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What Are Sunday Blues?

A woman looks depressed in front of a blue backdrop of sad faces answering the question "What are Sunday Blues?"

Sunday Blues often cast a shadow over your weekend’s last day, bringing an unwelcome dose of depression and dread.

In this guide, we define and dismantle the Sunday blues by offering effective strategies to help you face the week with positivity rather than apprehension.

We also give a breakdown of the difference between the 'Sunday Blues' and the 'Sunday Scaries'.

Discover how to inject your Sundays with energetic happiness and welcome your weeks with optimism.

Key Takeaways

  • The Sunday Blues are characterized by feelings of depression and apprehension anticipating the week ahead, with the questioning of self-worth, work-related stress and anticipatory anxiety being three major contributors.
  • Establishing a balanced weekend routine that includes self-care and time management, as well as disconnecting from work, can alleviate the depression associated with the Sunday Blues.
  • The Sunday Blues are more associated with depression while the Sunday Scaries are more associated with anxiety.
  • Persistent Sunday Blues may require professional help, with effective interventions including therapy, career counseling and other strategies for managing depression and promoting personal growth.

The Meaning of Sunday Blues

A girl looking depressed at her desk revealing the meaning of Sunday Blues

The Sunday Blues, also known as the 'Sunday Night Blues' or 'Sunday Sadness', are feelings of depression, apprehension and melancholy that arise as the weekend draws to a close.

This sentiment is frequently attributed to psychological factors, including questioning your self-worth or life path, anticipating the upcoming week, feeling burdened by obligations or viewing the weekend as unproductive.

These feelings can even manifest as physical symptoms, such as stomach issues and fatigue.

A Sunday Night Blues Meme

To fully encapsulate the depressing feeling you get on Sunday evening before the start of the work week, check out the meme below.

A meme for the Sunday Night Blues that says "Me dealing with the Sunday Night Blues by "working," a.k.a archiving emails

 

You can even share it with friends on those Sunday evenings when the end of the weekend seems more like the end of the world. This will pay some happiness forward and shine light on their gloomy day if they suffer from the Sunday Blues as well.

Questioning Your Self-Worth or Life Path

One of the psychological factors contributing to the Sunday Blues is the questioning of your self-worth or life path, typically triggered by the impending new week.

This often leads to self-critical thoughts, feelings of inadequacy and doubts about one's personal or professional direction.

The Sunday night blues amplify this feeling of worthlessness, mostly due to the fact that people aren't distracted by weekly work tasks and to-do's, or by the social interaction many people receive on Fridays and Saturdays.

Sundays are meant to be a day of rest, but idle hands are the devil's workshop and instead of enjoying the present moment, many people let negative thoughts take over in their minds which leads to a feeling of sadness or perceived failure.

Anticipatory Anxiety of the Week Ahead

Anticipatory anxiety is the apprehension regarding future events, involving the concern that negative outcomes may occur or that one may be unable to effectively achieve their goals.

This type of anxiety plays a significant role in the Sunday Blues by instilling feelings of stress and apprehension regarding the approaching week, causing individuals to feel anxious and uneasy.

The dread of the impending workweek and its upcoming responsibilities significantly fuels anticipatory anxiety. According to a study, 81 percent of American adults experience worry about the forthcoming workweek on Sundays.

This persistent apprehension can detrimentally impact both mental and physical health, contributing to Sunday depression.

Work-Related Stress

Work-related stress, another key factor in the Sunday Blues, often surfaces on Sunday evening due to concerns about workloads and deadlines. Triggers for this stress include:

  • Excessive workload
  • Insufficient support
  • A toxic workplace environment
  • Ineffective communication with a co-worker or superior
  • Viewing the weekend as unproductive
  • Having no exciting job tasks to look forward to

Work-related stress can have a significant impact on mental health, potentially leading to physical disorders as well as mental health challenges like chronic depression.

It can also affect job performance: leading to errors, having trouble staying awake at work, poor work performance, workplace burnout, heightened meeting anxiety, conflict in the workplace, lower productivity and reduced employee engagement.

How to Get Rid of the Sunday Night Blues

A guy is relaxing on his couch reading a book, showing how to get rid of the Sunday Night Blues

Combining effective time management with self-care activities, as well as setting work-life boundaries, can notably ease the Sunday Blues.

Here are some strategies to try:

Preparing for the next week can diminish depression, instill a sense of readiness and facilitate a smoother transition from the weekend to the workweek.

To mitigate Sunday Blues, consider integrating fun activities like reading a good book, going on nature hikes, setting up a fancy dinner, having a movie night, practicing mindfulness, engaging in aerobic exercise, avoiding your cell phone or just going outside for some fresh air.

If you're all about just relaxing on Sundays, then plan some of these more active suggestions on Saturday morning. That way you get your endorphins pumping, feel accomplished and feel more internally justified with doing "nothing" on Sundays.

Time Management

Planning and setting goals are vital for weekend time management as they provide a clear direction, focus, and purpose for activities. This contributes to better time allocation, increased productivity and stress reduction.

A well-structured schedule for the weekend fosters intentionality, accountability, improved work-life balance, and the inclusion of loved ones in plans. It will ultimately boost your mental well-being.

A good hack is building out your to-do list on Friday afternoon, before your upcoming Saturday responsibilities or your leisure time get in the way.

By implementing efficient time management, you can nurture self-confidence and decrease depression.

Set Boundaries for Work-Life Balance

Setting boundaries between your personal life and work is an essential approach to mitigate the the Sunday Night Blues.

This separation enables you to fully relax and rejuvenate from Friday afternoon to Sunday night, without the constant intrusion of work-related thoughts and stress.

Establishing work-life boundaries may involve strictly adhering to your work hours, not checking work emails outside work hours and designating specific areas in your home for work and relaxation.

