8 Science-Backed Ways to Eliminate Sunday Scaries

Lindsey Metrus
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@grantlegan

The weekend comes in stages: Friday night rolls around and you're elated; then Saturday ushers in and you're equally excited—you've got the whole day ahead of you to either seize or veg out on the couch (your call!). But—dun dun dunnnn—then comes Sunday. The weekend is nearing its end, and before you know it, you're faced with Monday morning again. No more time off, no more rest and relaxation, just five more days of work ahead of you.

The feeling of dread on a Sunday afternoon/evening is so universally felt that it's got a name: the Sunday scaries. Whether you like your job or not, it's easy to feel resentment at the end of a break, like your freedom is slowly being stripped away.

"A lot of people not only feel anxious about the workweek ahead but can even feel depressed about the weekend ending," explains Heather Silvestri, an NYC-based psychologist. "Anxiety is typically due to persistent thoughts about things we cannot control, and a pessimistic perception or expectation about events that have yet to happen. A person's outlook about what's ahead determines their feelings about it. When we look at the coming workweek optimistically, even with excitement, then Sundays aren't scary."

So how do we reach that level of Sunday night optimism? We spoke with Silvestri and Sanam Hafeez, another New York psychologist, for their best tips to calm your nerves and head into the week feeling confident and relaxed. Keep scrolling to rid those Sunday blues!

But what if the Sunday scaries are more than just feelings of stress and dread? "When you notice a physical manifestation, illnesses, chronic headaches, frequent colds, and just a lethargic run-down feeling, your anxiety needs to be taken more seriously," warns Hafeez. "Also, when you seem to be using the weekends as a release from the weekdays with excessive partying, this could be a sign of a larger problem." If your apprehension is rising to a level of panic and physical ailments, consult with a therapist to understand what's driving your anxiety and to help better manage it.

Comment below with your tips for warding off Sunday scaries!

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