So 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?
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 Monster.com, 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
- TAKE 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 Clarity e-Course (click here to download your free copy), 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?
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