If work is constantly starting to bleed into your personal life while cutting out your free time, it may be a sign that you need to start fresh.

Consider getting a new job, making a career change or forgetting a future job opportunity entirely and consider escaping the rat race.

Setting boundaries will give you new perspective on what really matters in life, while also allowing you to be the most efficient and effective while you're in work mode.

My Personal Experience with the Sunday Blues

A personal experience of the Sunday Blues where Mike Sill quotes "I was sad, but for no apparent reason. I wasn't just stressed, I was depressed."

I used to always feel anxious on Sundays.

The coming week would haunt the hell out of me, and eventually this fear of the future started to morph into something else...

Instead of just feeling anxious, I'd get in a scary, dark mood and get these thoughts that I wasn't good enough.

I was sad, but for no apparent reason. I wasn't just stressed, I was depressed.

At first I wasn't even sure what I wasn't "good enough" for, although after really processing my thoughts, a lot of it came down to my perceived ability to be an entrepreneur.

I suffered from imposter syndrome, which is the feeling where a person doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud," despite evidence of their competence.

Watching my friends (who are also business owners) succeed to such magnitude while always seeming so confident when talking about their financials or vision or plans to scale, always made me feel inadequate.

After years and years of this persistent "blue-ish" feeling, I knew I had to do something about it.

Now, I didn't just wake up one day with an "a-ha" moment and have my depression disappear. Quite the opposite actually. It took a lot of time, patience and failure before I realized how to dig myself out of this hole and start to actually enjoy my Sundays.

Here's What I Did to Beat the Sunday Blues:

  1. I started by creating a to-do list every Sunday morning. This helped me occupy and distract my mind while also helping me feel accomplished. Eventually this list of to-dos evolved into journaling, which is more introspective. I now journal every day, it's a game changer.
  2. I started to schedule awesome things on Monday nights that I could look forward to. For me, it was Monday Night Football with a box of pizza. I'd invite a friend over or watch it with my girlfriend and it was the perfect way to rest and relax on a Monday, while also having fun. It turns out it wasn't the actual watching of the game that helped my Sunday blues, it was the fact that I had something to look forward to that made Monday not seem so scary. Oh, and when it's not football season I swap out MNF with a captivating Netflix show.
  3. I started taking CBD Gummies religiously on Sunday mornings. They provide me with an amazing sense of chill in under 20-30 minutes. They help me get out of my own head, focus on the present, and regain my self-confidence. They also help me with hangovers which definitely exacerbate the Sunday Blues. I complement the gummies with a cup of coffee and walk around my neighborhood to soak up some sun, get some fresh air and expose myself to nature. It sounds cliché, but it freakin' works.

After Dealing with the Sunday Blues I Realized Two Main Things:

  1. Many of my ultra-successful business owner friends also suffered from the Sunday Blues, and I was the one who helped them overcome it. This made me feel selfless, worthy and important.
  2. The imposter syndrome was all in my head. Experience has a way of tricking us, a fleeting effect. You almost forget how much you've learned until you rewind and actually realize the growth you've had. I started to become confident on all things surrounding my life path. I became proud of myself.

Sunday Blues vs. Sunday Scaries: What's the Difference?

An infographic showing the difference between the Sunday Blues and the Sunday Scaries

While both "Sunday Blues" and "Sunday Scaries" refer to feelings of unease on Sundays, there's a subtle difference between the two.

The term "Sunday Blues" primarily represents a type of depression linked to the start of a new workweek, manifesting as a general feeling of sadness. It is often characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Sadness
  • Low mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Disrupted sleep patterns which lead to reduced appetite

On the other hand, the "Sunday Scaries" is a slightly more recent term that is often associated with anxiety and the dread of Monday morning after a weekend of excess, typically involving alcohol or other substances.

The term "Sunday Scaries" is often characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Self-doubt
  • Remorse or dread about consequences from the weekend's activities
  • Social withdrawal
  • Angst about returning to the regular workweek routine

It's important to remember that while both of these phenomena can lead to significant distress, there are numerous strategies for managing these feelings, as outlined earlier in this article.

Seeking Professional Help for Persistent Sunday Blues

Signs that Sunday Blues may require professional guidance include:

  • Feeling sad for prolonged periods
  • Enduring depression
  • Severe, non-acute anxiety
  • Severe mood swings
  • Continual waning interest in activities
  • Sleep problems every day of the week
  • Lack of joy during free time
  • Lack of fun during social settings
  • Overpowering negative emotions

Therapy, career counseling or working with a certified life coach or stress management coach can offer guidance and support in managing Sunday Blues by assisting individuals in processing feelings of depression or dissatisfaction and fostering personal growth.

These professionals have a crucial role in identifying the underlying issues related to persistent Sunday Blues through their expertise in conducting therapy and counseling sessions. These sessions involve:

  • Exploring root causes
  • Identifying patterns of negative thinking
  • Developing strategies to manage depression and anxiety

Summary

Dealing with the dreaded Sunday Blues is a common concern that brings forth feelings of worry and depression and it can even transform into the Monday morning blues.

Engaging in fun activities, mastering time management and setting boundaries for work-life balance are all proven strategies to combat the Sunday Blues.

We've discussed the main difference between the Sunday Blues and the Sunday Scaries, and how the former is more focused on depression while the later is more focused on anxiety.

And if you feel this severe depression or anxiety beyond Sunday night, don't hesitate to seek help from a certified life coach or stress management coach.

They'll help you uncover the root causes, challenge negative thinking and develop coping strategies so you can live Scarefree.

In the end it's all about having a sense of personal self-worth, reclaiming your Sunday nights and embracing the upcoming week with confidence and a dash of positivity.

 

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