Have you ever felt sad or anxious on a Sunday night? As it turns out, you could be experiencing a common phenomenon known as the Sunday Night Blues. A Baylor College of Medicine expert gives his tips on how to beat the Sunday doldrums.
“The term Sunday Night Blues is not a diagnosis, medical condition or term that will be found in scientific journals. It is actually a layman’s term for a melancholic feeling that people can have on Sunday nights,” said Dr. Asim Shah, professor and executive vice chair in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor.
Shah explained that there are many reasons that may contribute to why a person might feel sad or restless on Sundays.
“I think one of the simplest reasons people feel sad on Sunday nights is because they were enjoying the weekend and now it is over. Over the weekend, people go out more and enjoy themselves. They may go out to eat, go to a concert, have a picnic or meet up with friends. They are doing a lot of extra activities on the weekend that they may not be doing throughout the week,” Shah said.
The weekend also is usually filled with no structure, he said. People tend to wake up and go to sleep when they want to but then all of a sudden they have to go sleep early again on Sunday so they can wake up early on Monday.
“Most people don’t look forward to having to wake up early on Monday, get ready and get out the door and then have to sit in traffic on the way to their workplace,” Shah said.
Having the Sunday Night Blues does not necessarily mean you don’t look forward to going to your job, he said, but it is the fact that you are going to miss all of the fun you had over the weekend.
He added that your work environment also can factor in to how you feel on Sunday nights.
“If you don’t have a good work environment, meaning you don’t get along with your colleagues or your boss, then you will most likely experience worse Sunday Night Blues then someone who enjoys their work environment,” Shah said.
To help beat the Sunday Night Blues, Shah offered the following tips:
- Plan your weekends so that you don’t overbook yourself on one weekend and then have nothing to do the following weekend. Also, plan activities that you can do on the weekdays so that you have something to look forward to during the week.
- Avoid staying out late on Sunday nights because this can create a feeling of dread that you have to wake up early on Monday morning. You want to make sure that you give yourself enough time to prepare for Monday.
- Don’t ignore responsibilities on the weekend. While it’s good to plan lots of fun activities, you should not put off important tasks like paying bills, doing chores, and running errands.
“Hopefully if you practice these tips, you will feel better and more refreshed come Monday morning,” Shah said.