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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

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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