How to deal with the Sunday scaries

Picture this: You've had the most tiring week ever. Your history teacher assigned that dreaded research project, your soccer practices have been way too intense and two of your besties are in a huge fight, leaving you stuck in the middle. The weekend couldn't arrive any sooner—but before you know it, Sunday is here and you're stressing out again. Sound familiar? You just might be dealing with the Sunday scaries.

The Cleveland Clinic explains these not-so-fun feelings, defining the Sunday scaries as "feelings of intense anxiety and dread that routinely occur every Sunday." Usually, these emotions (and sometimes their physical symptoms) tend to show up later in the day, but some people might notice them earlier—maybe even first thing Sunday morning. Recent research shows that this is becoming super common, especially among younger generations—in one survey, over 90% of Gen Z reported experiencing the Sunday scaries. If you're struggling with this, we've got you covered. These tips will help your Sundays go from frightening to fab!

Make the day fun

Staying active during the day can help you fight off those Sunday blues. Whether it's a pool day with your friends, a trip to the farmers' market with your family or a workout class at your local spin studio, it's key to keep yourself busy and distract yourself with activities that you love. You still have a day left in the weekend—so let yourself enjoy it! Plus, you might need that extra burst of energy to finish your last-minute math assignment later.

Set up a relaxing night routine

The ideal finishing touch to a successful day = a self-care night routine (duh)! Put away the homework and get ready to bring in allll the chill vibes for the ultimate Sunday send-off. It's time to break out your coziest PJs and grab your latest read off of your nightstand. Before you settle in to catch some ZZZ's, don't forget to press play on that Headspace meditation you've been wanting to check out. Winding down before bed is v. important. That way, you'll be totally refreshed and well-rested when your alarm goes off in the A.M.

Start journaling

It can be tough to stay present when your head is full of racing thoughts and annoying worries. Journaling is a great outlet for easing some of those fears. Getting them all out onto paper or into your Notes app will create some much-needed distance between you and your emotions. Keeping a journal is also an easy way to organize your thoughts, which will help you feel calmer and more productive. So this Sunday, carve out some time to just sit down and spill whatever's on your mind. Maybe you need to vent about something specific that's stressing you out. Or, you want to reflect on something you were grateful for this past week. The awesome thing about journaling is that you have total free rein—it's your space to say whatever you want.

Write a to-do list

Sometimes, simply making a plan can stop the Sunday scaries in their tracks. And if you know you'll have a lot on your plate coming up, keep things a little more manageable with a good ol' to-do list (or maybe you already have a super cute planner on your desk). By listing out your tasks for the week ahead, you'll have an easier time deciding what to prioritize and how you want to get things done. And by the time the weekend is over, you'll already get a good idea of what you need to tackle first once you head back to school.  

Focus on things to look forward to

The best way to get excited about a busy week? Turning that anxiety into anticipation, of course. And we know that there are *so* many amaze things for you to look forward to, from the significant to the small. It could be something like listening to your fave new playlist on the way to school (and belting out some T-Swift), spotting your crush in the hallway before the first bell rings or taste-testing one of your best friend's homemade chocolate chip cookies during lunch. Even the most basic things can brighten up your Monday—and the rest of your week—so pay attention to them!

Searching for more school tips? Check out these related posts:
📓 Try these study hacks to end your procrastination habits
📓 How to balance extracurriculars with schoolwork
📓 How to start bullet journaling this school year 

How do you cope with the Sunday scaries?
Share your tips with us on Twitter @girlslifemag!

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by Samara Smukler | 10/23/2022