Sunday night blues?
I am delighted to be writing this as British summer time has commenced. Wow, longer days and shorter nights- hopefully a recipe to make us all feel an improvement in our mental health. We also recently celebrated the International day of Happiness on the 20th March. Spring is definitely a season of positivity; the snowdrops, daffodils and blossom all appearing around us helps to improve our mood. Blue skies and chilly mornings, a joy to get out for a walk, run or cycle, quite clear the summer is just around the corner. However, it is not time for sunbathing yet!
Do you get that Sunday night anxiety feeling before going back to work on the Monday, or in our industry as you know, it is not necessarily always a Sunday night you feel the blues?
You have had your days off and you have been relaxing…however the thought of going back to work is looming over you. No matter what you do for work and how much you enjoy your job, it’s very likely that you’ve experienced a spot of Sunday night anxiety. The feeling can actually start halfway through the day, as the time off ticks away. It affects the enjoyment you should be experiencing as you spend the final hours with others before work begins again. Your mind starts to consider what the days ahead at work involve, stealing the day from you. It is not a positive way to spend your day off, why do we let it happen and what can we do to prevent it?
There has been recent research from Chanel 4, the University of Exeter and Investors in People that suggests we should be strengthening the boundaries between work and the days off. The common theme discovered was that when the line between work and life blurs, that spells trouble.
Common causes recorded for the Sunday blues included, receiving emails and having unfinished tasks from the previous week. Self-imposed pressure to perform also plays a part. As many as two third of people in the UK experience the feeling, even those who enjoy their job can experience this.
So what can we do about it, if anything to reduce the back to work day dread?
- Digital detox– set yourself some boundaries around the phone and laptop. Keep away from the emails, hide the phone if you can, get out the house get fresh air and stay away from the screen.
- Brain dump the worries or plans you are considering, write them down before you go to sleep, it clears the mind and should help you to sleep better.
- A quiet weekend- in other words take things easy and try not to cram too much into your days off. In addition, if possible, make the day of work before you finish not a manic one, that will help to ease you into the days off.
- Sleep pattern- try to keep to the same wake up and bedtimes on your days off. We all love a long lie, however research suggests that we function better keeping a routine. Your body and mind are better rested if the pattern is not upset.
- Have some self-care- plan to relax, recharge and plan some ‘me’ time. Make time to read, do yoga, meditation or just chill. It will allow you to cope with the challenges that work will throw at you when you get back in the routine.
Have a try of some of these suggestions, and maybe you already have some strategies of your own- feel free to share these with us on our social media platforms! We hope you can find your way to create a happy, healthy weekend (or days off), ensuring that your days off are your own and you are refreshed for the working week.