This guest article from PsychCentral was written by Joyce Marter, LCPC.
It's Sunday afternoon and suddenly you feel a pang of anxiety. The relaxation and enjoyment of the weekend seem to come to a halt. Preoccupation about the work week invades your brain. Thoughts of everything you need to do fuel feelings of overwhelm and dread. Your mood takes a nose dive and you start feeling irritable and restless. You look around your home and feel annoyed by the mess from the weekend's festivities, the pile of laundry and the empty refrigerator. You start combing through stressful work emails and bickering with your partner about who is going to do what to prepare the household for the upcoming week. You even have a hard time falling asleep (or staying asleep) as ruminating thoughts about the workweek relentlessly flash through your mind, preventing the rejuvenation that’s needed for the week ahead. You have a case of the Sunday Blues.
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In my practice, it is extremely common for people to report experiencing a spike in anxiety and depressive symptoms on Sundays. After almost 20 years of counseling professionals, I recommend the following:
1. Recognize the Sunday Blues. Have some self-awareness and make a mental note that you are crabby and that this is a common experience for many people on Sundays. Perhaps this isn't the time to engage in silly arguments that have less to do with the content (are you really upset that your boyfriend wants pizza instead of Thai?) and more to do with your angst about work. Don't sweat the small stuff. "Be a duck"–let those things roll off your back to decrease negativity and save yourself some energy.
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2. Use Sunday afternoons to prepare for the workweek. Clean and organize your home (you and your partner should have a routine of who handles what, so you don't need to argue about it.) Grocery shop for the week and plan out healthy meals, perhaps even cook one or two that can be easily reheated after a long day at the office (a healthier choice than grabbing fast food because you have nothing at home.) Do your laundry and make sure you have clothes for the workweek. Fill your car with gas and make sure you have cash for the week. These things will give you a sense of control and preparedness for the week to come. Keep reading...
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