5 Realistic Ways To Kick The Sunday Scaries To The Curb For Good
Workin' Girl

5 Realistic Ways To Kick The Sunday Scaries To The Curb For Good

Ah, the Sunday Scaries. It seems a catchy title or cliche name has been given to almost all common age-old experiences, especially with the power and reach of social media. But real talk, the anxiety that hits many of us when we think about facing yet another Monday, is horrifyingly annoying, especially since a lot of times it’s tied to financial and family obligations that we can’t ignore.

For me, I’ve made friends with the Sunday Scaries at various times in my career journey. In the early years, they were prompted by the eagerness to please and move up the ladder at my first few dream jobs in publishing. In later years, as I set out for full-time self-employment, the Sunday Scaries showed their face again, this time due to the utter trepidation that comes with not only attracting and keeping clients and getting steady work but the process of juggling multiple deliverables for those clients.

So, how did I ultimately conquer the Sunday Scaries for good? Here are a few helpful steps I took:

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1. I got honest with myself about what was truly triggering the Sunday Scaries in the first place.

I began to write and noticed that there were various things that contributed to the nagging feeling on Sundays, which is how I was able to acknowledge that those feelings don’t necessarily mean I need to up and quit a job or give life to falsehoods like, ‘I just hate my life.’ For me, fear and insecurity were at the core of welcoming the Sunday Scaries into my weekly routine.

2. Based on those triggers, I wrote down solutions. 

Sometimes, it was simply a lack of time management, a fear of failure, or over-commitment to work that I wasn’t really passionate about doing. I found I could implement solutions like:

  • Shifting how I spend my Fridays so I’d have more time to spend strictly on self-love, pleasure, and fun.
  • Talking with my clients or managers to find out if I could shift away from doing certain tasks and focus more on the work I loved and was great at doing.
  • Letting go of projects, jobs, or clients that just didn’t serve my end goal or feed my creative advancement. (In one very unusual experience, I actually did quit after two weeks, and it was the best decision I could’ve made at the time.)
  • Taking on weekend chores I really don’t like doing (like laundry, meal prepping, working out, or shopping) during the week.

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  • Constantly exploring new job and career opportunities and fun ways to feed my urge to live freely, explore other aspects of life, and avoid feelings of being caged in by routine or monotony. (I grew up in a strict Christian household, so, as an adult, I really don’t like anything that sparks feelings of extreme restriction or lack of control. I found that sometimes the Sunday Scaries were nothing but rebellion clothed in fear, so to balance that, I often explore all my options and create multiple plans of action for things I want to do in life.)
  • Going to therapy to talk more about processing through triggers and healthy ways to combat or eliminate them. (I’m still a Christian and enjoy the good things about my upbringing, but there were a few toxic and traumatic routines and memories that really were at the core of why I’d get the Sunday Scaries.)

3. I weighed the return on investment for the essential but not-so-sexy tasks of my job or career.

As much as this is said and written a lot, you’re not going to like every single thing about your job, and the journey is not always consistently blissful. Sometimes certain parts of work cultures, project management processes, or whatever it takes to be a success at work can be downright annoying, nerve-wracking, challenging, and tedious.

As long as I enjoy more things about work than I hate—and the not-so-appetizing but necessary tasks serve a bigger picture of purpose in my career journey—I can realistically say to hell with the Sunday Scaries and take on all that my job entails with humility, confidence, and conviction.

4. I began waking up earlier and scheduling at least 30 minutes on Monday mornings just for my self-care.

No checking emails. No taking care of others. No prepping anything. No scrolling anything. I’d sit in silence, re-watch an episode of one of my favorite Netflix shows, read a book, pray, or make myself a great breakfast to my favorite morning playlist on Spotify or YouTube.

I’d also put my phone in a cabinet or drawer during my me-time, as it often tempts me to check an email or get too immersed in watching hundreds of Reels.

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5. I found something focused on wonder and play to do every Monday (or every other) so that I could look forward to it the night before.

For me, it’s planning a trip or doing something that takes me into another cultural experience as if I’m traveling, like visiting an authentic Greek or Mexican restaurant.

It also could be taking a new dance class, going for a walk in a new location I hadn’t explored, or hanging out with family. And I literally schedule this time on Mondays, like an appointment or meeting—on my calendar—where I am, for the most part, unavailable for anything else during that hour or so that I’ve given myself.

Bonus: I got radical and cleared out my calendar on Mondays.

I once worked with an executive who’d block out a certain day of the week just to go golfing. If you’re self-employed, a freelancer, or you have seniority in your department or company, clear out your Mondays on your calendar, sis. Be deliberate about eliminating the problem altogether. Set boundaries with your clients, teams, or others so that they know you’re simply unavailable and will not be working. Even if you’re not the boss, you can ask for that day off or shift your work week to Tuesday-Saturday. Another compromise: Work remotely on Mondays.

Get honest with yourself about why those Sunday Scaries keep disrupting your peace, and begin to advocate for yourself. Find out where there might be some ways for you to get the mental break you need on Mondays so that they’re not getting the best of you. Tap into your support system, and get rid of routines, so-called norms, and influences that do not serve your end goals or quality of life.

As ambitious, capable, and beautiful Black queens, we must own our time and honor the gift that God has given us—empowered and fearless.

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