Plan Your Day to Beat the Sunday Blues

Have you ever experienced the Sunday Blues? There are many names for the anticipatory anxiety that occurs as many Americans end the weekend and prepare for another Monday morning. According to a survey conducted by Monster, a global online employment service, 76% of respondents in the United States report having “really bad” Sunday night blues in a poll conducted in March of 2015. When compared to the rest of the world, the United States is significantly higher as only 45% of other countries report experiencing the “really bad” Sunday night blues.

First, lets begin defining what is actually happening in our bodies when preparing for the work week. Dr. Susanne Cooperman, neuropsychologist and psychoanalyst at NYU Langone Health, stated that the Sunday Blues, are the byproduct of anticipation for the week ahead. It is “anticipatory anxiety – not stress in the moment, but the anticipation of what will come puts workers in a flight or flight mode”. The adrenal gland sits on the top of the kidneys and it releases adrenaline and cortisol, giving you a real life stress reaction.

Today I would like to propose a success plan to help you beat the Sunday Blues and have a more productive Monday. This success plan is not your average to do list; instead it is the essential items you need to complete on Monday to keep you on track to have a successful week.

In July of 2016, over 1,500 people took the quiz, “How Do Your Time Management Skills Stack Up?” through Leadership IQ, a management research firm. One question asked respondents to choose between two statements:

  1. In the morning, before I check email or voicemail, I develop a plan so I know exactly what I need to achieve that day to make it a successful day: 34% of respondents chose this.
  2. In the mornings, the first things I do are check email or voicemail: 66% of respondents chose this.

The results propose creating a success plan that will guide you to greater productivity on Monday mornings. Only 47% of people who begin their day by checking email said they often leave work feeling like “today was a really successful day”. On the other hand, 68% of people who begin their day developing a plan leave work feeling like "today was a really successful day”. Additionally, once you have developed a plan for your Monday, there is no point pondering it further during any point of your weekend. It’s all mapped out and ready for you when you get to work Monday morning.

Here are five additional recommendations to beat the Sunday blues from Dr. Susanne Cooperman:

  1. Shut Off Phones and Devices: Take a "digital vacation" and turn off all of your devices. 24/7 communication outside of the workplace creates additional stress. 
  2. Create a Wind-Down Routine: Exercise, social interaction, and listening to music are a few of the many options available to help you wind-down after a long day. 
  3. Find Your Tribe in the Office: Take comfort in the coworkers you are close to and do not be afraid to get close to coworkers. They are most likely have or are experiencing similar feelings as you. 
  4. Stay Grounded in the Present: Anxiety is a future-oriented state so it is key to find tactical activities that help you live in the present moment.
  5. Sleep is Key: Getting the proper amount of sleep the night before a long work day can be essential for your success and productivity.

If you want to take the Leadership IQ quiz and learn more about your time management skills, click here: Leadership IQ Quiz 


Leaders, Teams, and Organizations