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Five Ways to Fight the Sunday Blues

Refresh.  Nothing.  Refresh.  Nothing.  After you've checked Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and (If you're much younger than me) Snapchat for the thousandth time, it hits you.  Everyone is asleep.  Or maybe they're eating dinner, or walking their dogs, or reading to their kids, or learning to weld, or attending that candle lit yoga class you've been meaning to try out for the past year. Either way, there's nothing new there.  There's no buffer between you and Monday morning. You Frantically google for a word that describes this existential angst that grips you every week around this same time, and there it is, the Sunday Blues.  You're not alone, the majority of Americans experience them to some extent, so how can you cope with them?

  1. Ask yourself what exactly is it that you're  dreading about Monday:  Is it the 1,000 or so urgent emails that will be waiting for you?  The endless Monday morning meeting?  The guy in the cube next to you who clips his toenails on his desk?  If you're able to pinpoint what it is about Mondays in particular that fill you with fearful anticipation, you might be able to take steps to mitigate the problem - maybe there's a more efficient way to handle all of those emails?  A pair of noise canceling headphones might just do the trick against the rhythmic snip, snip, snip.  If the problem can't be solved, you may want to work on accepting the things about Monday that you just can't change.
  2. Create a fun Sunday routine:  If you find yourself spending the majority of Sunday staring at the clock and willing time to stop, while eating Cheetos and petting the cat with your foot, it may be time for you to create something to look forward to on Sunday.  Sit down right now (yes, actually right now, stop reading and sit down, then come back and finish) and write out a list of 50 things you can do on a Sunday that don't involve sitting on your couch and mentally trying to move the clock back to Saturday.  Once you're done with that, do those things!  Invite a friend for a social time and for extra accountability.
  3. Watch the Sunday Boozin':  Maybe you started the day with the best of intentions, took number 2 to heart, and went to brunch with some friends.  Three pitchers of bottomless mimosas later and you might find yourself on the precipice between drunk and hungover, crying about your crush in the eighth grade who never called you back, and sending ill-advised ex texts.  Nothing will set up your dive into the Sunday blues quicker than excess alcohol.  It'll also get in the way of a good night's sleep, and nothing will make you loathe Monday more than Garfield quite like the combination of a hangover and the impact of a sleepless Sunday night.  Do yourself a favor, limit the alcoholic drinks and Monday morning you will thank you.
  4. Practice Gratitude:  I know, gratitude is everywhere, to the point where it's starting to sound incredibly trite.  However, done the right way, it really can shift your mood from woe is me, to whoa, there are definitely things about my life that don't completely suck.  Click here for a shamelessly self promoting piece I wrote on how to cultivate your own gratitude practice if you're having trouble getting started.
  5. If you've tried everything, maybe it's time for a change?  You've tackled your in-box, become the king of Sunday Funday and are feeling pretty grateful about all the positive growth that's taken place along the way, but come Sunday night, you still find yourself in a pit of despair.  Is it possible that your life isn't moving in the direction that you want it to be?  This book might help you figure out if your day to day behaviors aren't in line with the values that are important to you, and how to get back on track in a way that's personally meaningful.  Scheduling a session with a licensed mental health professional might also be beneficial if you just can't seem to shake the sense that the way you're living your life doesn't seem authentic or congruent.

This Sunday night, I hope you're able to rest assured that you're not alone, and that many of us experience that weekly phenomenon known as the Sunday blues.  Hopefully, these tips will help you transition back into your week a bit more peacefully!

Dr. Scrivani specializes in the Cognitive Behavioral treatment of anxiety and related disorders, and provides tele-mental health services to residents of New York, Florida, and internationally. Call (888) 535-5671 or email [email protected] to set up a free consultation.  Visit my website for more information

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