10 Ways to Beat Sunday Scaries and the Dread of Work

The dread of work typically starts on Sundays. But sometimes, Sunday scaries last all weekend long. Having work stress from tight deadlines, difficult coworkers, or a personal rut at work can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are solutions to overcoming Sunday anxiety if you feel you’re dreading work. Ultimately, your situation can improve in a number of ways, in this article will illustrate the most effective ways to beat Sunday scaries.

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What are Sunday Scaries?

Sunday scaries is the term used to describe anxiety about the upcoming workweek on Sundays. It’s a feeling of dreading the fact that Monday you’re back at work. Typically, it’s felt by employees who are going through a rough patch at work or are simply in a bad work environment.

Why do I feel anxious on Sunday?

You might feel anxious on Sunday if you have uncompleted work tasks, challenging coworkers, a toxic boss, having a stressful job, too many work responsibilities, underperforming direct reports, conversations with human resources, a negative performance review, a big project with a tight deadline underway, personal stress at home seeping into work, or some other work challenge.

10 Ways to Beat Sunday Scaries

1. Update your resume and LinkedIn

Anxiety and dread can be a huge motivator. If you’re looking to beat Sunday scaries a good plan of action is to take some time on Sunday to update your resume and LinkedIn profile. It might even give you that glimmer of hope of something new and better coming towards you in the near future. Taking time to use a resume builder to create your resume, update all your work experience, and remember that you’d be an amazing hire at another company can be helpful at boosting your self-esteem while lowering your Sunday anxiety. Some other company is going to want to hire you soon, but they don’t even know you exist yet. Reflecting on your experience, asking friends for recommendations on LinkedIn, and maybe even posting some relevant work knowledge in LinkedIn posts can help boost your online presence to make you more attractive to potential employers. If your partner or spouse discourages you from changing roles, remember that it’s up to you to decide your career path. You’re not destined to stay in one place forever. You could use your Sunday scaries as the biggest driver of your career growth.

2. Apply for new jobs

After updating your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile, consider applying to new jobs. Is experiencing Sunday scaries each week worth the stress? Doesn’t the stress carry over throughout the week leaving you constantly feeling like you’re on edge? Work doesn’t have to be so stressful. You don’t need to drag yourself out of bed five days a week scared about what sort of stuff you’ll be dealing with that week. The dread of going into work doesn’t need to be permanent. You can easily solve this problem by changing jobs. You can use a tool like Huntr to track your job search, keep a list of all the jobs you’ve applied to, and manage all your video interviews in one place. Keeping track of everything while still working at your job doesn’t have to be complicated. You can set a target to apply to twenty jobs each week during your evenings and weekends away from work to help put you in the best position possible.

3. Meditate

While most people will use meditation to help you calm your mind, so you can overcome Sunday scaries, there’s other things you can do with this too. Most of our work stress comes from our mindset. If we have a good mindset where we think positively, we’ll likely be able to use our positive energy to drive us away from our problems. However, if we have a negative mindset, we’ll likely magnify our problems through catastrophizing. Problems will get bigger and bigger creating a snowball effect. When you meditate, it’s about watching those negative thoughts float on by. Pair it with a bit of self-help cognitive behavioral therapy, and you’ll start practicing replacing negative thoughts with more helpful thoughts. Your mindset can turn a negative situation into an opportunity. Whether that opportunity takes place in your current stressful job or in a new role altogether is up to you. Meditating on Sundays when you feel an oncoming work dread can help you rewire your brain to see new opportunities and solutions to improve your work situation or to move onto the next chapter a bit more smoothly.

4. Exercise, sleep early, and practice self-care

The theme of the weekend should always be to take care of yourself. It can be through exercise, good eating habits, relaxation, and getting enough sleep. If you aren’t using your weekends as a way to manage your stress, it’ll only make you feel worse before the workweek starts. If you get enough sleep, recharge your batteries, invest in your happiness, then each weekend you’ll look forward to happiness. And slowly you’ll work towards making your work weeks just as happy, whether through new habits or a change in environment. If you spend your entire weekend venting about work, panicking about work, and thinking about your job, your brain power will be depleted come Monday, which sets you up for more failure and stress. Mastering your habits when away from work will help you develop better habits for work to create the change you need. You can practice self-care in many forms, such as reading positive books before bed, pampering yourself at a spa or salon, or building habits like exercise to release tension in your body.

