10 Ways to Avoid the Sunday Night Blues

If you feel anxious or sad on Sunday nights, you’re not alone. Here are 10 ways to beat the common condition.

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Woman in bed trying to avoid the Sunday night blues
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10 Ways to Take Back Your Weekend

Come Sunday evening, many of us are filled with dread at the prospect of a new week; somehow, our two-day respite never seems quite long enough. Here, Montreal psychologist Julie Menard and Belgian neurocognitive behaviourist Brigitte Durruty weigh in on how we can have happier Mondays.

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1. On Sundays, Focus on the Good

In the evening, take a long bath, share a meal with loved ones or phone a friend. Whatever you do, make sure it’s enjoyable (say no to stressful activities).

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Woman reading at desk
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2. Put a Stop to Self-Judgment

Accept that you’re more likely to spend a Sunday in pajamas than scale the terrain of Killimanjaro. Ease up and give yourself permission to relax. Life is long and full of ebbs and flows – you can climb a mountain next year.

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Couple cooking together
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3. Lower Your Expectations

You want to spend time with friends, get enough exercise, be fulfilled professionally, keep a spotless home and have an exciting love life – all in a two-day window. It’s time to ask yourself if it is indeed possible to have it all. Why not settle on one must-do activity per weekend?

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Man running outside in winter
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4. Move, Walk, Run

Physical activity is a great way to get out of a funk during weekends. Working out during the day will help lower your anxiety, boost your energy levels and keep you thinking positively come evening. And there’s no reason not to work out during the winter either!

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Man relaxing on couch
Robert Liwanag

5. Take Mini-Breaks to Breathe

Each time you inhale and exhale with mindfulness, you lower your heart rate and begin to relax. Setting aside a minute to breathe can also shake the cobwebs from your brain and help you gain clarity, ease mounting frustration and force you to pause before reacting to a situation.

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Happy blonde woman smiling
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6. See the Glass as Half Full

Train yourself to be a positive thinker. Rather than zero in on what has gone pear-shaped, reflect on your successes. For instance, if you have developed a strained relationship with a friend, remember that there are many people who appreciate your company.

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Bearded man sleeping
Robert Liwanag

7. Deal with the 24-Hour Day

Seven or eight hours are devoted to sleeping, one or two to meals, one to getting ready and one to chores. So don’t bother planning 36 hours’ worth of activities when you only have 12 hours left in your day.

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Colleagues talking
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8. Start Monday on a High Note

Kick off your week by telling colleagues about something great that you did over the weekend and ask to hear about their moments too. It’ll help you start Monday off on a high note and build your reputation as a lively and cheerful presence in the office.

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Woman having tea
Robert Liwanag

9. Enjoy Every Day of the Week

Happy people don’t wait for Saturday or Sunday to roll around to do what they like best. It’s important to set aside time for yourself, no matter the day. Bonus: it will take the pressure off your weekends.

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Woman thinking
Robert Liwanag

10. Ask the Right Questions

Rather than view the Sunday night blues as your enemy, consider them a sign. Take a step back and ask yourself what your anxiety is all about. Do you need to sleep more, for example? Have you overloaded your upcoming week with personal and professional commitments? Maybe it’s time to slow things down a little.

Reader's Digest Canada
Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada

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