Banish the “Sunday Night Blues”
Most people will have experienced it at some time – that strange feeling of dread or anxiety that slowly creeps over you on a Sunday night when you start to think about the week ahead. Maybe you’ve got a difficult Monday morning meeting, or you’ve got a stressful week planned, you’re spinning a lot of plates and you’re worried you’re not going to get it all done in time. Whatever the reason, it’s not a good way to end the weekend or start the week ahead. We’ve put together a few of our top tips to get you motivated and ready to tackle Monday morning with a clear head and a positive mind set!
- Prepare for your Monday before you leave on a Friday. Put together your to do list, prioritising tasks whilst everything is fresh in your mind. Respond to any unanswered emails and give your desk a tidy up. This way you’ll be able to put work to the back of your mind and make the most of your weekend safe in the knowledge that you’re ready to get off to a great start at the beginning of the week. Try to resist the temptation to check your emails over the weekend. Instead aim to keep Sunday completely free from work. If you need to remind yourself or check emails before Monday, why not try doing this before your Monday officially starts. Leave an hour or so earlier on Monday morning, avoid the worst of the rush hour commute, get into the office early when it’s quieter and free from distractions and you don’t risk jeopardising a good night’s sleep by worrying about problems you can’t actually do much about until Monday anyway!
- Plan to do your weekend chores during the week. Don’t save all your chores up for the weekend, break them down and plan to do a little bit each night of the week. Even if you can’t do this every night, doing errands in the week will make a big difference to how much free time you have at the weekend. If you have a long commute, work long hours or have other things planned during the week, try having a “getting stuff done” day (or half day) and keep one of the weekend days totally work and chore free so that you can have the chance to properly unwind on at least one day.
- Make the most of Sunday. Plan to do some fun things on Sunday. Plan to do something with friends or meet up with family, perhaps go and see a show or exhibition you’ve been wanting to see for ages. Getting out on a Sunday night can be fun and keep your mind off work, they don’t have to be spent at home.
- Sunday exercise. Schedule in some time for exercise or sport which will help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. When we exercise, chemicals called endorphins are released into the brain which react with opioid receptors giving us a feeling of happiness and general well-being (sometimes called a runners high). The sedative effects of endorphins are also known to help us to sleep better.
- Turn off your devices. Avoid temptation to check your emails and try to stay off all electrical devices for at least an hour before you go to bed. The light emitted from these devices can delay your natural body clock, suppressing the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin and we find it harder to get to sleep.  Not getting enough good quality sleep can have an adverse effect on your alertness and productivity at work.
Managing leisure time is just as important as your work time. If you don’t plan quality down time to switch off completely from work, it can be counterproductive and have a negative effect on both your well-being and you’re work. You need time to recharge. If you’re already doing these things and you still find you’re suffering from the Sunday Night Blues take some time to reflect on why this might be. If it’s related to the job you’re doing it could be time to update your CV and consider a new opportunity!