Where have all the Sundays Gone?

The Old Guitarist, Art Institute of Chicago

Dear Reader,


Do you dread Mondays? I didn’t always, but now that my job has entered the busy season, I feel a sense of dread creep in every Sunday. I learned that I’m not the only one that feels this way. I looked it on Google and found a few articles, “Surprising 81% feel ‘Sunday Night Dread’ about work,” “76% of American Workers say they get the “Sunday Night Blues,” and even “Sunday Scaries: A Psychiatrist Shares How She Deals with Sunday Night Anxiety.” It sounds like many of us are not as happy as we could be.


If you feel a sense of dread about going to work on Monday, what is it specifically that makes you feel unhappy? Is it the work itself, your co-workers, the environment, or just the schedule? For me, right now, it’s just the quantity of my work. A lot has to get done in a rather short period of time, which means that there will not be any proper weekends until Christmas time. I know that my sense of dread will pass when the busy period is over, but for others a cure to the Sunday blues may not be so simple. 


When I used to work in an admin job at a company, I would also get the Sunday Night Dread. I would dread waking up early. I would dread going downtown. I would dread the minutes right after 9am when I would begin working. I would dread every task assigned to me. And, I would dread the final minutes of the workday because it meant that I spent my best hours doing something that actively brought me dread. Clearly, I was not in the right job.

Chicago, IL, winter 2015


Recognizing my sense of dread at my admin job was important because it allowed me to focus on finding work that was more compatible with who I am as a person. Now, I work more hours in my current position, yet I feel much better about the work that I’m doing (with the occasional dread during the busy period). 


To help combat dread, I try to change up my routine. “Dreading Mondays” when done weekly EASILY can become a mental routine. Sundays can be fun days. Even when I have to work 7 days a week, I try to make sure to always take Sunday evenings off. The work will always be there. Even if you accomplish everything Sunday night, there will still be more stuff to do Monday morning (that I swear to you).

Preoccupying yourself about work is mentally exhausting. 
“Stop worrying” is easier said than done, but there are few easy ways to get started. Turning off all work emails, removing oneself from the work environment, and having some fun events over the weekend planned, can really help create a mental distance between oneself and work. My best weekends are the ones filled with activities or trips that have me focused on the present rather than anticipating a not-so-fun-nor-exciting-near future.


Sundays are not “pre-Mondays.” Sundays should be something to look forward to. Also, make sure to sleep well, don’t drink too much alcohol, get some fresh air, and eat a carrot every once in a while — physical health is important to your mental health. I wish you happiness everyday, Dear Reader, but especially on Sundays. 


Love,

Raven

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