doing things we enjoy and that add value to our lives and wellbeing, we remain busy handling work-related tasks.
Sometimes bosses are to blame for this. For instance, you might keep getting emails from your boss who expects you to work on something during the weekend. You can prevent this by keeping away from email during the weekend – unless the nature of your work cannot allow that.
Sometimes you work during weekends because you did not organize your time properly during the week and therefore didn’t get to complete certain tasks. As a result, you enjoy your weekend on Saturday, then spend your Sunday catching up with the tasks you did not complete.
With such a weekend, it is not surprising that you experience Sunday night blues. You spend you Sunday doing exactly what you do every other day of the week – working.
It makes you reflect on the passing of time – on the fact that years will come and go swiftly and one day you will be an old, retired person looking back on how you spent your life and realize that you didn’t really live! Nothing stings as much as the awareness of wasted time.
Wasted time has a life of its own, like a haunted house – it haunts us in those introspective moments and won’t allow your mind to be at ease. That is what the Sunday blues are trying to communicate to you if you are the type who is still working throughout your weekend.
To avoid this, you should learn to organize your work such that you will done with work by the end of the work week, leaving your weekend free for yourself.
If you absolutely have to carry work home over the weekend, it is more advisable to do this work on Saturday rather than on Sunday.
As we saw, Saturdays feel fresh because the weekend has just begun and you are still full of that feeling of energy and positivity that comes to you on Friday evening as you leave for the weekend.
Why not capitalize on those naturally high Saturday spirits to complete any work tasks you may have, and leave Sunday completely free for yourself? On Sunday, you can then indulge yourself and do thing that are enjoyable to you, which will lessen the likelihood of experiencing Sunday night blues.
Productivity and being great at your job are wonderful. However, do not forget that you have a life outside work. Use your evenings and weekends to develop yourself and to explore the parts of yourself that you don’t get to explore when you are at work.
Be creative, be spontaneous, be social, join a band, write poems, take an old car apart and fix it, go hiking, go for long drives just to enjoy the scenery. Restore the poetry into your life.
Spending the weekend doing things you love allows you to come back to work on Monday with a fully refreshed mind, ready to work with full focus and renewed vigor!
6. You Might Need To Change Your Career Or Job
As we said, everyone gets the Sunday night blues. However, the blues are more likely to affect people who loathe their jobs. If the thought of going to work on Monday fills you with horror and dread, it might be time for you to start looking for another job.
Everyone gets tired of their job now and then, but if you are constantly feeling tired or bored with your job, this could be a sign that this is not the job for you. Life is too short for you to waste it in a job you hate.
There are many reasons why someone might hate their job. What you need to do is to figure out what you hate about your job and come up with a plan on how you are going to fix it. However, as long as you remain in a job you hate, you are going to continue experiencing the blues every Sunday night.
That said, however, don’t be hasty to quit your job just because of Sunday night blues. Sometimes, you might not actually hate your job, but rather some element of your job. Maybe you feel that the work load is excessive.
Maybe you no longer find the work challenging. In such cases, before quitting, it might be better to have a discussion with your supervisor or manager and see what can be done to make your job more enjoyable and engaging.
Sometimes, all you need to start enjoying your job is to change your mindset.
Maybe you always thought you were going to be a painter or a baker, but then life’s circumstances drove you into a different line of work. Instead of quitting your job, why not do baking and painting during your weekends? You can use your weekends to explore the part of you that your job does not allow you to express.
This will allow you to develop a more positive attitude towards your job – since the job pays the bills after all, while your passion cannot or does not.
You can even start sharing your gift with the rest of your work colleagues – gift your boss with a painting on his birthday, or bring a cake to work for everyone to enjoy. This creates a beautiful connection between your work and your passion, and it affects how you look at your job.
Changing your mindset may also mean looking at the positives about your work. Consider the fact that you have a job and so many people do not.
Consider the amount of skill or knowledge you have acquired over time working at that job, the people you have met, and son on. In other words, try to fix your attitude about your job – the world tastes sour when you have a sour attitude!
Sometimes, the problem might not be your chosen career, but the organization you are working for. You might love what you do, but then something about your organization – such as a bad boss – makes the work unbearable. In such cases, you might want to consider looking for a new job elsewhere, or even starting your own company.
Other times, however, you might realize that you actually hate your career. If that is the case, it might be time for you to start thinking about a career change.
You should, however, never quit your job without an alternative. If you have decided that you are going to quit, come up with an exit plan beforehand. You want to quit and hit the ground running, not quit and then remain jobless for months because you did not have a plan.
Sunday night blues are a common occurrence, and they are mainly caused by a sense of dissatisfaction, either about your weekend or about your job.
The best way to keep the blues at bay, therefore, is to do things that give you satisfaction. If you hate your job, find a way to love what you do or find another job. Satisfaction may also come from filling your weekend with activities that you enjoy or that give you a sense of accomplishment.
You should consider Sunday night blues as feedback for your life. They are telling you that there is something about your life that you are dissatisfied about.
Is it your job? Is it how you spend your time during the weekend? Find the source of your dissatisfaction and fix it and Sunday night blues will become a thing of the past.
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