Who’s familiar with the Monday Blues? It’s that sense of dread that rolls in late in the afternoon on Sunday, during those last few hours of weekend freedom; and when you have anxiety, it’s enough to send you spiralling.
Unfortunately, if you have a stressful job or a job you don’t much enjoy, that feeling of dread will probably always be there in some way, shape or form; but the good news is (if getting rid of your job isn’t an option) you can at least beat the anxiety that sometimes comes with it.
Beat the Sunday Night Anxiety Spike with Routine.
When you have anxiety, having a strong and consistent routine is one of the best ways to combat everyday anxiousness. In fact, building a routine is one of my 5 keys to breaking free from anxiety.
Anxiety creates chaos in the mind, and when there’s chaos in everyday life, anxiety get’s worse. The best way to beat that chaos it to create structure around it through regular, everyday routines.
Not just any kind of routines though. A good, anxiety-fighting routine should include things you enjoy and things that help you take care of you. So, if you get an anxiety spike on Sunday afternoon because of the Monday Blues, then you might consider creating a structured routine that you can really look forward to.
If there are things you have to do before Monday rolls around, get them out of the way early in the day. If there are things that absolutely have to be done Sunday evening, build your routine around those things.
Beat the Monday Blues with Things You Enjoy.
Your routine can look however you want it to look – as long as it includes something you enjoy and a little self-care.
For instance, if you enjoy playing the Ukulele, make Sunday afternoon/evening your play time. If you like to write, use this time to do some journaling or maybe set aside an hour every Sunday to start writing that novel you’ve always wanted to write. You get the idea.
One caveat – if you have a favourite show that you enjoy binging, this is not the time to settle in and start watching. In fact, this is probably something you already do (most of us do, anyway), and you may have already noticed that it doesn’t really help. My thoughts on this are that watching a fun and exciting television show (while we are already feeling bad), kind of makes us feel worse. If we really want to beat the Monday Blues, we need more active leisure in our lives, like any of the aforementioned things, or reading a book, practising yoga, colouring, and things like that.
Reduce Your Anxiety Spike with Self-Care.
If you think of your routine as a formula, the second ingredient would be self-care. In my opinion, doing things we enjoy does count as self-care, but there are other things we can do to truly nourish ourselves that we may not necessarily want to do, because they feel like more of a chore.
Things like meditating or praying, taking a bath, doing a self-massage, reading spiritual texts, taking a gentle walk outside in nature, connecting with someone we love, or fixing up a warm glass of spiced milk. These are things that nourish us; and if we practice them mindfully, they can be quite enjoyable.
We want to include these sorts of practices into our routine because they can help us calm the nervous system and make us feel safe. When it comes to managing anxiety, this is important; so important that I would actually recommend incorporating one or more of these practices into your daily routine. However, building your own “Self-Care Sunday” is a great place to start. It will help you reduce that anxiety spike and feel better about your Monday Blues.
Other Recommendations to Consider
Building a Sunday afternoon/evening routine is a great way to beat the anxiety that comes with the Monday Blues, but there are a few other things you should consider for optimum results.
Consider limiting your used of electronic devices in the hour or two before bed. Believe it or not, engaging with our electronics can actually increase anxiety, and doing so before bed can make it harder to sleep. Can you guess what else increases anxiety? If you’re thinking “poor quality sleep,” then you’re right.
That being said, think about setting an earlier bedtime. 10PM is a great time to go to sleep if you want to get a full 8 hours. Plus, if you’re in bed before 10:30, you’ll likely avoid the “second wind” that usually hits right around that time.
Make all of these things a part of your Sunday evening routine, and the next think you know, your anxiety spike will be barely noticeable. And who knows, you may even eliminate your Monday Blues all together. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.