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Stifling the 'Sunday scaries'

5 ways to ward off workweek jitters.

Article Author: Johnny Woodhouse

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photo for Stifling the 'Sunday scaries' article

You know that anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach that creeps in every Sunday? Turns out, it has a name. It’s called the “Sunday scaries,” and a lot of us get them.

Essentially, we’re mourning the end of another well-deserved, but oh-so-short weekend, and dreading the inevitable return to the so-called salt mines on Monday.

Worrying about the future is normal, but being overly anxious about something that hasn’t happened yet is not healthy and can lead to prolonged negative emotions.

“Find a self-care activity to look forward to on Sunday night to take your mind off Monday morning,” recommended Stephanie Mullis, a licensed mental health counselor with Baptist Behavioral Health. “You could listen to your favorite guided meditation or podcast, read the latest best-seller or call a family member or an old friend.”

Here are Mullis’ top five tips to fight off these feelings as you transition from weekend to workweek:

  1. Prepare for Monday on Friday. Make a detailed to-do list on Friday afternoon before you leave work so you are organized and ready to go come Monday morning.
  2. Make meals in advance. Set aside time on the weekend for food prep to cut down on workweek stress at mealtime.
  3. Avoid oversleeping. Stick to your regular sleep cycle on the weekend to maintain the timing of your internal clock.
  4. Don’t overload your coveted days off with errands and obligations. Make sure you schedule some “me time.”
  5. Ignore work-related correspondence. Only answer emails and texts in an emergency or if you’re on call for your job.

Teri Briggs, MSN, a senior education analyst at Baptist Health who helps team members manage their focus, recommended keeping a notebook handy on the weekend to jot down work ideas or issues that pop up from time to time.

“After writing it down, you can let it go and get back to what you were doing,” she said.

Make relaxation a priority on the weekend to help reduce Sunday stress and set yourself up for a more productive and less “scary" workweek.


If you need additional support managing anxiety or stress, a patient coordinator with Baptist Behavioral Health can help you select the appropriate mental health professional for your needs. To schedule an appointment, call 904.376.3800.

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