13 Ways to Defeat the Sunday Scaries & Take Your Life Back

The Sunday Scaries are no joke. Don't let them ruin your weekend; take control with these tips.

Published September 15, 2023
Woman laying on couch looking bummed

Ever spend all of Sunday dreading the beginning of Monday? You might have experienced the Sunday Scaries. Welcome to the club! You're not alone in your feelings, and you hopefully won't be stuck with them, either. 

What Are the Sunday Scaries? 

The Sunday Scaries aren't exactly new. Back in 1946, Viktor Frankl coined the term "Sunday night blues" to describe the anxiety and stress many people experience the night before heading back into the week. It's since morphed into Sunday Sads and Sunday Scaries.

Basically, it's that yucky feeling that sets in when the weekend is coming to an end and you're headed back into "real life," and it recurs most Sundays. Symptoms of Sunday Scaries can include anxiety, stomach problems, irritability, and dread. And who wants to live with that every Sunday? Not me, and I bet you don't either. So let's talk about how to beat the Sunday Scaries. 

How to Get Rid of Sunday Scaries

Whether it's a difficult job, school, or an otherwise crazy schedule, anyone of any age can get the Sunday Scaries. But it shouldn't have to be a feeling you live with forever. There are some things you can do to relieve those uneasy feelings and take back your Sundays. 

Do Something Meaningful With Your Sunday

Beat the Sunday Scaries by doing something fun or productive on your Sunday. You can also do some bed rotting if that's what you need to do, but I'd recommend at least getting some fresh air and maybe catching up with a friend if you have a moment to spare. 

Women walking their dogs

Get Some Exercise

You probably have heard that exercise relieves stress and gives you endorphins. So, to avoid stress and anxiety build up, try to make sure you get some movement of your choice on Sunday.

Do a "Sunday Reset" 

Take some time during the day — a good hour, if you can — just to catch up on house chores so you start your week off on the right foot. Laundry, dishes, food prep, etc. The last thing you'll want to do on Monday after work is chores, but it's also stressful to feel like you're behind on things. If you do it on Sunday, you'll feel so much better about your week ahead. 

Helpful Hack

Maybe you didn't have time for a full reset, and that's okay. I usually find if I at least take 5-10 minutes to tidy up my kitchen before bed, it feels a little bit easier to roll out of bed the next morning. 

Add Something You Love to Mondays

Maybe you can't get rid of whatever's stressing you out on Mondays or during your week, but you can add more things you love to try and balance things out a little. Go buy a coffee and a little treat for yourself, or sign up for your favorite weekly workout class. Just make sure it's something that makes you feel excited about waking up on Monday morning! 

Woman talking on laptop with coffee and a pastry

Work on Your Mindset

It's easier said that done, but try not to let your negative thoughts control your entire Sunday. That'll mean doing some real work to try and shift your mindset, but the payoff is worth it. 

Go to Bed Early

I'm pretty guilty of wanting to stay up late sometimes to postpone having to wake up and deal with the next day. But you know what makes dealing with something more difficult? Lack of sleep. Yeah — so just go to bed! 

Set Up Your Coffee or Tea the Night Before

I like to have coffee pretty much as soon as I wake up. And it's so much easier to imagine a pleasant Monday morning when I can visualize myself with a steaming cup of caffeine.

Plan Out Your Week 

Sometimes there's so much going on in an upcoming week, I feel like I can't possibly remember it all (and be on time). That's a quick way to ruin my Sunday. When I notice I'm feeling this way, I head to my calendar and fill out everything that's going on so I can stop worrying I'm going to forget something important. This reduces some of that mental load and gives my calendar all of the responsibility, which is exactly what it's for.  

Practice Self Care

Do something good for yourself! Freshly baked cookies, a long run, a bubble bath, cozying up with a great book — these are all ways to practice self-care and romanticize your life a little. That'll definitely make Monday seem less frightening.

Write Your Feelings Down in a Journal

This is arguably a form of self-care, but getting your feelings down on paper can help you get to the root cause of what you're feeling. Saying your job is stressful may be true, but doesn't really get to the meat of why it's stressful. By journaling, you can uncover the deeper reasons something's bothering you, and could even figure out a way to actually solve the problem. 

Prepare Yourself

I always feel better when I've had ample time to prepare for whatever's making me anxious. If you have a presentation that's making your Scaries worse, spend some time working on it. Been procrastinating homework or reading for school? Just start it and get a little bit done. But sitting and feeling nervous about what's to come isn't doing your future Monday self any good. 

woman reading outside

Don't (or Do) Check Your Work Email

You know yourself best. If your work email stresses you out, even when you don't have to deal with it right in that moment, don't look at it! But if it actually does make you feel better to look at it, that's okay too. I personally like to keep track of what's coming into my inbox over the weekend just so I know what's on my plate for Monday, but this might not be the case for everyone. 

Start Job Searching

If your Sunday Scaries are work-related and it seems like no matter what you do, you can't feel relaxed when you know you're heading back, it might be time to change jobs. Especially if your workplace is toxic, you'll probably never be able to really relax. But only you can make that call! 

Talk to a Therapist

Oftentimes, stress and anxiety are too much to try to handle on our own. In that case, talking to a therapist might help you unpack why Sunday brings so much anxiety and what you can do to try to help your mindset. 

Beat the Sunday Scaries and Take Back Your Life

Start feeling better on Sundays and as you head into your work week. The best way to beat the Sunday Scaries is to balance pre-emptive actions and looking at the source of your stress. It's not always possible to change what's making your life hard, but it is possible to do certain things that will make life feel a little better. 

13 Ways to Defeat the Sunday Scaries & Take Your Life Back