Fear of Monday? What could be the reason?

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Wasn’t it just Friday?! As is often the case, time flies by at the weekend, and before you know it, Sunday evening has arrived. A subliminal uneasiness spreads in many people: We are discussing the so-called “Sunday Scaries.” This refers to feelings of anxiety and stress that typically occur on a Sunday and stem from the anticipation of having to go back to school or work the next day, explains Carine Anderle. She is a psychotherapist and psychologist.

“Sunday Scaries” is widespread. In a survey with over a thousand participants from the United States, it was found that 81 percent of respondents suffer from the fear of Mondays. For most participants, the anxiety occurs in the afternoon or evening; however, 15 percent reported experiencing “Sunday Scaries” as early as Sunday morning.

“It’s a fear many people know about themselves,” Carine Anderle knows. But just because it’s widespread doesn’t mean it’s particularly healthy.” However, “Sunday Scaries” is not a clinical diagnosis. Instead, feeling anxious on Sunday can indicate job dissatisfaction or a tendency to think negative thoughts.

Sundays over and over again…
But where does Monday anxiety come from? “At the weekend, in the best case, we enter a state of lightness, of relaxation. In such a state, we drop our protective armour to a certain degree,” Anderle says. However, because many people associate work with stress, the psyche begins to prepare on Sunday(evening) from a mental state of relaxation to anxiety.

“Sunday Scaries”: what to do about it.
But there are ways to counteract it. Carine Anderle advises consciously shifting your thoughts in a more positive direction and pinpointing exactly what you’re afraid of: “What am I afraid of, and why is it not as bad on Tuesday or Wednesday, for example?” In addition, to focus on the positive, it helps to focus on aspects you like about your work.

What can also help? Trying to make Monday a little more relaxed – at least if that’s possible. “For example, you can try to schedule some buffer time. So that you don’t feel completely slammed by work on Monday.” Regular routines for Sunday afternoons or evenings can also be helpful. “It’s calming,” Anderle knows. “Some people are helped by meditating. Others watch their favourite show on Netflix.”

“The Sunday blues shouldn’t become the norm.”
However, suppose the “Sunday Scaries” occur not just once in a while but suddenly every week. In that case, Carine Anderle recommends seeing a professional, especially if they are accompanied by psychosomatic symptoms and affect one’s quality of life. “This can go so far that people can not enjoy the whole Sunday because it is covered by tension.” Other symptoms can include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea or difficulty falling asleep.

“Then you should look at the message of what’s behind it. Is something perhaps wrong in my work environment? Am I perhaps not feeling well in my job?” Here it helps to become aware of one’s self-efficacy and consider to what extent one can change something about one’s own situation. For example, a conversation with the manager can be helpful.

In any case, you should not be afraid to seek professional help. According to the expert, the frequency with which one suffers from “Sunday Scaries” is irrelevant: “Get professional help if you feel you need support: That’s always okay, that’s always fine.”

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