Do you find that the end of the weekend approaching puts you down in the dumps? If your mood consistently drops on Sundays, you’re not alone in experiencing the Sunday blues.
Sadly, you’re in the same boat as most Americans.
For those already struggling with anxiety or depression, feelings of dread about the upcoming week can be intensified.
You might not even be able to put your finger on a specific reason why, but those Sunday blues are there week after week nonetheless and can be so frustrating. We only get two weekend days—no one wants to give one up to worry and a bum mood!
Moms can fall victim to the Sunday blues, whether you work outside the home or not. The weekends represent something special, your sacred family time and a break from the busy week. When that is coming to an end, it can feel like a mini-grieving session 52 times a year.
As a working mom, this is something I continue to grapple with. I love my day job, but it’s hard for me to switch gears from weekend back into work mode.
Tips are based on personal experience and should not be considered medical advice. Full disclaimer.
What can you do about the Sunday Blues?
Fight back with these tricks and reclaim your Sundays.
1. Plan an enjoyable activity
Sunday usually gets the short end of the stick when it comes to fun activities. If yours is anything like the typical household, fun activities are scheduled for Saturday while Sunday is for chores, relaxation, and perhaps worship. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It makes perfectly good sense on the surface. We all need some well-deserved down time.
However, in fighting the Sunday blues, you may need to get a little creative. Try switching things up by planning some enjoyable activities for Sunday. Can you go to the park or the zoo? Bake something with the kids? How about bowling or going to the movies? Whatever gets you and your family excited—pencil it in for Sunday.
(Keep things reasonable. Aim for enjoyment, not exhaustion.)
By planning something fun, the idea is to keep your mood high and stay active. You’ll come to associate those good feelings with Sunday. People don’t usually get jazzed about doing ten loads of laundry and changing the sheets. See if you can spread some of your chores to other days of the week.
Doing enjoyable activities should help keep you from stressing about the week ahead.
2. Practice mindfulness
Throughout your Sunday, try to stay in the moment. Savor every little bit. If your mind starts to wander to the week ahead, pull it back to the present. Laugh with your kiddos. Give them a snuggle. Watch their expressions as they experience their day.
Appreciate your day even more by noticing all the small things. Use your senses to absorb your surroundings. Make note of the taste of your coffee, the warmth of your home, the view outside, and anything that sparks joy and wonder for the world around you.
Breathe it all in, and you’re sure to get a mood boost.
3. Take time for rejuvenation and reflection
Consider taking some time for meditation on Sunday night to clear your head before the week begins. Pair it with some peaceful self-care to end the weekend on a relaxing note. These measures should help to calm your anxiety.
Pause to reflect on things from the past 48 hours that you’re grateful for. This might be new experiences, connections with your family, or time to focus on you. It’s hard to be as stressed when you’re being positive and practicing gratitude.
4. Set up softer Mondays
If you frequently struggle with the Sunday blues, try to avoid placing high-stress activities on Monday where possible. Give yourself some time to ease back into the week gently. Don’t schedule big meetings or presentations for Monday morning.
To make your Monday mornings less frantic, make sure lunches are packed and everything for the day ready to go in advance.
If you have the option to telecommute, perhaps you can ease back into the workweek by working remotely on Mondays? What about planning lunch with a friend to add some brightness to your Monday?
5. Give yourself things to look forward to during the week
On a related note, try to sprinkle some positive activities throughout the week. Things that fill your cup don’t have to be strictly reserved for the weekend.
Consider it part of work-life balance to make sure your week isn’t all work. I know it can be hard to squeeze things in on weeknights with kid’s activities, homework, dinner, etc. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be simple little things.
I allow myself one day a week where I stop for a coffee and pastry on the way to work. Maybe you can have a Netflix night with your spouse after the kids are in bed. Can you fit a bit of time in for a hobby on your weeknights? See these easy activities for connecting with your family.
If you try to schedule activities to look forward to regularly, hopefully they will take away some of the workday dread.
6. Face your worry
Distractions aside, at some point, you may need to face the beast head on. If nagging thoughts or anxiety about the week ahead won’t go away, pick them apart and attack them.
Are you suffering from working mom guilt?
Is there something specific about Monday through Friday that ties your stomach in knots? Can you make a change to address it?
If you can’t fix it, are you worrying about something more than it deserves? Use questioning and evidence to pick those thoughts apart. For example, what’s the worst that could happen and how likely is it to occur? Is there actual evidence that you should be concerned? What would a friend say?
Pinpointing the cause of your feelings can help you either work towards a solution or accept that you have these feelings (justified or not) and do your best to cope with them.
It’s always okay to talk about how you’re feeling, even if your worries aren’t completely rational. Your feelings are real and they matter.
If worry is significantly interfering with your life, consider speaking with a therapist or healthcare professional.
While you may not see Sunday blues go away completely, I hope these strategies will help over time.
They’ve certainly helped me. It takes continued effort.
Try them and see what works for you. Just knowing that you are not alone may provide some comfort in itself.
Please check in and let me know how it’s going. Share your progress in the comments.
Wishing you brighter Sundays ahead!