Sunday Fear

Graduate Corner

Words by: Anna Dugdale

We’ve all been there; having a relaxing weekend (that you thoroughly deserve). Sunday arrives, and boom- you’re struck with fear over deadlines, lack of productivity and the week ahead seems impossible to tackle. For so long, I thought this was something I had internalized and made up. 

It is so easy to feel unproductive when you’re having time off, especially if you’ve done a lot of work the previous week. You go from one extreme to another. Time off is always well-deserved, so here are my top tips to beat the Sunday fear.

Make a list of everything you have to do that week

Having a million thoughts swirling around in your head is one of the things that makes me feel stressed so writing down the tasks I have to do that week helps. I find it looks less daunting when it’s laid out in front of you. 

When I’ve written everything down, I try to separate it into days so I have a basic structured plan for the week ahead. I try to keep it loose and not add loads to my days as things always pop up in the middle of the week that need doing. 

Keep your weekends at a slow pace

It’s completely okay to make plans for your time-off but as Monday-Friday is so fast paced, don’t force yourself to cram everything you want to do into two days. Sunday fear often links to feeling burnt out so treat your time off as a time to take things slow. Remember that it’s okay to say no to plans and events, it’s okay to want time to yourself.

You can still meet up with friends, go out, explore but if you find yourself trying to schedule your weekends tightly, take a step back. 

Switch off and disconnect

When you start to feel that inevitable lethargy, anxiety and doom and gloom over the week ahead, get off your phone. We spend so much time seeing idealised versions of peoples lives, when really it’s only a short edit. Seeing that will inevitably stress you out even more.

Switch off your phone, take some time to read a book, watch a film or spend time with your loved ones. 

Have a self-care evening

I always find when I’m feeling a bit ‘meh’, some TLC and self-care always goes some way to making me feel better. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just washing your hair and spending some extra time in the shower or bath can really help unwind. 

Shove a hair mask in, pop a face mask on and let yourself enjoy the last of your time off properly. 

Remind yourself that you’ve felt this way before and everything has worked out. 

Sunday fear happens so frequently that it’s easy to forget you’ve beaten it every time. You’ve spent plenty of weekends riddled with anxiety over the week ahead and still got through the week every time. Your feelings of anxiety and trepidation are completely valid, living in such a fast paced world where you’re encouraged to always be working and considered ‘lazy’ if you work less than someone else is toxic. 

The ‘hustler’ culture has led to feelings of inadequacy in so many people, perhaps knowing that you have to go face another week of working long hours and stick a smile on your face whilst doing so has led to the dreaded Sunday fear. It’s okay to not want to be constantly productive and to experience burnout. Remind yourself that you can manage everything life throws at you. 

Positive Affirmations

I always find injecting small bits of positivity through quotes is helpful. Whether that’s having a mindless scroll on Pinterest or looking at a mood board you’ve created can remind you what you’re working towards and any goals you have. 

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