For some people, Sunday night anxiety serves as the prelude to Monday morning blues. Make your whole week happier by learning to break the cycle.
Eighty percent of working people say they feel sad and anxious as the weekend draws to a close, according to a survey by Monster.com. Almost 50% said the feelings are severe.
Considering that Sunday and Monday represent about one-third of your week, that’s a lot of time you can reclaim with a positive approach.
Steps to Take on Friday
1. Complete outstanding tasks. Start the next week with a clean slate. Tie up all loose ends by finishing projects if possible. If you are in the middle of a major undertaking, pause at a stage where it will be easy to resume.
2. Write up a list. Outline what you need to accomplish the following week. You’ll be able to use your notes as a reminder when you get back. You’ll also feel more relaxed when you have a clear picture of what to expect.
3. Clear away clutter. It may be tempting to run out the door, but take a few minutes to tidy up. That way a clean desk will greet you on Monday morning. Buy desktop organizers that will keep documents you’re still using orderly and out of sight until they’re ready to be filed.
4. Make a clean break. Once you take care of your responsibilities, give yourself permission to focus on your personal life. Give your home and family your full attention.
5. Visualize your weekend. Picture the activities that restore your energies. In addition to the necessary errands and household repairs, schedule time for brunch with your best friend or a trip to the nearest ice skating rink with your children.
Steps to Take on Sunday
1. Go to bed early. A full night’s sleep will make it easier to rise on Monday. You may even be able to get up an hour in advance so you feel less rushed.
2. Plan a special breakfast. Food helps to lift our spirits. Chop up a pineapple to add to your yogurt or stop off for a fancy coffee drink.
3. Lose yourself in something you love. Become absorbed in a favorite activity that seems to make the hours fly by. Play the piano or read to your children.
4. Help others. Reaching out to others is one of the most constructive ways to take our minds off our own worries. Visit an elderly neighbor. Volunteer at a local hospital.
Steps to Take Anytime
1. Face challenges head on. Reduce anxiety by confronting the underlying issue. Talk with your supervisor about setting realistic deadlines instead of letting the issue build up.
2. Exercise regularly. Physical activity is a great antidote for stress. Aim for a 30 minute workout most days of the week.
3. Rely on your support system. Turn to your family and friends for empathy and encouragement. Do the same for them.
4. Practice relaxation methods. Attend yoga classes, listen to soft music, or take a warm bath. Find a quiet corner where you can sit and meditate.
5. Adjust your commute. Getting to the office may be a job in itself. If you must commute long distances, see if you can make the trip more pleasant by listening to an audiobook.
6. Evaluate your career. Stay fresh by reviewing your career path every 6 months. Ask yourself if your work is meaningful or if it’s time to change directions.
Look forward to calmer Sundays and brighter Mondays by getting weekend anxiety under control. You’ll enhance your leisure time and become more productive at work.