It is common. We spend Sunday afternoons talking about a sense of anxiety about what we envision what the week will be like. The discomfort may be mild, but can become really intense, shortening our weekends considerably.
They call them “Sunday terrors” and they are responsible for more than one heart attack. The stress and anxiety levels on Sunday nights tend to rise beyond what is necessary and are a clear health risk. It’s laying your head on the pillow and, shortly after, the factory of extreme anxiety lights up, only anticipating fatalities as the week draws to a close.
Thus, and although popular culture tells us about the classic boredom of Sunday afternoon, the reality is different. The weekend passes us by in the blink of an eye in a sigh, which almost immediately puts us on that threshold closer to Monday. Returning to routine is sometimes terrifying and returns us to a reality full of uncertainties, pressures and obligations that overwhelm us.
A study by The Sleep Judge (an organization that helps people get a good night’s sleep) found that nearly 80 percent of the population experiences an increase in anxiety on Sundays. This restlessness appears sneaky in the morning, but as the day progresses, cortisol and adrenaline levels increase their presence in our bodies.
And the effects are not good… Let’s delve a little deeper into a reality that, far from normalizing, we must know how to handle.
Changing up our Sunday routine can help ease the burden of trouble that arises as the week begins.
When work (or lack thereof) takes away our health
Anxiety, stress, anguish, restlessness… We can define in many ways the negative state that precedes the beginning of the week. However, all cases have the same underlying root: it is a response to a perceived threat. Thus, and although it is true that the vast majority manage to cope and manage that Sunday hassle, for many the experience is crippling.
We know that the younger population experiences more anxiety during those final hours of the weekend. Millennials and Gen Z both describe an overwhelming sense of pressure. On the other hand, if the worries are more intense on Sunday night, do not think that the reason for this is only work related. There are more variables.
What is original?
The most common factor is work stress. The pressure of performance, the need to accomplish certain objectives, sometimes added by poor working conditions and even harassment or mobbing, shape this repeated suffering.
Unemployment, both temporary and chronic, showed a major peak of concern on Sunday. The Reason? This is the moment of the week in which we usually prepare ourselves to return to the work routine. When this fails, when there is no work to return on Monday, the psychological distress is more apparent.
Monday is also the day that students return to class. This segment of the population also experiences a significant load of pressure, anxiety about self-demands, classes, examinations, etc.
Similarly, there is another no less important origin. Many people face the difficulty of combining family life and work life. The idea of seeing how the weekend fades away and the opportunity to share more time with the kids or the couple remains stressful.
What symptoms does it present?
Sunday phobia gives rise to a wide range of symptoms, which can vary from person to person. However, there are always some common elements that set this agony, this restlessness, on the last day of the week:
Restlessness, not being able to stop thinking about pending tasks, going back to work, in classes.
Those thought cycles are always ruminant and destructive.
Not being able to concentrate on anything or enjoy leisure.
Loss of appetite or overeating.
Digestive issues are common on Sunday nights when anxiety is most intense.
People who can’t stop thinking about their pending tasks on Sundays and what they should be doing during the week are at a higher risk of suffering from anxiety attacks to heart attacks.
Anxieties intensify on Sunday nights: what can we do?
In 1991, The New York Times had already published an article about the “Sunday blues”. In this analysis, aspects such as job insecurity were discussed, as well as other triggers of this phenomenon, such as changes in biological rhythms, even disillusionment with one’s own lifestyle.
That is to say, although it is true that this fear of Mondays is a collective phenomenon, each must address the elements within their reality that call psychological discomfort. Let’s not generalize “being bad”. If the beginning of the week is perceived as a threat, then let us do our best to banish that threat perception. Let’s look at some keys.
1. Listen to the message, can you change anything?
Stress and anxiety are nothing more than natural mechanisms that warn us about risk, real danger or not. What if we hear your message? What if we encounter something that causes us discomfort so that it stops doing so?
Perhaps we should sort out aspects related to work, study or our personal lives so that this torment exists for Monday.
2. Rewrite Your Sundays: They Should Be Days of Calm and Balance
If worries get more intense on Sunday night, it’s time to put on another “mental movie.” One devoid of fear and worries.
You have to reduce the amount of worry and increase the amount of calmness and confidence. We have to stop being destructive and become more reasonable, rational and hopeful. Most likely, none of what we imagine will happen.
Let’s feel free to schedule our Sundays a little better:
Let’s socialize, hang out with friends or family.
Let’s go for a walk, get acquainted with nature.
Let’s take a nap, spend time on artistic works. Research from the University of Applied Sciences in Leiden in the Netherlands talks about the benefits of art for reducing anxiety and stress.
3. Schedule Your Mondays to Make It More Charming
The fear of Sunday can be dispelled if Monday becomes the character of more dazzling, friendly and exciting moments. Small changes that break up a barbell routine are sometimes necessary and even laxative. So, let’s not hesitate to transfer that first day of the week to some activity that inspires us and makes us happy.
To conclude, we all know that worries are more intense on Sunday nights. This is the meridian of the week in which the mind becomes somewhat meditative and one organizes one’s life, while Monday comes with its own pressures and demands. Let’s avoid falling into that void, that black hole that devours souls and even hope.
There are always changes we can implement so that the perception changes. Let’s start with the smallest and see what happens. Let’s change our mindset to see what happens. Let’s tackle the problems to reduce Sunday’s worries and see what improvements it brings to us…
Source: The Mind is Wonderful