On Sunday afternoons or early Sunday evening, does the thought of waking up bright and early on Monday morning zap the joy out of your weekend?
As the weekend nears its end, does your mood plummet as you think of your upcoming workweek?
If you answered, “yes” to each of these questions, you might be suffering from the “Sunday Night Blues.”
What are the Sunday Night Blues?
Many people believe that the “Sunday Blues” are a pop psychology invention—a farce of a psychological disorder that merely describes our dislike of the standard 9-5-work week.
But, research indicates that the “Sunday Blues” aren’t a made-up emotionally malady—it’s actually an acute psychological condition characterized by feelings of anxiety, depression, and helplessness. As it turns out, your Sunday sadness isn’t in your head after all.
A survey conducted by Monster.com in 2013 reveals that 89% of Americans experience the Sunday blues and 59% describe their blues as “very bad.” It seems that the majority of Americans let out a collective sigh as their weekends come to an end.
Are you one of them?
Here are a few tips and tricks that can transform your Sunday blues into Monday magic.
Make Sunday a Funday
For many of us, serotonin surges when the clock strikes 5 o’clock on Friday afternoon because it means that the work week is over and the weekend is upon us.
We look forward to leaving work behind us (at least for 48-hours) while we socialize with friends, sleep in, and play with our kids. But for many people, as Sunday afternoon nears, weekend “fun” is placed on the back burner so that we can tend to our household chores, such as grocery shopping, laundry, and household cleaning—all reminders that our weekend is coming to an end.
You can prevent a case of Sunday sadness by sprinkling your chores throughout the weekend so that the work doesn’t pile up in an insurmountable heap.
Perhaps you can do some laundry on Saturday morning, and when Sunday rolls around, you can plan a relaxing activity, such as a walk, watching a movie, or spending time with friends or family to temper the start of the workweek.
Motivation Meets Meditation
Too often we catapult into the future as our weekend comes to a close. On Sunday evening, it’s not uncommon to check your work email or to begin worrying about an upcoming meeting or a project that’s due.
But, living in the future instead of anchoring into the present might negatively affect our motivation to get out of bed on Monday morning. When this happens, we might face the day with dread instead of embracing it with joy.
Research shows that mindfulness activities, such as Mindful Breathing can help us live in the present moment. You might try some meditation or another wellness exercise to help harness your motivation so that you can develop some tools to cope with stress, which can help you manage the Monday-morning monster.
Lead the Way
If you find that you’re experiencing waves of worry, pangs of sadness and feelings of dread as your weekend comes to a close, ask yourself what else might contribute to your discomfort?
Perhaps you’re in an unhealthy work environment, or you and your boss don’t “click.” Maybe there’s tension with a colleague that’s hanging over your head.
Or maybe you’ve just experienced a major life change, such as starting a family and you’re wrestling with how to balance your work and family life.
If this is the case, career counseling or coaching might help you to weather these work environment wrinkles. Career coaches can teach you tools so that you can identify your self-motivation to become a better leader/CEO of your life.
You can also fight the Monday blues by planning a joyful activity in the midst of your workweek.
By doing some mindful planning during the week, you identify something to look forward to, and it’s a gentle reminder to balance your work and personal life.
This blog post originally appeared at Well Clinic.