Weekends are a time to recharge, but many of us know all too well that the looming dread of Monday and the week ahead can quickly drain your Sunday battery. Even when you love what you do, sometimes your workweek has already subconsciously begun before your weekend has even ended.
This feeling of anxiety or anticipation, commonly referred to as the “Sunday Scaries” or the “Sunday Night Blues,” usually sets in mid-day on Sunday as the weekend officially begins to wind down. To combat this feeling, we’ve put together a list of 6 simple ways for you to prepare for the week ahead, so that you can feel free, present and empowered to fully reclaim your Sunday.
We recommend you give one or two of these a try early in the day on Sunday before the dread has a chance to seep in. Think of it as preventative care!
6 Ways To Prepare For The Week On Sunday
We can do it all, right? Maybe, but we don’t have to do it all in one week. Let’s tackle that long to-do list a little differently. If you could only accomplish three things during the next seven days, what would they be?
Focus on the essential tasks, make sure they are reasonable, and make it your goal to tackle them. Write them down, put them on the fridge, set a daily reminder – whatever works best for you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have a never-ending list of to-dos, so the key here is focus. Anything that didn’t make your top three can wait. Make a “nice to do” list if you must, but again, keep your efforts focused on what you’ve decided is most important!
Meal planning or prep.
Cooking can be very therapeutic when you are not rushed (or super hungry), and a great way to get ahead if you’re up to it on a Sunday. If not, you don’t have to prep all or any of your meals for the week at once. You can, however, at least map out your meals for the week by writing them out – this will give you the best chance of making (and sticking to) the best nutritional decisions for yourself and your family.
Once you have your meals written out and a plan for those groceries, you won’t have to stress over what’s for dinner at the last minute.
Plan out your outfits for the week.
Ever leave the house not feeling very put together because you ran out of time in the morning? Being uncomfortable in your clothes can be a mood and productivity killer! Steve Jobs wore the same outfit all the time – the infamous black turtleneck with jeans and sneakers. Wearing the same clothes every day meant wasting less brainpower on this daily decision. As classic as a black shirt/jeans combo is, it’s not for everyone.
If you spend just a little time putting together your outfits on Sunday, you’ll be investing in your week’s morning routine. Planning ahead will allow you to get more creative with your outfits. In the least, it will prevent any hasty decisions if you are in a rush the day-of.
Pro tip: Don’t just write down your outfit plan, but actually lay out the clothes. You can even hang each outfit on its own hanger. This way, you don’t run into the “oh no, that shirt is in the laundry” dilemma.
Ensure a balanced week.
When evaluating the week ahead, if it is starting to look like nothing but tasks and obligations:
- Carve out some time to do something you want to do. It can be something big or small; it doesn’t matter. The important thing is to have something you can look forward to if your week starts to feel a bit like a drag (it happens sometimes!)
- Make a promise not to allow another task or obligation to take priority over whatever it is you’ve scheduled for yourself.
Write out your weekly plan.
Take no more than 15 minutes to write a light version of your daily plans for the week. Why 15 minutes? The time limit will keep you focused on high-level daily goals instead of getting into the details, thereby avoiding the risk of triggering anxiety. Having this high-level plan to reference during the week will help provide direction for each day, so you are focused and not trying to do everything at once.
Give yourself permission to do nothing. Seriously.
Sometimes the right thing for you to do is nothing, nada, zip. Acknowledge how you feel when you wake up on Sunday and determine if you just need a day of self-care, lounging, or whatever recharges your personal battery. Go with it and purposefully give yourself the day off.
Sometimes the best chance you can give yourself to have a productive and fulfilling week is to start it well-rested after a guilt-free Sunday!