Five Sunday Scaries Tips to Protect Your Mental Health

Celia Zevon
Celia Zevon

From Monday to Friday, it’s easy for our minds to be consumed by work, school, and related obligations. While going through the motions during these five weekdays, we often have the freedom and excitement that the weekend brings in the back of our minds. How will I enjoy my weekend? Who will I spend time with? What am I most looking forward to? Our optimistic thoughts of the weekend cast a curtain over the reality of the week ahead. And then the weekend is here, and we feel relief. 

Well, until Sunday.

Sunday scaries are something we have all experienced at one point or another. That feeling of nervousness and dread that is often paired with headaches, a fast-paced heartbeat, and other unpleasant symptoms. 

As a college student, my Sunday scaries consisted of burnout from social interactions, fear of the upcoming week’s chaoticness, and both extreme fatigue and lack of motivation. Now, as a full-time employee, the Sunday scaries have changed a bit. I find myself feeling nostalgic for my weekend (even though I’m still in it) while also worrying that I am unprepared for the week ahead. 

If so many people experience Sunday scaries that it’s a viral concept, there has to be a solution, right? Well, in my opinion, the best tips for treating Sunday scaries vary from person to person. That’s the thing with mental health: nothing is one size fits all. For me, this means finding activities that inspire and give me energy. Here are five tips I’ve found helpful in combating the Sunday scaries:

  • Create a list of energy givers.

    For me, sunlight, being in nature, low maintenance physical activity, reading a thriller novel, and spending time with friends and family replenish my energy. Find what gives you energy, write it down in your notes app or a favorite journal, and work to incorporate it into your Sunday routine.

  • Channel your creative side.

    Embracing my creative side stimulates my brain in a way that allows me to fully focus on the task at hand while also experiencing joyful emotions. Some examples of creative activities you could experiment with include painting, redecorating, drawing, planning an imaginary trip, and journaling. Getting in touch with your creative side will support you in concentrating on the current project, rather than the week ahead.

  • Find your ideal calming techniques.

    Calm is a broad term. It has various levels and you can’t compare your definition of calm to others. Calm for you could be watching a comfort television show or movie, reading a book, baking some treats, going on a walk, meditating, or practicing yoga. Know what techniques support you and practice them when you anticipate that these anxious emotions will arise.

  • Reset your mindset.

    Often, these thoughts and fears about the week ahead can be worsened in the spiral that is our mind. Take some deep breaths and write a gratitude list of things you are grateful for and looking forward to. If you can’t think of anything, try and think of ways to incorporate activities that make you happy throughout your week. Maybe on Monday, you will have your favorite meal for dinner. On Wednesday you will see a close friend, and on Friday you will indulge in a curated, relaxing self-care routine of your dreams.

  • Fuel your body.

    It is important to not only care for ourselves mentally but also physically. So, when these emotions arise on Sundays, take care of your physical health by eating a meal, hydrating, engaging in movement, and getting a full 8-10 hours of sleep. Treating my body with this care supports me by soothing my anxieties and creating a feeling of accomplishment and joy for taking care of myself.

To anyone experiencing Sunday scaries, you are seen, heard, understood, and – most importantly – you are not alone. It’s not always easy, but just know that you will find your way toward a weekend without foreboding! These tips are a starting point for addressing the Sunday scaries; you can modify them as needed to fit you and your lifestyle. You are capable of redefining your Sundays and making Sunday scaries a moment of the past.