Sunday Scaries – Have You Ever Felt Them?
Dread. Worried. Doomed. Preoccupied. Unhappy. Anxious. Scared.
I found each of these words associated with the Sunday Scaries.
What, on Earth, are the Sunday Scaries?
Good question! The Sunday Scaries are an underlying feeling of worry, even dread, that can start over the weekend, typically on Sunday. This feeling of dread is directly related to having to go back to school or work on Monday. It takes over one’s thoughts and behaviors, and can ultimately ruin the whole day. For some, it can ruin the whole weekend.
It’s important to note that the Sunday Scaries are not an official medical diagnosis. But we can certainly look at anxiety as a road map to understanding and, better yet, managing the Sunday Scaries.
Similarities Between the Sunday Scaries & Anxiety
Like the Sunday Scaries, anxiety is anchored in a fear, a worry, or a preoccupation that something’s going to happen – and it won’t be good. It’s a feeling of not being prepared or ready for whatever life might bring.
There can also be a lot of “what if” questions, such as:
- “What if I don’t do well in the interview?”
- “What if I fail my chemistry final?”
In truth, everyone has these types of worries or anxieties from time to time. But when these worries or anxieties ruin our day, it’s time to take action.
Many people simply try to ignore these kinds of feelings, but that honestly just doesn’t work. Sweeping our negative thoughts and feelings under the rug is an understandable response. It’s part of our human nature to avoid something we don’t like.
But while it’s understandable that we try avoid these feelings, the avoidance may backfire and make us feel worse. It’s much healthier to recognize the thought or feeling, and then take your power back by doing something about it!
What To Do if You’re Experiencing the Sunday Scaries
Notice the feeling without judgement or blame. Just quietly, compassionately notice how you’re feeling.
Take control by choosing how you want to manage the feeling. For example, you can:
- Go for a walk or a run
- Read the paper, or head over to the library or your favorite bookstore
- Look for a new recipe and try it out
- Take your dog for a walk or to the dog park
- Call a friend and see how they’re doing
- Prep foods you want to take for lunch during the school or work week
- Do your laundry – including folding it and putting away
- Go to the gym
- Say a prayer or listen to music that that soothes you
- Check out a free meditation app and choose a guided meditation
- Play catch or read a story to one of your kids
- Wash your car
- Practice breathing exercises
Even though the Sunday Scaries is not a real diagnosis, it’s good to pay attention to how you’re feeling. And it’s even better to empower yourself to do something about it.
There’s always something we can do to manage the ups and downs of life in a healthy and positive way. But if you feel you need more help, please reach out to one of your health care providers.
We’re here for you, and happy to help and we want you to have great weekends!
Karen Williams, LIMHP is a Mental Health provider at CHI Health.