Let’s talk about Sunday Night syndrome!


April 25, 2023

Yes, it is a thing, no spots or a rash, just that sense of impending doom. I have spent so many years with that sinking feeling on a Sunday when you realise that you must go to work the next day, not because I have ever disliked my job. Reality is the more responsibilities; I took on the career ladder the worse it has got.  Rationally I know that it’s still Sunday and I have hours of weekend left and objectively I know that no matter what lies waiting for you at the office on Monday morning it’s still Sunday, yet I can’t shake off the uneasy feeling of melancholy dread that Monday is looming.

I spent many years thinking it was just me that everybody else found Sunday a breeze and didn’t give a hoot about what Monday might bring but I did some research and realised that for many this goes back to being at school and what that first lesson was on Monday. Now I have always had jobs in the most that I liked but school was a whole different ball game I hated school from about Year 9.

It appears people fall into two camps with Sunday night syndrome some experience occasional bouts, presumably based on what is happening in life at that given time. Others like me have it every week (except for five when I am hopefully somewhere hot and sunny 😊

For those who have never had this anxiety then this an explanation Sunday syndrome is a form of anticipatory anxiety. This is when you experience increased levels of anxiety by thinking about an event or situation in the future, for example going to work, or turning on your laptop for work tomorrow, or anxiety about the working week ahead. I have read tips over the years most say get a good night’s sleep on Sunday night but that puts more pressure on me to sleep well and I find myself waking up every hour or so and I end up having the worst sleep of the week.

I am a great fan of Donna Ashworth who is a poet and Best-Selling author she wrote.

Too many Sundays have been darkened by the dreaded presence of Monday looming in like a storm cloud of anxiety and fear.

Sunday is your gift, your day to recharge, your freedom.

Be protective of that time.

Monday has its space enough, do not let it overstep its mark. Make your plans, prepare, then push Monday back into its box and let Sunday shine forth like the jewel that it is.

You deserve this day of soul rest. You work tirelessly my friends. Life is not a chore to be dealt with, its to be lived. You’re here to live. And Sunday is a day for doing exactly what your heart desires.

I spoke to a psychologist friend who assures me that you can train your brain to step away from your emotional response to Monday morning. She said that as humans our first response to anything is emotional and then our rational brain steps in and the trick is to acknowledge the feeling but to let it go. Makes sense to me I am certainly going to give it a go, it will be the breaking of a 45-year habit so let’s see how I get on with it. I am going to give it my best shot at reclaiming my Sunday evening.

It struck me that working with so many small business owners who are really struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, inflation and all the other depressing world things going on Sunday night syndrome must be escalating for them. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer. All the research says more self-care but when you are concerned that your business is on the line, I am struggling to see how you can shake it off. The bottom line is the creeping sense of dread you feel on Sunday may be just a product of the times we live in, so there isn’t always an easy fix. Instead of letting this feeling take over your night, acknowledge it, accept that you might not be able to completely get rid of it, and return your thoughts to your favourite hobbies and the company of your loved ones.

If this resonates with you, I would love to hear how you deal with it any tips gratefully received or if like me you’re planning to make changes would love to know how you get on.

Maybe it’s the birth of the Sunday Night Syndrome Club… Zoom anyone at 2am?