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What are the “Sunday Scaries”?

The “Sunday Scaries” is a term that has become quite popular in recent years. It refers to an intense feeling of dread or anxiety that happens typically around Sunday afternoons or evenings. The fear comes from the realization that the weekend is coming to an end and the worry of the impending week ahead. Common anxieties people have that trigger the Sunday Scaries are work-life balance, unfinished work, bills, homework, or other responsibilities/to-dos. Experiencing some worry on Sundays every now and then is normal, but persistent anxiety and fear may be related to job satisfaction and burnout.

How do the “Sunday Scaries” affect me?

It’s normal to experience the Sunday Scaries every now and then. For instance, if you know you have some upcoming assignments you need to finish or a busy week ahead at work, you may experience some anxiety as your weekend begins winding down. However, if you feel that you experience persistent anxiety on Sundays, that may be indicative of burn out. This may lead to resentment of your job, excessive fatigue, and even frequently calling off work (typically on Mondays). This may also highlight an unequal work-life balance, in which you probably are experiencing dread because your weekend break did not feel long enough.

How can I Combat the “Sunday Scaries”?

Combatting the effects of the Sunday Scaries is like managing other forms of work-related stress and anxiety. In the moment of anxiety, you can try mindfulness exercises (like breathing exercises) to help navigate the fear. You can also try doing something relaxing to help wind down your Sunday. However, the best solutions are the things you implement that are done consistently. Manage your stress at work by asking for help if you are taking too much on. Make sure you are only working when you are supposed to be working and not sending a work email while you are having dinner on a Saturday night, for example. Set goals for yourself so that you can keep track of what you are supposed to accomplish week by week. Take breaks consistently (don’t work through lunch). Finally, if you feel that nothing is working for you, consider bringing it up in therapy (or seeing a therapist if you’re not!). Your therapist can work with you to create a tailored self-care toolkit.

This page is also part of the Roamers Therapy Glossary; a collection of mental-health related definitions that are written by our therapists.

While our offices are currently located at the South Loop neighborhood of Downtown Chicago, Illinois, we also welcome and serve clients for online therapy from anywhere in Illinois and Washington, D.C. Clients from the Chicagoland area may choose in-office or online therapy and usually commute from surrounding areas such as River North, West Loop, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Rogers Park, Logan Square, Pilsen, Bridgeport, Little Village, Bronzeville, South Shore, Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Wicker Park, Bucktown and many more. You can visit our contact page to access detailed information on our office location.