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How to overcome the ‘Sunday fear’ | UK news

How to overcome the ‘Sunday fear’ | UK news
How to overcome the ‘Sunday fear’ | UK news

A creeping feeling of dread can ruin the sunniest Sunday night. If you’re one of the 70% of people who know this feeling, here’s how to combat that end-of-weekend anxiety.

From Josephine Franks, news reporter @jos_franks


Sunday, June 23, 2024, 3:51 p.m., United Kingdom

If you’re feeling a creeping sense of dread at the end of the weekend, you’re not alone.

Seven out of ten Britons experience “Sunday anxiety”, according to Research on behalf of the government in 2022.

Suddenly the task you wanted to leave aside on Friday is at your doorstep, a groaning inbox is waiting, and the ambitious list of weekend tasks is still incomplete.

The study cited work stress, lack of sleep and a long to-do list as the main causes of feelings of stress or anxiety on a Sunday.

Sunday fears are a form of anticipatory anxiety, i.e. the worry about something that is yet to happen.

Apparently, Sunday anxiety reaches its peak for many people shortly after 5 p.m.

The distraction tactics reported by respondents varied by age group: 18- to 24-year-olds were most likely to scroll through social media, 25- to 32-year-olds were most likely to watch television, and 33- to 40-year-olds were most likely to turn to food for comfort.

However, one psychologist warned that this tactic could actually make the problem worse.

So what can you do to combat the Sunday night blues?

Do your worst task first

Combating Sunday night anxiety starts earlier in the weekend.

Corporate wellbeing specialists Thrive4Life recommend doing your worst tasks on Friday night and Saturday morning so they don’t linger on Sunday.

Be strict when relaxing

Make a resolution to rest and relax on Sunday – and stick to it, recommends Thrive4Life.

Try mindfulness or meditation

Yes, mindfulness is a buzzword in the mental health field – but it can help you break the cycle of anxious rumination and anchor you in the present.

If you’re worried that Monday morning will be a time of rumination, try using an app to keep a guided journal.

To work on a project

Working on a project that requires your full attention either physically or mentally is a good way to distract your mind and avoid bad habits like consuming alcohol, according to Mental Health First Aid USA.

This might mean doing some gardening or DIY, or focusing on knitting, a crossword puzzle or a craft project.

Get physically active

Similarly, getting some exercise is a great way to keep your body busy so your mind isn’t running on overdrive.

And hopefully it will tire you out enough to get a good night’s sleep.

Create a to-do list

This may seem counterintuitive if a long to-do list is part of your anxiety, but prioritizing your tasks on Sunday can help you focus on Monday.

Plan a reward

Millennials’ need for a “little treat” to get through the day has become meme-worthy. Do adults really deserve a cookie just for making it to the office on Monday morning?

If the prospect of that puts you in a better mood on Sunday night, the answer is yes.

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What can employers do?

The University of Exeter has developed a toolkit for employers to help them support their employees.

Her tips included keeping Monday morning and Friday afternoon free of meetings so employees could prepare for the week and work through their to-do lists.

They also suggested offering support to their team, being approachable as a manager, and knowing who to refer colleagues to if they need help with their mental health.

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