5. Learn something new

One of the most constructive ways to beat Sunday scaries is by learning something new. A growth mindset is the belief that you are changeable and can learn new things to become better over time and with effort and practice. You can channel positive change through your habits of what you choose to learn on Sundays. Maybe you make Sundays a day to learn to become better at your craft, to improve your communication skills, or to learn a new hobby altogether. By investing in your personal growth and development you’ll be better prepared for handling work stress or landing a better position in another company. Most people will tell you to optimize for your strengths instead of your weaknesses. But if it’s your weaknesses causing you stress at work, maybe it’s worth considering taking the time to learn how to create a solution to turn weaknesses into strengths. Again, everything is learnable with effort and practice. You don’t need to be stuck in your situation, you can learn your way out of it.

6. Plan to spread more positivity

The biggest transformation you’ll ever see in your life is through a daily habit of doing good deeds. If you plan out the ways you’ll spread positivity at work on Sundays, and you continue this habit throughout your life, you’ll see a positive change at work. At first, a daily good deed may seem unnatural or difficult, especially if you’re feeling anxious at work. But with practice, you’ll become more natural at it. You might give praise to a colleague with a good idea, wish happy birthday to someone celebrating their special day, or give more positive feedback in the office. The only person you have control over changing is yourself. Yet, when you make a positive change within yourself, it improves your relationships with others. Plus, with practice, you’ll start scanning the day looking for opportunities to uplift others to make people feel appreciated at work and to put everyone at ease. If your Sunday scaries are due to a difficult boss, others will start appreciating your positivity because they’ll likely see how difficult that boss is to them too. Building this into your habits will also rewire your brain to help create the world you really want for yourself by letting you lead your life in a better direction.

7. Create an action plan for Monday

An effective way to beat Sunday scaries is to create an action plan for Monday. If you have a good understanding of what the problem is at work that’s causing you stress, using your Sunday to create a plan that will ultimately lead to a resolution can help alleviate some of the stress. If you’re dealing with a difficult coworker, you might plan to schedule a call with them to come to a truce. If your work results aren’t as promising as you thought it’d be, you might plan to run a few experiments to learn things a bit faster or seek mentorship from someone in your field. You might plan out more learning opportunities to help you resolve your performance. If your work environment is just negative and you’ve got a toxic boss, you might decide to leave your job. Spending some time to come up with career strategies can help give you a direction to excite you about work on Sunday instead of making you feel dread.

8. Make Sundays a fun activity day

If you find yourself having panic attacks or work dread on Sundays, it’s time to create an action-packed and fun-filled Sunday. Making Sunday the most exciting day of your week doesn’t have to be difficult. Maybe you plan a Sunday date night with your partner where you do an activity like watching a movie, mini golfing, playing tennis, doing karaoke, bowling, or anything else where your mind isn’t sitting deep in thought. It’s about breaking the routine of thinking and doing something you’d enjoy. That might mean taking a fitness class to dance away your stress or joining a group of friends for a meetup or hangout session to help you put your mind at ease. Turn your Sunday scaries into Sunday fun day to help you move beyond anxiety to help you enter the work week with a positive mindset and a ton of stress relief.

9. Look over your accomplishments

Keeping track of all your accomplishments will help ensure you have a positive performance review when dealing with Sunday scaries. If things at work aren’t going well with a boss or coworker, you’ll at least be able to track all of your accomplishments. You might create a folder with data of all the work you shipped, all the key performance metrics you’ve hit, and any other padded work. Take screenshots of positive comments you get from team members. And then, when it comes time to your performance review, you can use direct quotes from colleagues, data, and more to ensure there’s no trickery to make you look bad when it comes down to it. You’ll have planned ahead, taken screenshots, and set yourself up to position yourself well at using facts to prove your worth at your company so that inconveniences or setbacks or challenges with colleagues get minimized.

10. Don’t check work devices until Monday

When we’re feeling anxious about the upcoming work week, we’re more likely to stay glued to our email and Slack. But honestly, by checking work notifications before the work week starts, we’re more likely to feel stressed about it. A boss telling you Friday night he wants to chat with you on Monday is stress inducing. It’s better not to read messages like that until Monday morning so you don’t go into a situation amped up with more stress than you already have. During work hours, stay alert to any calendar invites, Slack messages, and emails, but after 5pm or on weekends, it’s time to fully disconnect. It’s those who lack work-life balance who will feel more anxious on Sundays. So, create the divide to help you deal with work stress at work and home life at home.

Need to get rid of Sunday scaries for good?

The most effective way to beat Sunday scaries is to take the plunge and get a better job. Sometimes, you just need to change your environment and start fresh to enjoy work again. A toxic environment typically won’t improve no matter how much effort you put in or how hard you try to improve yourself. If you’re thinking about changing roles, you can use Huntr to build a new resume and cover letter. Plus, Huntr allows you to keep track of all your application details, interview schedules, and more to help you book more interviews to land your next role faster. Sign-up for Huntr today!