How to beat Sunday evening anxiety

Many of us feel it, that creeping sense of dread that accompanies the sun’s descent on Sunday evening. The knowledge that tomorrow we’ll be back in the office, possibly stressed, possibly facing situations we weren’t quite prepared for. The pressure to get a good night’s sleep and become mentally ready for the week ahead is on. It’s exhausting.

I’ve written before about my Sunday struggles. It’s particularly ridiculous that i’m so silly about all of this because I enjoy my job, i’ve got great colleagues and a kind boss. Of all people, I have no excuse to panic so much every Sunday, and yet I do, without fail, week in, week out.

The only upside to my persistent problem is that over time, I have developed certain practices and routines that ease the anxiety around going to bed and readying myself for Monday. I know this is a very common issue, so I thought i’d share some tips and tricks to help lessen the stress.

Don’t get hammered the night before

I have come to the shock realisation that drinking heavily gives me anxiety. No fucking shit, right? Generally i’m making a big effort to avoid heavy drinking for this very reason, but if I am going out-out, I try to stick to Friday nights to avoid adding additional anxiety onto my pre-existing Sunday anxiety.

Do productive tasks that make you feel organised   

What better way to set yourself up for the week than getting your home and lunches organised? I really hate mess at the best of times, but I hate it far more on Sunday evening when i’m going through the mental tick list of all the things i’m yet to do. A clean and uncluttered home makes for a clean and uncluttered mind, or something like that.

Have a bath

An obvious point, but if you have a bath, use it. Throw in a bath bomb, fill it with bubbles, use the most gorgeous bath salts to create a smell so good it could be mistaken for a Lush store. It’s self-indulgent as hell, and probably not something many have the time to do during the week. Fuck it, pop a face mask on while you’re at it, just make time to totally relax and pay attention to yourself.

Cook something delicious

Not for everyone I know, but in the last year i’ve started to really love cooking, and when better to put time and effort into a meal than on a Sunday? The beauty of Sunday is that you’ve got time that you don’t have during the week, which makes it an ideal day to try out fancier dishes that require a little more thought and prep. Cooking also serves as a brilliant distraction if, like me, you start to worry about not being able to sleep.

Watch a film with a loved one

Most Sundays Rai and I snuggle up on our sofa after dinner and watch a film. I suppose it’s a comforting environment that requires minimal effort and can be very enjoyable (assuming you’ve picked a good film, of course). Again, it works well to distract and calms the mind, readying it for bed – the most challenging part of this ridiculous mind-battle.

Do whatever you need to do to sleep

Sleep and I have a difficult relationship. I love sleep, but sleep doesn’t love me. I will write a post on how to beat insomnia, because it is virtually a nightly battle, but on Sunday, I get particularly aggressive when it comes to sleep. I prefer to avoid using sleeping pills at the best of times as I imagine it’s not particularly healthy, but on Sunday, I give in and pop two pills at around 11pm and an effort to be totally unconscious by midnight. Generally, it works, and it means I avoid torturing myself into the wee hours over my inability to shut off.

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