How to stop Sunday night anxiety

As the weekend is fast approaching, many of us will be familiar with the fear that Sunday night can bring.

For many of us the Sunday night fear is real. I remember when I was working as a secondary school science teacher, having the feeling of ‘dread’, on a Sunday, anticipating my return to work on the Monday. It was awful. I would literally wake up on Sunday morning, already worrying about the next day. The focus became more on the feelings, that fear and worry had created within me, instead of actually living in and enjoying the present day.

Anxiety-Inducing

Is there anything more anxiety inducing than the moment you realise that Sunday is nearly over and Monday will soon be upon you?

For myself, the feelings were at times debilitating, stopping me from agreeing to meet with friends and socialise. I felt too anxious to go out, I had worked myself into a frenzy. It was like I was trapped on a merry-go-round of fear, one that I could not get to stop.

Jumping off the ‘Merry-Go-Round’

It takes a lot to reflect on who you are, the behaviours you are displaying outwardly to the world and to identify the patterns of behaviour that are not healthy within yourself. Time is needed by yourself in order to take a step back and to look at your actions from a far, seeing how you can help yourself. I have learnt that difficult journeys lead to beautiful destinations and that hope, love and a willingness to change yourself is the key to letting go of the anxiety that keeps you on lock down. I can only empathise with anyone reading this who fears Monday morning. Let us act to change that pattern of behaviour.

Steps to freedom

For myself, I had to take extreme action. On reflection of my anxiety it had become apparent that however much I loved teaching science it was not my ultimate ‘calling’.  My passion had began to dwindle and this made the politics of the job even more apparent – my love of teaching the children was simply not enough. I began to become fearful of every week, as I was in the same job that saddened my heart and soul. The weekends were my ‘safe’ haven where I used them to recover from the week gone by.

However, Sundays were still my day of ‘dread’. The amount of adrenaline that would have been pumped into my body, once a week, was becoming very dangerous to my physical body. I had to take control of the situation. The anxiety was leading to depression and a loss of who I was. I chose to take a ‘radical shift’ approach and left the teaching profession with a mortgage in toe. This decision was difficult but it saved both my mental and physical health – I was set free! It was not easy and the road ahead was hard, but the fear gradually left me and the feelings of love for myself were restored. I had faith! Faith that better days were ahead and that I would be okay.

Now a lot of you reading this will be thinking, “It was easy for you to do that, I have bills to pay and I cannot do that.” I understand how you may be feeling, but try and take a step away from your feelings. Detach from them with love and work out the steps you may need to take, if you feel a ‘radical shift is the answer for you.

If not, then the following six tips will help you to combat the anxiety that Sunday brings, until you become empowered enough to take other leaps of faith:

Visualise your Monday and week ahead going well – be positive!

A lack of sleep and perhaps an alcohol-induced weekend will increase your fears, so this is the time to visualise ‘positivity’ for the coming week ahead.

Motivational Monday

Look at Mondays with a whole new perspective – a chance to reset your goals or to start a new one for the week ahead.

To do list

Write a list of what you need to do in the week. You must include some fun things and treats to keep you going until the weekend that will cheer you up. For myself this would personally include ‘date night’, a treat meal and some exercise that I don’t usually have time to do.

Avoid binge eating and drinking

More so at the weekend, as this is what inevitably effects how you will feel on a Sunday night. Too much alcohol with make you feel both hungover and low in mood. Alcohol is a depressant, so to over indulge in alcohol will make you feel low, negative in your thinking and fearful of Monday mornings.

Self-care Sunday

Make an effort to look after YOU on a Sunday evening – for myself this consists of nice food, watching something easy on the mind – usually on ‘Netflix’ and a hot bath or shower in candlelight.

Sunday sleep

Self-care has been attended to, you have planned for your week ahead with your ‘To do list’ and you have eaten healthy today. Find ways to learn to ‘switch off’ so you can get a deep restful sleep for the week ahead. I like to use a candle, staring at the flame to switch my mind off about ten minutes before I plan to shut my eyes.

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