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Sunday Blues

Sunday Blues? Try this.

Written by Lisa Barber on . Posted in Cultivate a Winning SME Mindset, SME Leadership and Management

Sunday BluesSo you dread Monday morning by lunchtime on Sunday huh? Once that sinking feeling strikes you’re spending what’s left of the day fluctuating somewhere between noticeably distracted and mildly depressed. Despite your best efforts to enjoy quality down time you’re anticipating the relentless nature of your week ahead. Perhaps you’ve already resorted to accessing emails in some vain attempt to ease the stress and burden of days to come and found yourself diving into 8 o’clock Monday by 4 o’clock Sunday. Sound familiar?


78% Suffer

The hours between 6pm on a Friday and 8am on a Monday are supposed to be a blissful reprieve from the chaos and complexity of your working week. But according to a recent survey by, for 78% of respondents, a ‘back-to-school’ feeling tends to descend and then dominate their Sunday evening. 47% consider their mood to be “really bad”.

The ‘Sunday Night Blues’ typically result from a combination of realising the weekend fun is over and allowing the mind to fast forward to (and focus on) both the knowns and unknowns of the 5 days to follow. The blues can strike even those who are flourishing at work but they don’t have to wreck your weekend – unless you give them permission to.

3 Ways to Reclaim Sunday

  • Sunday Night BluesTAKE ACTION ON FRIDAY. It may seem obvious but many of us neglect to schedule and protect time each week to tie up as many loose ends as possible. By planning ahead on Friday (whether finishing a task you’re immersed in or reviewing and prioritising the diary for next week) you’ll be improving Monday morning and thereby making a concerted effort to reduce end-of-week distractions and anxiety on Sunday.
  • OBSERVE YOUR THOUGHTS FROM THE SIDELINES. In Step 1 of my FREE e-booklet for SME Sales and Marketing Leaders, I encourage leaders to imagine their brain as a computer. Your memory may slow to a crawl if there are too many programmes open at once. Clients have found it particularly powerful to be mindful which files they are trying to access on a Sunday and mentally ‘shut down’ all folders containing thoughts about past negative experiences they are unable to influence or unjustified concerns about future situations that don’t yet (or may never) exist. This frees head space – enabling you to ‘be present’ in the moment and make the most of precious time away from your workweek environment.
  • GET THE SUPPORT YOU DESERVE. Your leadership journey in an SME can be a highly-rewarding one but it will doubtless demand tremendous amounts of energy, resilience and drive. It’s likely you’ll be exposed to communications, analysis, strategy and implementation plus engaging with media, peers, agency partners, clients and direct reports in any one day. If Saturdays are spent merely recuperating or fulfilling obligations and catching up on household chores, it is understandable that the mere thought of the looming workweek come Sunday is sufficient to send even the most optimistic leaders into a self-perpetuating downward spiral. By seeking support from someone who has walked in your shoes, you’ll not only achieve more Monday to Friday, but you will also have a trusted outlet for those less-than-rosy days.

Over to You

What thoughts trigger the sinking feeling for you and at what time on a Sunday does it typically strike? Or perhaps you are one of the 22% that doesn’t suffer from Sunday Night Blues. If so, please share your secret below to inspire and encourage others.

Want to Tackle Sunday Night Blues Head On?

To bring structure, clarity and calm to YOUR working week, click here to read about my three month support programme for SME Sales and Marketing Leaders.

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Lisa Barber

SME Sales & Marketing. Mentoring & Consultancy

Comments (6)

  • Rosemarie


    That’s very true Lisa – I suffer a bit from this. However I find that a good solution for me is PPT – no, not powerpoint slides, but Perfect Potter Time. I spend Sunday evenings pottering around, putting things away, ironing, getting work and school bags packed and generally doing bits and pieces to help get the week off to a good start. They are not too taxing on the brain but also help quieten that rising feeling of panic that I have so much to do in the week to come. And of course moving around anyway is beneficial as you can think more clearly. Just my thoughts :-) I also run a small mastermind group which is great for the support you talk about too!


  • Linda Anderson


    Yikes, I remember that Sunday sinking feeling so well! It used to start around 4 pm when my parents were listening to ‘Sing Something Simple’ on the radio and nothing else was happening (everything shut down on Sundays – yes, it was a very long time ago!). It was soooo boring, and all I had to think about was going in to school the next day and all the homework still to do and the boring classes to sit through and the playground teasing and fights.

    Thankfully I don’t suffer from this anymore. I absolutely love my work and can hardly wait to get started again.

    My problem is now the reverse – how to really switch off on Friday nights and stop work leaking into the weekend, not just because I love it but also because there’s a part of me that thinks I shouldn’t stop until I’ve really got a thriving business going – which is complete self-sabotage, I know.

    So I love your computer-with-too-many-files open analogy and will experiment with it to selectively shut the work files down.

    Just need to finish this comment, look at my emails, check out what’s happening on FB, … etc etc first :-).


    • Lesley Pyne


      I agree with Linda, I used to feel like this & now I love what i do I find it hard to switch off.
      I love the idea of taking action on Friday. I am a list maker & so I always spend time on Friday plan to what I’ll be doing the next week. This certainly clears my head before the weekend.
      I also agree on the importance of seeking support. My experience is that setting up a business is harder than you think & support is essential.
      Lesley Pyne recently posted…Family coming to stay at Christmas? Here are 3 things you can do to take controlMy Profile


  • Kate Bacon


    Hi Lisa

    This part of your post really resonated with me:

    “…mentally ‘shut down’ all folders containing thoughts about past negative experiences they are unable to influence or unjustified concerns about future situations that don’t yet (or may never) exist.”

    Being mindful of being in the present moment is the perfect antidote to worrying about things in our past or what might happen in the future.

    Kate Bacon recently posted…Can you really connect online (it isn’t like “real life” is it?)My Profile


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