Ah, Sunday. The day of rest. The day when we prepare for the week ahead. For some people, Sundays are a time of dread.
The Sunday scaries set in, and they spend the entire day worrying about work on Monday.
It can be really hard to get out of bed, let alone be productive when we’re feeling this way. This doesn’t have to be you! This blog post will give you actionable tips on how to stop dreading work and actually enjoy Mondays (and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, etc.)!
12 actionable tips to mitigate feelings of dread
Silence work-related notifications on your lock screen
We all know that notification sounds can send us into a panic. Seeing a work-related email first thing Sunday night or Monday morning can leave anyone feeling stressed. To avoid this, disable work-related notifications on your lock screen. That way, you can enjoy your time outside work without constantly reminding yourself of what’s to come.
If you absolutely cannot silence your notifications, try setting up a separate email account for work correspondence and only checking it during work hours. This will help compartmentalize your work and personal life, making it easier to relax when you’re not at work.
Delete your work app from your phone
This is a more extreme measure, but if you’re constantly checking your work email or Slack even when you’re not at work, it might be time to delete the app from your phone. This way, you can’t access work correspondence unless you’re on a computer.
If you’re not ready to delete the app, try hiding it in a folder on your phone. The good news is that it’ll be out of sight and out of mind. The negative feelings associated with work will start dissipating if you’re not constantly seeing reminders of it.
Leave your work bag in the trunk of your car
A tip that I do for myself to decrease work dread is to leave my work bag in the trunk of my car. This way, when I get home from work, I can immediately put it away and forget about it until the following day.
If you’re a person that loves having an action plan when it comes to embracing a healthy work-life balance, this is a great tip for you. It allows you to physically separate your work life and your home life.
Schedule a meeting with your supervisor to adjust your workload
If you’re feeling overwhelmed in your current position, it’s important to communicate this with your boss. They may be able to help lighten your load or adjust your deadlines within your work day.
If you’re not ready to have this conversation, take a deep breath and try communicating with your supervisor in other ways. Perhaps you can send them a weekly update of what you’re working on and how you feel.
This is easier for you to give them a sense of how you’re really doing without putting you on the spot.
Practice saying “no”
We often take on more than we can handle because we feel like we have to say “yes” to everything. But this is not sustainable and will only lead to more feelings of dread.
Start practicing saying “no” to things that you don’t have the capacity to take on. This can be difficult initially, but it will get easier with time.
An important thing to remember is that saying no is for you and not for the other person. You’re allowed to put your own needs first!
Create self-care bath rituals
One way to avoid the Sunday scaries and give yourself a boost on Monday and all other days ahead is to create self-care bath rituals that you can look forward to all week long. This might be something as simple as taking a long bath on Sunday night or reading your favorite book in bed.
Creating these bath rituals will help you to relax and prepare for the week ahead. They will also give you something to look forward to during the work week.
Envision your week going well
One of the best ways to stop dreading work is to have a positive outlook and to envision your week going well. This doesn’t mean you should ignore the challenges you might face during the week. But it does mean that you should focus on the fact that you will overcome these challenges.
Start your week off on the right foot by taking a few minutes each day to visualize how you want your week to go. A meditation app that offers visualization exercises, reading positive affirmations, and/or answering shadow work prompts is a great way to do this beginning on Sunday evening.
Create a work bin and leave it in another room
This tip is similar to the one about leaving your work bag in the trunk of your car. But instead of putting it in your trunk, you can create a work bin and leave it in another room of your house.
This way, when you’re done with actual work for the day, you can put all of your work tasks and materials in the bin and forget about them until the next day. It allows you to see the tone of where your work environment ends and where your home begins.
Pick up a delicious meal for you to enjoy at lunchtime on Monday
If you dread work on Monday, one way to make the day more bearable is to pick up a delicious meal for you to enjoy on your lunch break. Make a list of things you want to incorporate into your work lunches and pick them up on your way to work.
This will give you something to look forward to and will help to make the day more pleasant while addressing your basic non-negotiable needs. Rinse and repeat throughout the week.
Set aside work outfits that you love
Much of the time we spend ruminating about work is spent thinking about how much we hate our clothes. We dread having to put on the same suit every day or the same dress. Another way to make the work week more bearable is to set aside work outfits that you love.
This doesn’t mean that you have to wear something different every day. But it does mean that you should have a few go-to outfits that make you feel confident and stylish.
Create a reward program for yourself
Not to be confused with bribery, positive reinforcement is planned ahead of time and is a great way to increase productivity. When we do something we enjoy, our brain releases dopamine, strengthens our heart rate, and makes us happy.
Therefore, if we can find ways to incorporate activities that make us happy into our workday, we will be more likely to want to do them.
Talk to someone about how you’re feeling
If you’re feeling stressed or anxious about work, it can be helpful to talk to someone about how you feel. This could be a co-worker, friend, family member, therapist, or anyone else you feel comfortable talking to.
Talking about how you’re feeling can help decrease the intensity of your emotions and help you devise a plan to address the issues that are causing you stress.
Prepare for the upcoming work week with these time management tips
With the anticipatory anxiety of the work week looming ahead, these tips will help ease into your work week so that you can hit the ground running on Monday morning. Monday dread is nowhere to be found when you have a plan in place!
Hone into your overall mental health so that when faced with what could be a stressful deadline, negative energy, or acclimating to a new environment, you’re better equipped to manage these challenges in a way that doesn’t completely deplete your energy or, worse, make you dread Mondays and every day thereafter.