How to Beat the Sunday Scaries

How to Beat the Sunday Scaries

Picture this: it’s Sunday and you are relaxing after a gratifying weekend. You had a fun-filled Friday night. Saturday was full of your favorite activities and hobbies. Maybe you finally prioritized running those errands that have been on your to-do list for way too long. But then, your phone dings. It’s an email from work, and suddenly, your mind is racing about the busy week ahead. You try to relax and push yourself to stay in the moment. You want to enjoy the rest of your weekend. But you can’t – the Sunday scaries hit.

What are Sunday scaries?

If you are unfamiliar with the term, the Sunday scaries refers to the looming feeling you get on a Sunday about the work week ahead of you. It hangs over you like a looming rain cloud. You can’t seem to stop thinking about your responsibilities. Feelings of anxiety and fear begin to take over. You are already worried about the unknowns that Monday morning may or may not bring.

Nonprofit Workers still get Sunday scaries

No matter what sector you are in, Sunday scaries still affect you – especially if you work for a nonprofit. Unique stressors come with many nonprofit positions. Some nonprofits serve individuals in traumatic, complex, or heart-wrenching situations. Employees might work in crisis centers, soup kitchens, or animal shelters. Therefore, individuals may be exposed to tense scenarios and distressful narratives. When you are in a position that provides assistance to individuals or groups in need, there is inherent pressure to perform well. Nonprofit workers may feel an anxiety around potentially letting others down due to stress surrounding the nonprofit’s mission to do good and help others. There can be a lot of heavy weight that comes with the job.

You might think, “If my work is rewarding and you love helping others, how can I prevent myself from feeling this way?” Well, let’s take a closer look.

5 Ways to Battle the Scaries

Instead of constantly fighting your work anxiety, we may find ways to reduce stress. Now, let’s walk through a few small ways to beat the Sunday scaries.

  1. Find the root of your anxiety. Think about what exactly is causing you to feel worried during the weekend. Did you not complete your work on Friday? Is there an issue with a coworker? Is there a conflict in your personal life? If  you identify the actual cause of your Sunday scaries, you can work to address those negative feelings.
  2. Prepare on Thursday and Friday. Try wrapping up your work weeks strong. While it may be unrealistic to finish all your to-dos week after week, be sure you complete the big tasks. By tying up those loose ends, you won’t be thinking about them come Sunday night.
  3. Set clear work boundaries. If your work emails continue into the weekend, try turning off notifications for the weekend. Change your Slack notifications to “snooze.” And, if possible, politely ask your coworkers to refrain from reaching out unless an urgent matter occurs. Setting clear boundaries will allow you to create a healthier work relationship.
  4. Fill your weekends with wholesome fun! What brings you peace? What can you do to relax and recharge? If you have a busy schedule, try penciling in one activity per weekend that you enjoy. Maybe it’s something as simple as cooking a healthy meal with your family or sitting in the park and reading a new book. Make sure to prioritize taking time for yourself so you can recharge during the weekend.
  5. Have a Monday morning routine that you enjoy. If you learn to make the most out of your Mondays, then the Sunday scaries may not be quite as daunting. This may look different for different people. Perhaps you avoid scheduling meetings for first thing in the morning, treat yourself to your favorite Starbucks drink, or wake up a little earlier to make breakfast and start your week on a positive, healthy note.

All in all, know that you are not alone in your feeling of work anxiety. Nonprofit workers are a community, and we have a special understanding what others within the sector experience. We all are faced with our own personal challenges inside and outside of work.

Cara Godlesky

Cara graduated from the University of Alabama in 2018 where she studied pubic relations with a concentration in nonprofit management. She considers herself a lifelong learner, and loves to branch out and acquire new skills. Cara’s favorite hobbies include looking for arrowheads, and participating in any outdoor recreational activities.

July 21, 2022

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