This is an actual phenomenon that a recent study showed 81% of people experience. Have you recognized a higher level of anxiety creeping in as Sunday winds down into evening? It happens to me most Sundays. Here are some excerpts from the study that I found interesting:
“Psychologically, the dread you feel before the workweek begins is a response to the perception of some sort of threat. We often struggle to manage a balance between our work and personal lives and as a result, the sharp transition from a leisurely weekend to an intensive workweek is especially difficult and contributes to the feeling we associate with the Sunday Scaries.”
I have found myself getting increasingly anxious as Sunday winds down, especially if I have a very heavy week coming up. Today is one of those days. As I sit and type this, my heartrate is elevated, my breathing is shallow, and I feel like there is a brick in the middle of my chest. My therapist has taught me to notice where in my body I am feeling things. If I can identify how what I am feeling manifests in my body, I can do work to alleviate the symptoms. When I find myself breathing shallow, and I get that heavy feeling in my chest, I stop and do a breathing technique I was taught. Breathe in deeply to a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, and release through an open mouth to the count of 10. You would be amazed at how it really works. If I find myself starting to spiral into what could be a panic attack, this typically happens as I try to fall asleep on Sunday nights, I use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 technique:
5 – 5 THINGS around you that you can SEE– Maybe it’s a clock on the wall, chewing gum on the floor, clouds moving past, however big or small, recognize 5 items you can see with your eyes.
4 – 4 THINGS around you that you can TOUCH– Maybe it’s your computer at work, the park bench you are sitting on, your cell phone, your wallet or purse. Recognize 4 items you can feel with your hands or body.
3 – 3 THINGS around you that you can HEAR– Maybe it’s the buzz of the copy machine, the laughter of children at the park, birds chirping, construction work down the street. Use your fine tuning and see if you can hear ambient sounds you may not normally tune into- the hum of the air conditioner, clocks ticking, cars going by. Name 3 things that are audible to you.
2 – 2 THINGS around you that you can SMELL. This one may be tricky if you are not in a stimulating environment. If you cannot automatically sniff something out, walk nearby to find a scent. Maybe you walk to your bathroom to smell soap or outside to smell anything in nature, or even could be as simple as leaning over and smelling a pillow on the couch, a pencil or hey do a check to see how your deodorant is working today. Whatever it may be, take in the smells around you.
1 – 1 positive THING about yourself. Anxiety can leave us feeling inadequate, or silly that we are getting “worked up over nothing”, but taking time to address your feelings is an accomplishment. There are many good things about you. Positive thinking can help bring about a positive feeling in yourself. And finally at level 1, taking one more big deep breath.
You might wonder how things that seem so simple can actual change what you are experiencing, but I’m telling you it works. Not every time, but enough times to make it worthwhile practicing.
I found these articles very interesting, and explained exactly how I feel on Sundays. Maybe you will find them interesting as well, and you might recognize why you get extra crabby on Sunday evenings, extra tired, or just don’t feel well. We are in the same boat with over 80% of other folks in the United States. That might not make things better, but at least we aren’t alone, we aren’t crazy, and we can learn from each other.
I encourage everyone to treat yourselves with love and kindness this Sunday night. Remember to breathe, stretch, hug someone, cuddle your pets, and let Monday come gently. Remember your self-care this week. Self-care does not have to be something huge. Take 10 minutes every day to just “be” – whether you take a walk around the block, listen to some music, do a meditation, call a friend – just take 10 minutes a day for YOU. Would love to hear what you did with your self-care 10 minutes. Please leave me comments – I want to learn from you, ways to be a better me.
Namaste, and love, always love.