I’m not alone in feeling down on Sundays. In a recent poll, over 78% of respondents report experiencing “Sunday Night Blues”. Like most people I only have two days off a week, and some weeks not even that, which can be enough to put you in a not so cheerful mood. Trying to do everything that gets relegated to the weekend while finding enough time to relax can be a real challenge as well without the looming thought that a brand new week is just around the corner.
I have tried many different things throughout the years to try to minimize the Sunday Blues; some have been more successful than others. Earlier this year I was playing softball on Sunday nights. At first I thought it would be great to have something to look forward to outside of the house at the end of the weekend. The first few games were alright, but I quickly learned that having to be somewhere at the end of the week is the complete opposite of how I want to spend my time. I am already so incredibly scheduled during the week that having one more fixed thing on my calendar on Sunday night was actually making me feel anxiety and dread. So softball was out.
For a period of time, my husband and I were doing our date night on Sunday nights as that is one of the weekend days that he has off as he works most weekends. We were running into a similar problem as with softball. While getting to spend quality time with my husband beats playing softball anytime, I was not as mentally free during these dates as I would have liked. I kept watching the clock as I typically get up early on Mondays to work out before going into work. I felt like I was limiting myself unnecessarily to just spending an hour, maybe two tops out and about on the town and that is definitely not how I want to spend a date night.
The default way to spend Sunday nights typically has been to watch TV. As I’ve written before, I really don’t want that much TV, with the exception of Game of Thrones which is a show I actively look forward to watching (and let’s face it you pretty much have to watch on time to avoid spoilers the next day). Watching TV is really not that great of a way to beat the Sunday Blues because at least for me, I don’t really feel like I’m mentally relaxed, more checked out than anything else.
The one strategy that definitely makes me feel less moody on Sunday nights is writing. I don’t have to spend a whole lot of time doing it but the payoff is always fantastic. I enjoy writing in my journal and reflecting on my week and any thoughts that might be bothering me. I also use this time to write down what I am grateful for, which is a technique that really helps put all of the mild annoyances of life in perspective, as I am choosing to focus on the positive.
After journal writing, I take out a second notebook and begin to write down my work plan for the coming week. This really helps reduce my anxiety as I can easily become overwhelmed thinking about how much work I have to do in a limited amount of time. Doing this hands down has been the difference between a Sunday night that is fraught with anxiety and one where I’m in the moment, actually enjoying my free time. I now actually look forward to my Sunday evening writing time, as it is just my special time to rejuvenate my physical and mental wellbeing and it doesn’t get much better then that.
How do you make the most of your Sunday nights?