Is our brain to blame?
Our dread for Monday can set off an evolutionary response that usually warns us against danger, triggering feelings of stress and anxiety. But, instead of a life-threatening event, we are faced with the usual Monday morning madness - which usually isn’t dangerous.
Idle minds make for an anxious Monday
It’s common to want to spend your Sunday relaxing and not doing particularly much, but actually, this can fuel our Sunday anxiety. ‘Feelings of anxiety and depression are most common when a person isn’t particularly busy.’1 While having a lazy Sunday may seem like a great way to top off your weekend, it can leave our mind open to worrying and, where there is worry, anxiety usually isn’t far behind.
The Netherlands are considered to be one of the happiest countries in the world and while there are a multitude of reasons for why this could be, one of the most evident reasons is a better work/life balance. According to research more than 50% of the Dutch population work part time in comparison to only 20% of part-time workers in other European countries.2 This approach is not only thought to make for happier adults, but also for happier children.
So how does this relate to our Sunday night woes? Well, despite the fact that the number of Brits working 50+ hours a week has fallen,3 we are still working more than we are playing! This means that our weekends are precious hours of freedom that we have to try and squeeze all of our fun into. Although, for most of us, we don’t just have to fit fun in but also obligations, house-work, food shops and the like. Usually we schedule all of our fun activities into Saturday and leave Sunday as a day filled with obligations that can drag down our mood and motivation for the coming Monday.
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How can I keep the blues at bay?
There are a number of things you can do to try and keep your Sunday fun-filled and free from the Sunday blues.
1) Don’t do nothing!
Most of us like to save Sunday as a day of relaxation before the Monday madness begins but, as I have mentioned above, doing nothing can lead to us overthinking, over-analysing and over-worrying about the week ahead which fuels our Sunday night anxiety. Try to organise some fun activities that involve socialising or even reading a book in a bath which is both relaxing and helps to keep your mind occupied.
2) Schedule housework and other obligations in for during the week
Fitting in your obligations during the week rather than letting them pile up to do on a Sunday will give you another whole day of complete fun and freedom before heading back to work on Monday – result!
3) Be prepared for the week ahead
When we think about Monday morning we usually think about the mountains of emails to work our way through, or heaps of work to catch up on from last week, this is enough to trigger a feeling of anxiety on Sunday. Preparing as much as you can on Friday for the week ahead can help ease your transition from your chilled weekend, whether it’s organising meetings, setting reminders, or planning out your day.
4) That being said – don’t spend too much time thinking about the future!
Historically it is said that anxiety comes from thinking too much about the future while depression arises from thinking too much about the past. To get the most out of your Sunday try to live in the present moment and enjoy each and every hour of your weekend.
5) Avena Sativa
If you’re feeling anxious herbal remedies can give you a helping hand to bring you back to a feeling of calm. I’d recommend a remedy containing Avena Sativa – a herb traditionally used to help soothe and calm the nervous system – such as can be found in our own AvenaCalm remedy.
Originally written on 22/12/2017, updated on 03/10/2018