12 Healthy Ways to Curb the Sunday Scaries


It happens to many people of various ages — Sunday afternoon or evening comes and you start to feel a pit in your stomach, dread the start of the week, and your palms sweat knowing that Monday is just around the corner. There is even a trendy term for it: Sunday Scaries.

To help ward off Sunday Scaries, here are some tips you can do:

Practice extra self-care on Sundays. This may be as simple as changing your sheets and making your bed up extra comfortable for a good night’s sleep on Sunday night. You could take a walk with a friend, browse a local bookstore or library, practice yoga or meditation, or do aerobic exercise. Taking extra time to be kind to yourself on Sunday can go a long way to ward off the scaries and help you start the week in a positive frame of mind.

Start a fun Sunday ritual. Start a family art project or puzzle every Sunday afternoon or evening or make dinner together (with leftovers for a delicious lunch on Monday). Having a ritual to look forward to can help you get through Sunday with less anxiety and more enthusiasm.

Write down at least one thing you are looking forward to on Monday or anytime during the week. Save these lists and refer to them to help you conquer Monday with a positive mindset. You can put the list on sticky notes and pin them to a bulletin board or around your bedroom mirror to refer to throughout the week.

Get organized. On Sunday, make a to-do list for the week ahead. Before Sunday evening, organize everything you need for Monday. Fill your water bottle, find your device chargers, know the family schedule. Students can put their books, homework, and notebooks in backpacks and organize their sports/instruments/extracurricular equipment. Pick your clothes out on Sunday so everything is ready to go on Monday morning. Staying organized helps prepare everyone for what is to come and reduces chaos and stress.

Plan meals. Plan family meals for the week ahead to prevent the stress-inducing “what are we having for dinner?” conversations that often arise. Try to prepare at least a meal or two in advance, or have healthy snacks like carrots and hummus, almonds, or hard-boiled eggs easily accessible for the week.

Talk about your feelings. Talk with your friends and loved ones and let them know how you are feeling. Odds are that some (many) of them have Sunday Scaries, too.

Be kind. Treating others well has a big side benefit — it helps you feel better, too! The world can be a scary place and it is not always easy to understand what others are going through. Take a minute to say hello to a neighbor, call a friend who needs a pick-me-up, deliver a healthy snack or gift card to someone you know with a new baby. Volunteer in your community. Share a “good news” story, or tell someone about this “Pep Toc” with kindergartners that can brighten just about anyone’s day!

Create a playlist for the week ahead. Music can and often does soothe the soul. Before you go to sleep on Sunday, create a playlist for the coming week. Fill it with music that makes you happy or lyrics that inspire you. Play it (and sing along!) on Monday for a tune-filled start to the week.

When Monday Rolls Around

Leave extra time to get ready. No need to rush into the week; set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and ease into Monday to help start your week calm.

Eat a good breakfast. A healthy breakfast provides the nutrition you need for a successful, energetic day. Consider a smoothie, low-sugar oatmeal with cut-up banana, or fresh fruit and nuts with a scoop of yogurt.

Get some fresh air. Fresh air and sunshine are proven to lift moods and increase energy. Walk to school or walk around the block before starting your day. Seeing the world outside provides a fresh perspective that can clear your head and jumpstart your week.

Assess your day. Phew, you did it, great work! Monday came and went. How did it go? What worked well for you? Was it as hard as you thought it might be? Focus on some positive aspects of the day and keep them in mind for next Sunday.

Are Sunday Scaries or signs of depression or anxiety interfering with your daily life? Here are some resources to help: www.emersonhospital.org/mentalhealthresources.

How do you combat the Sunday Scaries? Let us know by DMing us on Facebook or Instagram @EmersonHospital or sending an email to PR@emersonhosp.org.