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If the end of your weekend is filled with anxiety about the upcoming week, these tips can help.

The weekends are supposed to be a time to relax and unwind, but many people experience anxiety towards the end of the weekend as they begin to think about the work week ahead. Often referred to as the “Sunday scaries,” the impending dread that creeps into the last hours of some people’s weekends is a common occurrence. In fact, 80 percent of people report having this feeling, according to a LinkedIn survey, and over 90 percent of Millenials and Gen Z’s say they feel it.

Symptoms of the Sunday scaries can range from difficulty breathing and a racing heartbeat to headaches or restless sleep. You may experience weekly anxiety because you associate work with something stressful or because you feel overwhelmed by how much you need to get done during the week. Maybe you feel like you didn’t get to unwind enough during the weekend – or you think you let things go because you were having too much fun.

Break this weekly cycle of anxiety with these 6 tips to help prepare for the week ahead:

  • Make time to relax – Sunday might seem like the perfect day to run through a list of chores, but if you save your to-do list for one day, it’s going to drag you down. Do some chores on other days of the week so you’ll have time on Sunday to do something you enjoy.
  • Prepare for the week – Take control of the week ahead by preparing over the weekend. Do some meal prep so your lunches and/or dinners are ready to go. Spend some time making a to-do list so you feel more prepared for how you will tackle whatever you have to do.
  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule – Many of us are guilty of trying to catch up on sleep during the weekend, but this messes with our sleep schedules. It’s best to go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day or you may have trouble falling asleep on Sunday night.
  • Get moving – Not only is physical activity a good stress reliever, but it also boosts your mood, eases anxiety and helps you fall asleep more easily. If the Sunday scaries start creeping up on you, hop on a bike or go for a brisk walk. You’ll feel better in no time!
  • Create a nighttime routine – Spend Sunday evening doing something that relaxes you and prepares your mind for the return to work. Take a long shower, meditate or spend time reading or journaling. This helps you welcome in the week ahead with positivity rather than dread.
  • Plan something fun for Monday – Give yourself something to look forward to on Sundays by planning a Monday treat to kick off your work week. Break out a new outfit, listen to your favorite playlist during your commute or treat yourself to an indulgent coffee drink.

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Date Last Reviewed: November 17, 2023

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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