‘Make things easy and be super kind to yourself’: Local therapist helps you beat the Sunday Scaries

You or someone you know gets it…the ‘Sunday Scaries’. In fact more than one in three working professionals experience the nagging feelings of nervousness and anxiety as the weekend winds down and a new work week approaches, according to a LinkedIn study. While you can’t completely erase those feelings, a local therapist says there are ways we can calm ourselves, while preparing to take on our busy schedules.

“The mornings are insanity,” said Meghan Block as she made her children’s sandwiches for the week.

Meghan Block is a business owner, a wife, and mom of three. Her planning for the week ahead---often starts before the current week is over.

“Most of the times I’m closing out my laptop, I’m starting to think about, okay, what are the things I didn’t accomplish this week that I have to roll over to next week?” said Block. “And then we’re pedal to the metal all weekend with sports and other kinds of kid activities.”

To calm her anxiety, a little bit of time on Sundays are reserved for prepping to do it all over again—from making school lunches, to writing out scheduled activities and appointments on the calendar. Despite that—Meghan always knows there could be a wrench thrown in her plans.

“But I still go to bed on Sunday night and I’m like, hopefully this works out like, you know, the best laid plans,” said Block. “It’s all written down. Will it actually be stress-free? Probably not.”

Therapist Kaitlynn Norwood believes as a society, we’ve gotten more anxious, especially after COVID. She says the anticipatory worry or stress we tend to feel on Sundays can happen on all levels---even if we love our jobs.

“Give yourself that break on the weekend, because I think it’s one of those things that ties into even more dread,” said therapist Kaitlynn Norwood. “On a Monday, you’re like, I didn’t give myself enough time to unplug from the thing that I’m going to be like jumping back into for 40 plus hours a week.”

Kaitlynn says to avoid robbing ourselves of that much-valued time with family and friends on weekends, there are things we can do to mitigate the ‘Sunday Scaries’. First, she says you have to calm your nervous system down—and a quick, deep breathing exercise can help.

“It’s taking an inhale for four counts, holding it at the top for four counts, exhaling four counts, holding at the bottom for four counts,” said Norwood.

After that, she says it’s time to work on your mindset and notice where you feel anxiety in your body.

Write it all down—what’s stressing you, what needs to get done, and delegate it on certain days.

Do one small thing to positively influence your environment—for example, set a timer for five minutes and clean an area of your house.

Finally, treat yourself to make an easier transition from a fun-filled weekend to the work-week grind—like stopping at your favorite coffee shop Monday morning.

“Make things easy and be super kind to yourself,” said Norwood.

Being flexible is also important. Kaitlynn says don’t beat yourself up over things you didn’t get done, and instead focus on when they can get accomplished. Most importantly, get enough sleep. When you are well rested, your nervous system is well-rested.

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