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5 Bosses Share How They Rise Above The Sunday Scaries

Who said Sunday had to be scary or that Monday had to give you the blues?

Workin' Girl

Like most people, I have a love/hate relationship with Sundays. On the positive side, I love Sundays because it's normally my day to unapologetically indulge in an endless amount of mimosas and delicious bites while catching up with my girls at the latest day party. But after the mimosas are gone, the food has been digested, and the music stops, I'm back at home, looking at my upcoming reality - Monday.


Despite how much fun Sundays can be, once night hits and the fun is over, I tend to get a case of what I like to call the "Sunday Scaries." If you're unfamiliar with the phrase, the Sunday Scaries are the anxiety that sets in on Sunday nights with the impending return to the office, school, or work.

For many people, Sunday Scaries can disrupt you, impact your productivity and mood, and can cause chaos for the week ahead if you let it get the best of you. It doesn't matter what level you are in your career, or how high up the corporate ladder you are, the Sunday Scaries is a real thing and it's something that many of us experience. Recently, I was able to connect with a few successful women of color and they shared what their Sunday Scaries are and how they overcome them.

The “Never Ending To-Do List” Sunday Scary...

Kristina Willams, Founder & CEO of ZiM

Kristina Williams, Founder & CEO of ZiM

Courtesy of Kristina Williams

What She Said:

"At times I get overwhelmed when I think about all of the tasks I need to complete at once. I've had to learn to compartmentalize and to strategically plan my days in blocks.

"The first part of my day is for self-care, then comes emails. Next, I'm dedicated to completing any tasks my team needs from me before I head into my own daily tasks. I designate certain days of the week for meetings and try my best to stick to this schedule. I am naturally a big-picture thinker so creating visual charts, color coding, and having databases help to keep my brain focused, categorized, and linear.

"I have a tendency to get lost in my work so I've recently adopted the practice of planning for fun throughout my week as well. I aim to have at least one fun outing per week that allows my brain to decompress, build relationships and even gain inspiration from seemingly unrelated experiences. My tip for you would be to remember to design for joy, whether it's the colors you choose for your Post-Its, sharing a non-work-related hello to a team member, or planning your schedule with inserts of breathing time. Use your Sunday to remember you are in control of all of it, as much as it may seem overwhelming. Most importantly, remember to give yourself grace."

Yene Damtew, Salon Owner & Hair Educator

Yene Damtew, Salon Owner & Hair Educator

Courtesy of Yene Damtew

What She Said:

"Typically, my Monday errands make me nervous every Sunday. Being an entrepreneur requires you to wear a lot of hats and the only way to do that is to have structure. I am the queen of what I like to call 'TDL's' which stands for 'To-Do Lists', and I am old school in the fact that I prefer writing it down on paper rather than digitally as I get satisfaction on crossing the task out. I am a woman who likes to have a game plan and stay organized. I write everything down including my personal activities like workouts and self-care routines. It really helps calm my nerves.

"As a salon owner, traveling hairstylist, and educator, Mondays can include social media planning, stocking inventory at the salon, folding salon towels, laundry or repacking a suitcase for an upcoming trip. As long as I have it written down, almost anything seems possible to achieve."

The Sunday Scary That Actually Starts on Saturday

Aria Bell, PR Consultant at AT&T

Aria Bell, PR Consultant at AT&T

Courtesy of Aria Bell

What She Said:

"Honestly, I start getting the 'Sunday Scaries' on Saturdays.

"I tend to think about how the weekend will be ending the next day and hate that we don't have three full days. We all know Fridays don't count since we go into work on that day. Whenever these thoughts consume my mind, I ask myself, 'Why am I getting anxious when I've never failed at making it through every week no matter what?'

"Normally, what makes me anxious is thinking about my outfits for the week, my upcoming workload, and what I'll be eating (I try to be frugal with spending). I've found that picking outfits for the week on Sundays, or at least the night before, helps make my mornings run smoother. It also allows me the option to even stay in the bed an extra 15-20 minutes which is an absolute plus for me.

"As far as my heavy workload, I write out the most important tasks and/or goals I need to accomplish in order from most important to least. This helps me keep things aligned and prioritized throughout the week. Lastly, if there was ever a task that can save you time during the week, it would be meal prepping! Preparing and cooking my meals and snacks for the week effectively eliminates bad spending and eating habits. This task might seem intimidating, but you'll thank yourself during the week and keep some money in your pockets."

The Startup Founder Sunday Scaries...

Kendra James-Anderson, Virtual CFO

Kendra James-Anderson, Virtual CFO

Courtesy of Kendra James-Anderson

What She Said:

"My Sunday Scaries consists of thinking about my growing team and my growing client list. I tackle these Sunday Scaries in two main ways:

(1) I set no more than 1-2 high priority goals for the week.

(2) I dedicate Mondays exclusively to Team Meetings.

"I've found that having only 1-2 high priority goals for the week allows me (and my team) to all be focused on key objectives. Once you have an ever-growing to-do list of 50 random items, things feel overwhelming and impossible. Instead, I simply narrow that down to what really has to be done this week.

"I think about my business's overall monthly and quarterly objectives and create weekly goals based on that. Oftentimes, we include so many to-dos that don't even tie to our main objectives... so I use Sunday to get focused and outline those objectives. And then on Monday, I dedicate my time to holding team meetings. In the team meetings, I disperse those objectives to ensure that we are all on the same page. The Monday meetings really help set the tone for the week, and because I know what our company focus is for the week, I can properly lead my team.

"Sunday doesn't have to be scary if you utilize that time to find your focus for the upcoming week. My advice? Trash the 5-page to-do list and narrow your focus on the key objectives. It really helps your work feel more intentional and efficient and less erratic!"

Ashley Edwards, Founder & CEO of MindRight Health

Ashley Edwards, Founder & CEO of MindRight Health

Courtesy of Ashley Edwards

What She Said:

"My 'Sunday Scaries' are usually finance-related. As a small startup, I want to make sure everyone on our team consistently has all the resources they need to thrive. When I feel overwhelmed, I make a list of major stressors I may have in the week ahead - investor meetings, product deadlines, etc. - and then I make a list of all the things I can actually control. It's easy to feel stressed by all the things out of your control as you run a startup, so for me, it's important to remind myself of what I do have the power to change. I feel good as long as I know that each day I've done the best I could with what I have."

What are some things that give you the Sunday Scaries, and how are you overcoming them? Drop us a note and let us know!

Featured image courtesy of Kendra James-Anderson

Originally published February 10, 2020

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