This Is How To Beat Sunday Night Anxiety
We've all been there. After nearly two days of relaxing bliss away from work you look at the clock and realise it's 5pm on a Sunday afternoon.
Immediately your brain begins doing the calculations -- 5pm means it's dinner time soon, which means it won't be long before bedtime, which means it won't be long before you have to wake up and go BACK TO WORK.
Then the panic sets in -- that cold rush of dread dripping through your veins -- tomorrow is Monday. If this sounds eerily familiar you're not alone because Sunday Night Blues is a thing.
Lysn psychologist Tahnee Schulz told 10 daily it's an incredibly common thing that most people are familiar with.
"It’s a feeling that can kick in early on a Sunday, making you dread to work the following morning, and perhaps even affecting your sleep that night," she said.
So What Causes It?
Schulz said that Sunday evening anxiety or, as she likes to call it, the 'Sunday Scaries', is actually caused by our neocortex which causes us to feel anxious about the future.
In a basic sense, our brains will often pre-empt a possible upcoming negative experience, and if you feel like work might in some way be stressful, boring, restricting etc, it can make you feel anxious. It’s our brains thinking ahead rather than staying in the moment.
What Can We Do To Fix It?
To find out how to beat a nasty case of the 'Sunday Scaries', 10 daily reached out to a slew of experts to get their take on easing ourselves into the week ahead.
Focus On What You Can Control
Schulz revealed that her favourite way to help her patients ease their anxiety is to stop thinking about things that aren't within our control.
"We often find out selves on a mental mouse wheel, ruminating about all the things we are dreading and are out of our control," she said.
Take the time to write down what are the things you can control, what you can partly control and what you can’t control. Then dedicate your energy to planning how you will improve the things you can control and partly control. This will not only help with avoiding that anxiety but will proactively reduce it.
Meditation teacher Nina Sabey recommends setting aside five minutes on your Sunday afternoon or evening to mentally "de-clutter".
"Meditating for as little as five minutes will help clear out the clutter and help you see what you need to do," she told 10 daily.
Try sitting down in a quiet place in a comfortable position. Then, inhale for four counts and exhale for six counts. With every round of breath see if you can let go of some tightness in your body.
Well, kind of. We're talking about the STOP Technique which is what Katie Lolas uses to unwind before the week begins.
"I use it a lot when I’m feeling overwhelmed and anxious and I find it helps to ground me," she told 10 daily.
Here's how it works:
Stop! Interrupt your thoughts with the command ‘STOP’ and pause for a moment.
Take a breath. Now it’s time to notice your breath for a few moments. Breathing in slowly through your nose and then exhaling slowly through pursed lips.
Observe. Become the observer of your emotions and thoughts. What can you notice? How does your body feel? Perhaps you are clenching your fists? Or your heart is racing?
Proceed. Mindfully consider how you can move forward and respond. What’s one thing you can do right now? Choose your most important priority to start.
She added: "Much of improving our mental wellbeing has to do around building positive habits and consciously learning new ways of thinking and behaving."
Go Caffeine Free
Natropath Lisa Guy said that if you're susceptible to Sunday night anxiety, it might be time to give up that weekend morning cup of joe.
"Swap your Sunday coffee for a caffeine-free herbal tea instead," she advised.
"Caffeine stimulates your fight or flight response, stimulating the production of stress hormones, namely cortisol, which can contribute to levels of anxiety and insomnia in some people, and can further deplete tired adrenals," she said.
Still Feeling Blue?
And, if after all that you're still struggling with Sunday Night Blues, try doing what 10 daily's video producer Kristy Everett did and switching up your weekend.
"I always used to get the Sunday Night Blues, but now that my weekends are technically Sunday and Monday, I don't get them anymore," she told 10 daily. "I can't explain why ... maybe it has something to do with riding the high of knowing that everyone has worked on Monday."
Feature Image: Getty