· By PYM STORE
7 mental hygiene practices to help you get rid of Sunday Scaries
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Spooky season is upon us, but chances are good you have a ghost that haunts you not just when the leaves turn, but year-round.
And that ghost is the Sunday Scaries.
The Sunday Scaries can hit when dreading Monday work hours leading to more stress, anxiety and taking an overall toll on our mental health. Forming good habits can help beat the Sunday blues and establish a healthy work life balance.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to a LinkedIn survey, 80% of Americans get the Sunday Scaries. Clearly, this ghost haunts many of us, but guess what? It doesn’t have to haunt you anymore.
We are here to help you find ways to put those spooky vibes to rest so that you can enjoy your Sunday for the peaceful, restful, and regenerative day it should be.
And it all starts with your mental hygiene. Read on to learn what mental hygiene rituals you can implement today to put those Sunday Scaries in the past.
How to get rid of Sunday Scaries
New to the term “Sunday Scaries”? We’ve got you.
Sunday Scaries are the dreadful feelings of anxiety that come up on Sundays when you realize that Monday is almost here and that means back to work.
In short: they look like a goodbye to the weekend full of fun and relaxation, and a hello to a hectic workweek.
The same LinkedIn survey from above found that the Sunday Scaries are caused primarily by:
- Worries about workload (60%)
- Work-life balance (44%)
- Tasks left unfinished from last week (39%)
Don’t feel hopeless, because you can beat the Sunday Scaries and instead enjoy this day.
Sunday Scaries stem from worries about the past (i.e. “I didn’t get anything productive done this weekend,” “I stayed up too late,” “I drank too much,” “I wasn’t invited to that party,” etc.) as well as concerns about the future (i.e. “I have so much work to do this week,” “my calendar is so full,” “I’m really dreading that meeting,” “I really want to cancel those plans”).
Read: Sunday Scaries have you living in the past or the future rather than the present. Oftentimes, these worrisome thoughts creep up while sitting on our couch at home on a Sunday night. But, when you live in the present, you can see how wonderful it is that you’re at home on your couch relaxing. What a luxury!
So, appreciate this time of relaxation rather than spending it living in any other time but now.
A great tool to help you tap more into the present moment is meditation. Thoughts of the past and the future will inevitably pop up when you meditate, especially if you’re new to meditation. But, by being present in your meditations, you will notice those past and future thoughts and then let them go.
Here’s what to do with those thoughts:
- Give them a moment or two of recognition
- Realize they’re not serving you because the past and the future are out of your control
- Let them go
This will take practice. That’s why meditation is referred to as a “practice.” The more you do it, the better you will be at it. But don’t beat yourself up if you struggle at the beginning. Start with just 5 minutes of meditation on Sunday when you feel those scaries hit, and we’re willing to bet that you feel better.
Rather than wallow in the misery of what the upcoming week has to bring or where the past week went wrong, shift your perspective and focus on the things that you’re looking forward to.
The reality of being a human is that there are always going to be things we have to do that we don’t want to do, especially when it comes to our jobs.
So, rather than focus all of our attention on the negative, let’s take some of that and put it on the positive.
When you feel those Sunday Scaries hit, grab a journal and write out responses to the following prompts. (Feel free to come up with your own variations.)
- What happened this week that I’m proud of?
- What did I learn from this week?
- How do I want to feel this coming week?
The last one is really important because it will help you set the tone for your next week. You can even look at your response to #3 as your intention for the week.
Creating an intention will help you feel more fulfilled, which will give you fewer scaries once next Sunday comes around.
3. Don’t pack your Monday calendar
The more busy your Mondays are, the more stress you’re likely to have Sunday night. As much as you can control, don’t fill your Monday calendar with things to do.
You’ll likely have some work items that you can’t move to another day, but maybe save personal things for another day when when you have more personal time. If possible, opt to schedule meetings later in the week rather than on a Monday.
Time management can be especially difficult if you are working from home
This will help you to experience less of that daunting Monday feeling that hits on Sunday nights.
4. Get to bed early
A good night’s sleep is key to your mental hygiene. You want to aim to get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night, but lean more towards the 9-hour side on Sundays.
Anxiety can lead to a lack of sleep, but a lack of sleep can also lead to anxiety. To avoid both of those, find things that help you get to bed early.
5. Create an enjoyable nighttime ritual
A great way to get to bed early is to have a bedtime ritual that tells your body that it’s time to slow down and relax.
Our favorite nighttime routine looks like this:
- Finishing our last meal at least 2 hours before bed
- No screens an hour before bed
- Reading with an amber light
- Setting an intention for the week
6. Take magnesium
Magnesium is nicknamed the “chill pill” because of its ability to calm the brain and the body.
There are 10 different kinds of magnesium included in dietary supplements, but if you’re looking for the ones that will help you feel more relaxed and feel less of the Sunday Scaries, then you’ll want:
- Magnesium glycinate
- Magnesium l-threonate
- Magnesium malate
We’ve made it easy for you by creating a tasty yuzu-flavored powder that’s got all three of the above magnesium types. And it’s called Mood Magnesium. Mix this into your water 1-2 hours before bedtime to feel your Sunday Scaries slip away, and a peaceful night of sleep enter the scene.
7. Hang with a friend
Thoughts of anxiety any day (but especially Sunday) creep in much easier when you’re alone and left to think about all that you didn’t do and all you need to do.
Help cut those anxious thoughts and support your stress management by spending quality time with a friend on Sunday afternoon. Maybe together you can journal, set intentions, and think about the positives of the week ahead. Or, maybe you can just relax together and watch a movie to keep your mind off of the Scaries.
Either way, make Sunday a day that you enjoy rather than dread. Good habit formation helps set you up for a much more successful week mentally, physically, and emotionally. Your brain and body will thank you and you may even enjoy your time at work more.
Stress affects us all so differently and feeling overwhelmed is normal but we hope you can take time for yourself this Sunday and every Sunday.
*Please seek medical advice from your primary care doctor if you are struggling with prolonged feelings of stress, anxiety, panic attacks or any form of mental distress.