It’s Sunday afternoon and you’re overcome with something unsettling as the weekend draws to an end. An anxiety-inducing feeling known as ‘Sunday Blues’ sets in as you dread Monday and the week ahead. Your mood shifts and your stomach becomes tied in knots as you contemplate whether or not you can handle another week in that same environment. Sunday blues is best described as that feeling “when you haven’t gone to sleep yet and already can’t wait to come home from work tomorrow.” That’s when you know you’re in the deep end.

Are you familiar with this unpleasant feeling? Unfortunately, I’m all too familiar with Sunday blues and have certainly felt overwhelmed by this dreadful feeling at various times in my life. The reality is that Sunday blues is something most people whether you’re a student or work a traditional 9-5 job will succumb to at one point or another. I’m here to share with you some strategies on how to overcome it or at the very least lessen the impact of this feeling.

1. Get to the Root of the Feeling

None of these tips will be effective if you don’t take the time to understand where the feeling stems from. It’s important to recognise whether the catalyst of this feeling is in the nature of the job itself or from the sheer amount of workload that awaits you. Perhaps the root of the problem rests in your school/uni environment or in the unpleasant interactions with colleagues, acquaintances, and people in general that you’ll feel socially pressured into in the upcoming week. Understanding the catalyst is essentially what will help you distinguish if this feeling is in fact a symptom of a larger problem. 

Experiencing Sunday blues made me realize that my work-life balance was completely out of whack. Instead of enjoying my free time on the weekend, my thoughts would be engulfed with the remaining tasks left unchecked on my to-do list which will surely transfer to the week ahead. It also made me realize I wasn’t compatible with my work environment. Experiencing this feeling and watching it gradually get worse with time gave me the confidence to follow my instinct and chose a different path. Fortunately, this new path has been fulfilling and my Sunday blues have since become a thing of the past.

2. Increase your Productivity on Friday Afternoon

With the weekend approaching, it’s easy to slack off on Friday afternoons, however, this is in fact the best time to prepare for the upcoming work-week. Finishing off any final tasks on your to-do list and organizing your tasks for the following week will help you feel less stressed over the weekend. You’ll be able to finish off the work week with more clarity of your accomplishments, have a plan ready for next week’s tasks, and most importantly start Monday with peace of mind.

3. Complete your Personal Chores and Errands Early

Get into the routine of completing your household chores on Saturday mornings or even Friday afternoons if you have any energy left. This will free up your weekend even more and give you enough time to spend with your loved ones. Don’t leave the cleaning, the laundry, grocery shopping, or any of those tasks to Sunday. Trust me, doing so will heighten the stress, reinforce Sunday blues and leave you complaining about the loss of time.

4. Aim for a Stress-free Sunday

To maximize the weekend, Sundays should be preserved for your own enjoyment and relaxation. Even the most extroverted, thrill-seeking people need time to themselves sometimes. After work, most people get into a mundane routine of coming home and spending more time on screen causing them to become emotionally subdued throughout the work week. It’s so important to designate proper time for the things that bring you joy, like going for a run, reading a book, watching the sunset at the beach, etc. Whatever helps you unwind and release the stress, do more of that, especially on Sundays. 

5. Re-think the Value of a Traditional Work-Week

This may be a bit of an unconventional tip but really take the time to think about whether a traditional 9-5 job suits the kind of lifestyle you desire. Perhaps a different work schedule will bring you more fulfillment. Working 5 out of the 7 days of the week can feel like you’re stuck in a rat race where you exchange time you’ll never get back for some money. Most people desire to work on their own terms so making little adjustments early on can help you escape the rat race and in the meantime make your job more fulfilling.

I decided very early on in my career that no matter how much I love my job, I will not go back to full-time employment. Some people choose a traditional 5 day work week just because it’s the norm; Especially as a uni graduate, it’s something that’s naturally expected of you when you enter the workforce. There’s this rhetoric that young people who choose a less demanding work schedule are lazy, not hardworking, or not ambitious enough. But contrast to that, a four-day workweek gives me the balance I need to thrive in all areas of life. Finding a well-paid part-time job that aligns with my career goals has felt more like a blessing than a sacrifice. It has given me more time to invest in myself and learn new skills. Also having Mondays off from work has meant that I now spend my time outside of work completely stress-free which in turn increases my productivity for the remainder of the week.

Ultimately, I choose not to trade my own well-being and happiness for a few dollars earned from an extra day of work. If you have the opportunity to make a choice about your environment and work schedule, invite more calmness into your life. Eliminate that lingering Sunday blues feeling by utilizing any of these tips. 

The Conscious Nomad

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