Have you ever wondered why you feel so down in the afternoon, maybe even until bedtime, on Sundays? You may be thinking about the activities in the forthcoming work week — an upcoming deadline, seeing another team member whom you don’t work well with, dealing with a demanding client, an uncomfortable working environment, among others. These feelings of anxiety are known as Sunday blues, which can be described as stress in-the-making. If you are experiencing this, you are not alone. In fact, according to a poll conducted by job site Monster, 76 percent of American workers say they get Sunday blues.
It can be experienced by almost everyone in an organization, from on-the-job trainees up to the chief executive officer.
Sunday blues are not some feelings we only experience when we started working. These feelings are similar to how we felt about Sundays when we were in school. This, however, does not mean we should just accept such feelings as a part of life. These mild depressions experienced during Sundays may lead to serious problems that can affect our physical and mental health, as well as our relationships. According to a survey conducted by the sleep experts of TheSleepJudge, some of the symptoms experienced on Sundays include anxiety, disturbed or poor sleep, depressive mood, increased irritability, insomnia and headaches, among others.
To avoid spending half of your Sunday feeling down, here are some practical tips you might want to consider:
– Plan your work ahead on Friday afternoons. Before heading out to your usual Friday night out, prepare the things you might need for the next work week. Scan your calendar and identify which meetings or deadlines are to be prioritized. Are there items you can prepare now, instead of doing them on Sunday or Monday morning? Planning is not only limited to the chores you need to do. You can also plan for fun activities you will look forward to during the work week—eating lunch or samgyeopsal with friends, playing your favorite sport, or watching a movie after work.
– Do chores and errands on Saturdays. Do not overload your Sundays with chores and errands — settling bills, doing the laundry, buying your groceries, etc.— which can remind you of the responsibilities and obligations of adulthood. Try to do some of them on Saturdays, when you still have a Saturday night to look forward to.
– Disconnect from work during weekends. As much as possible, try to control the urge of checking work email during your days off. Of course, this goes without saying that bosses should try harder not to send emails during weekends. Reading email will just disrupt your entire weekend and can worsen your anxiety. You do not want your boss’s face running through your head the entire weekend. Remember, if your boss wants you to do something urgent and important, he or she will call you rather than send an email.
– Schedule activities you enjoy doing on Sundays. Whether it is going to the gym, having dinner with family or friends, attending religious services, going out with your special someone, playing your favorite sport, or watching a Netflix movie or series, the point is to have a meaningful and fun Sunday. Fun does not mean getting drunk. Calling in sick on Monday because of a hangover will not help you get over those paper works.
– Sleep early and get enough sleep. Getting enough rest is important. You need to be physically and mentally prepared to face the week ahead. The quantity and quality of your sleep will define how you will win the battle at work. Imagine waking up feeling drained and worn out on Monday morning when your work week has yet to start.
– Identify what is causing your blues. Having Sunday blues does not necessarily mean it is because of your job in general. In fact, even those who love doing their work also experience the blues and still feel anxious, because of a particular deadline, a client, a report or a colleague. The key is to identify the root causes and address them. Meeting a deadline or working on a report may be easier to do than handling a difficult client or colleague. You may want to consult with the appropriate persons in your organization — a coach, mentor or higher ups.
Sunday blues are not difficult to overcome. We have dealt with them in school and, just like we were advised by our parents back then, there is nothing to worry about if we have done our homework early. Think positive and, besides, it is just five days before Friday once again.
Jerald Sanchez is a partner in the Audit and Assurance division of P&A Grant Thornton, one of the leading audit, tax, advisory and outsourcing firms in the Philippines, with 23 partners and more than 900 staff members. We’d like to hear from you! Tweet us:
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As published in The Manila Times, dated 27 November 2019