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The Psychology Behind The 'Sunday Scaries' + Why You're Experiencing Them During Lockdown

We've all been there.

There's a lot to be anxious about...

The weekend provides a much-needed respite from work and a chance to socialise or practice some self-care. But come Sunday afternoon, many people start experiencing a feeling of dread and unease often called the ''Sunday Scaries.'"

Although the term is not scientific, it is a real thing. According to a survey conducted by Monster, the 'Sunday Scaries', blues, or, dread is a legitimate feeling that affects up to 76% of the Monday - Friday workforce. Luckily, there are ways to combat it and enjoy your whole weekend.

Yet despite the fact, that the very concept of days of the week has gone out the window thanks to Coronavirus, 'Sunday Scaries' are still very much in existence...just now it happens on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays too. What fun. 

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Here is everything you need to know so you can start enjoying Sunday again.

The 'Sunday Scaries' is both a physical and psychological reaction

Stress levels come down of a Friday, and when Sunday night comes, they reappear again. These stress levels have to do with your adrenal glands and the hormone cortisol. The glands, located on top of the kidneys, release cortisol when you're stressed or fearful as part of the flight-or-fight response, Psychology Today reported.

This chemical change leads to the feeling of anxiety on Sunday night. 

Determining exactly when this feeling of dread arrives and trying to combat that should help. If it's hitting you first thing Sunday morning, pushing this discomfort towards the end of the day might be the answer.

Although this may be easier said than done, putting anxious feelings aside — and into perspective — can help you better enjoy your day. Keep in mind that what you do during the week allows you to enjoy your weekends in the first place.

Enjoy your Sundays by feeding your five senses

Getting out of your head and more into their five senses on Sundays — and every day for that matter – will ensure that feelings of anxiety remain at bay. Making sure that you are enjoying your time, getting to see things (whether that's a dog on your socially distanced walk or Netflix), do things (wash your makeup brushes, paint, knit, bake banana bread), listen to music, eat and touch things (not your face and be sure to wash your hands afterwards) will bring you at peace more than you can imagine.

Simply slowing Sunday down and taking a moment to enjoy as much as you can, could work wonders. 

The 'Sunday Scaries' don't have to impact your entire weekend.

Put what you're feeling into perspective, figure out when you're feeling this way, and take the time to be kind to yourself and enjoy your day. For some people, speaking with your doctor or a therapist might be the best course of action.

Keep your mind in check 

While it's within the expected range of the human experience to have the 'Sunday Scaries' or the Monday blues, there is a chance, however, that there is a more serious psychological issue if you notice your mood shifting and affecting your concentration. Obsessive thoughts are another sign that there might be more going on than the typical 'Sunday Scaries'.

Talking to a doctor or taking a brain health screening test might be an option, to determine the scope of your feelings before seeking therapy. This should help to legitimise your feelings and can open your eyes to how reactive you are.

Remember that your physical and mental health is equally important for personal self-care every day of the week.

If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues, there is help available: 

  • Samaritans – 116 123  – [email protected] or [email protected]
  • Pieta House – 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444
  • Aware -  1800 80 48 48
  • Childline – 1800 66 66 66 or free text 50101

Main image by @marielouduvillier on Instagram

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