A Complete Guide to Combating the Sunday Sads

Health & Wellness

Image Courtesy of Colleen Eversman of 2nd Truth Photography

As previously seen on Wit & Delight

We’d venture a guess that the creeping feeling of sadness and/or stress that comes at the close of each Sunday is familiar to many of us. The Sunday sads/scaries/blues—whatever it is you want to call them—have a habit of sneaking up and staking claim to the end of our weekends. And so, on this Sunday, we’re reposting a very helpful article from contributor Megan McCarty—complete with an entire list of ways to help us all combat the Sunday sads. We’ve got this, folks (really, we do).


Hear that? It’s the worldwide groan that comes with Sunday nights. My how quickly your Sunday Funday can manifest into the Sunday Sads.

Life comes atcha quick, huh?

Getting a twinge of the Sunday Sads—or Sunday Scaries, more prominently heard on the East Coast—isn’t anything new: Austrian psychotherapist Viktor Frankl coined the phrase “Sunday night blues” in 1946. And if you feel them, you’re in good company. A 2016 Monster survey found that 76% of people reported suffering from Sunday night blahs.

So what can we do about these terrible, horrible, no good, very bad feelings of dread and anxiety? Here, a complete guide to taking back Sunday. (No need to listen to that band.)

Save the fun stuff for Sunday.

After all, isn’t Sunday the day of rest, not the day of Get Boring Shit Done Around the House? Try switching your Saturday and Sunday plans. Rake the leaves and scrub your floors on Saturday. Go out for brunch and stop by that new shop you’ve been meaning to hit on Sunday. You’ll like the start of your week infinitely more if you didn’t use it to do chores.

Prepare for Monday on Friday.

I know, I know. The last thing you want to think about on Friday afternoon is Monday morning. But before you leave the office at the end of the week, take five, 10, 15 minutes to prep for the following one. Write a list of emails to follow up on. Clean your desk. Leave yourself a special tea to sip on. Organize your calendar, blocking off time for mental health breaks, like my friend who takes a scheduled half-hour walk every afternoon. You’ll feel more prepared and less angst come Monday morning and Sunday night.

Eliminate activities that give you a moral hangover.

Since we’re all grown human beings now, with our frontal cortexes fully developed, it’s time to take responsibility for the things that give us hangxiety – hangover anxiety. That third glass of Gamay. That sappy/sexy/sassy text you sent to He Who Doesn’t Deserve Your Time. That gossip you whispered to a friend. Weekend night activities tend to fuel these regrettable activities, adding a deeper shade of blue to your Sundays. Make a mental note—or better, an actual written note in a journal—every time you feel the stab of hangxiety so next time you’ll know better.

Move it or lose it.

You don’t need to run a marathon on a Sunday night (or ever?), but what about attending a workout class? Or walking around your neighborhood? Easygoing or challenging, that’s up to you. Either way, the endorphin boost will help you shake off your funk. Plus you’ll sleep better – always a bonus.

Feed yourself well with Sunday suppers.

Whether you gather with family, friends or just your darling self, take Sunday suppers seriously. It’ll set the tone for how you feed yourself for the rest of the week. Some restaurants offer prix fixe menus on Sunday nights, so you can leave the “what’s for dinner?” decisions to the professionals.

Live in luxury.

Once, during a particularly enlightening drive to the Philadelphia airport, my Uber driver (shout out to Jennifer) asked me if I was a “lady of leisure.” That phrase has been lodged in my mind ever since. Sunday nights are the perfect time to spoil yourself, you lady of leisure, you! Light that candle, soak in that bath, bop along to that record, smooth on that face mask, crack open that book you bought a month ago.

Schedule something to look forward to early in the week.

I watch trashy television with a friend on Monday nights; I vinyasa my way through my favorite yoga class on Tuesday afternoons. Having these activities to look forward to early in the week is key to a better Sunday. (And a better life, really.) Schedule something small for early in the week, whether that’s snuggling with a friend’s new baby or Facetiming with your college roommate.

Figure out why you’re dreading Monday so much.

A tinge of the Sunday blues is normal. A deep-seated pit of dread that makes you want to cry, throw up or crawl under the covers and never come up for air every single Sunday isn’t. If you truly hate what you do every Monday morning, take a look into why. Are you uninspired by your job? Do you work for someone who demeans your ideas? Is your commute a headache—what can you do to change that?

Years ago on a Monday morning, as I dragged myself out the door to a job that I’d outgrown, I groaned out loud, to myself, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” The universe listened and I was laid off two weeks later, drop-kicking me into the career I really wanted. Take matters into your own two capable hands, if you really hate your Monday through Friday. Don’t wait until the stars have to intervene.

Here’s to sunnier Sundays, friends. Call me if you want to go for a walk.

BY Megan McCarty - June 30, 2019

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