If you spend Sunday nights stressing out about work, it’s not just you. A recent survey from Monster.com found that 80 percent of people admit to having the “Sunday Scaries.”
You might think that by Sunday night you’d feel rejuvenated from the weekend, however, that isn’t always a given. Some people don’t dedicate enough weekend time to re-energizing after the work week. So, when it’s almost time to return the grind, these folks aren’t mentally prepared to handle stressful work thoughts.
There’s also the paradox of feeling a stress-related “fight or flight” response while trying to relax on a Sunday night. Your levels of stress hormones are elevated, and you aren’t dealing with them by watching football or a Sunday night TV drama.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to beat the Sunday Scaries, most of which just require a bit of thinking and self-discipline.
Make a Monday to-do list
On Friday, make a to-do list for your Monday morning and leave it on your desk or at your workstation. This list helps you mentally organize your Monday morning and you’ll be less likely worry over the weekend about have loose ends at work. If you forget to do it on Friday, take 15 minutes on Saturday to create a list, and don’t check at it again until Monday morning.
Flip the script
If your job calls for a great deal of mental or physical energy, spend a good amount of your weekend doing the reverse. Taking a break from the specific demands of your job lets you replace the mental or physical resources you must have in order to be effective.
Avoid work email
There used to be an expectation of getting free time on the weekend to do the things you want to do. But now, we are often expected to occasionally check in via email, which makes it difficult to mentally disconnect and relax. If you aren’t going to be penalized for not checking work e-mail on the weekend, don’t, and you’ll be happier that you didn’t.
Avoid excess drinking
One of the best steps you can take to avoid Sunday stress is to get enough sleep, and when it comes to drinking, too much can impair sleep, leaving you ill-prepared to handle any stressful thoughts on Sunday.
Unwinding by meeting up with friends for drinks over the weekend is a great way to let off some steam. The important thing is to avoid overdoing it to the point it wears you down.
Keep yourself busy
It’s more difficult to think about work while your brain is occupied with other thoughts. Doing something like a hobby or project around the house, is a great way to distract yourself. Although watching TV can seem like a distraction, isn’t the most effective approach to keep your mind from drifting off to stressful work thoughts.
At NSC, we help talented professionals minimize career stress by connecting them to best-fit opportunities. If you’re looking to get out of a stressful work situation, contact us today or check out our job board.