What are Sunday Scaries? Symptoms, Causes, and 12 Ways to Cope

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30 December 2023

9 Mins

Let’s say it's a Sunday evening and you have just had a great weekend, full of fun moments, good food, and enjoying the last few hours before the new week begins. But then suddenly you start getting these stressful thoughts, and the joy of the weekend is turned into the worries of the upcoming week: deadlines, meetings, challenging projects, and dealing with your boss. This introduces us to the term ‘Sunday scaries.’

It's a common experience for many of us, where the shift from weekend joy to weekday stress puts a bit of a damper on the Sunday vibes. If you regularly experience this feeling of stress, there are ways to make Mondays more manageable.

But first, let’s understand what are the Sunday scaries.

What Are The Sunday Scaries?

The Sunday scaries definition refers to the anxious or uneasy feelings that some people experience on Sunday evening as the weekend ends and the work week begins. Instead of enjoying a weekend full of relaxation and fun, the tension of responsibilities and challenges of the upcoming week can put a strain on the last hours of the weekend.

This phenomenon evokes feelings of dread, anxiety about work-related tasks, and a general feeling of uneasiness about the coming week. This transition from the weekend to the work week can have an impact on our overall mood and mindset.

If you have an intuition that your Sunday scaries are more than just normal Sunday stress, consult a professional expert to get rid of it for free.

5 Common Causes of the Sunday Scaries

Now that you have understood the Sunday scaries definition, let’s dive into its common causes and address the specific stressors you can work toward to create a more relaxing and positive Sunday night routine.

So, let’s take a look.

1. Unfinished tasks

One common cause of the Sunday scaries is thinking about tasks left undone from the previous week. If you are continuously thinking about the list of tasks that await you on Monday, it may trigger feelings of stress and anxiety.

2. Burnout

If you have been pushing yourself too hard without taking enough breaks, your mind may start dreading the upcoming workweek. Thereby, being mentally and emotionally exhausted from work can lead to the Sunday scaries.

3. A toxic work environment

The atmosphere at work significantly affects our mental wellbeing. If your workplace is stressful, lacks support, or is filled with negativity, the thought of returning to such an environment on Monday can evoke anxiety and discomfort.

toxic work environment

4. Too much work to do

If you feel like there is too much on your plate on Monday, it is natural to experience the Sunday blues. This stress can start building up over the weekend as you think about all the things you need to do at work. The pressure can make you feel uneasy, and you might worry about how you will manage everything.

5. Lack of rest and fun

Weekends are meant to provide a break and a chance to recharge. If you don't have relaxation and enjoyment on your weekends, you may feel unprepared to face the demands of the upcoming week. Therefore, incorporate restful and enjoyable activities into your weekend routine to balance the Sunday scaries and foster a more positive mindset.

There can be a lot of causes of Sunday scaries; understand yours by simply booking a session with a professional expert for free.

Sunday Scaries and Anxiety

The link between the Sunday scaries and anxiety becomes clear when we talk about anticipatory anxiety (part of generalized anxiety disorder), which develops the feeling of temporary worry or fear. Sunday scaries are viewed as a type of anticipatory anxiety that can make things difficult for people struggling with anxiety disorders.

Anxiety is a natural feeling that occurs when we are worried or scared, which is often triggered by stressful situations such as a demanding job, a poor work environment, or having too many things to do. When we are stressed, our body's automatic system kicks in, making our heart beat faster and providing the energy needed to take action.

It is important to recognize the impact of Sunday scaries on your mental health, especially if there are ongoing changes and challenges happening in your life and work currently.

sunday scaries and anxiety

12 Ways to Manage the Sunday Scaries

Well, it is true that facing Sunday Scaries is a goal to kick off the week with a good vibe. So, here are 12 ways to tackle that stress and bring some peace and good vibes.

1. Add fun to your weekend

As you approach the weekend, plan fun activities on your calendar from Friday night until Sunday. It could be anything from going for a hike, meeting a friend, attending a concert, or spending time reading a good book—whatever brings you joy. While it is good to be flexible with your schedule and make adjustments if needed, planning ahead can help ease worries and make sure you make the most of your weekend. Moreover, having these planned activities gives you something positive to look forward to throughout the week.

2. Try brain dump

When the stress of the upcoming work week starts to weigh on you, try "brain dump." Simply grab a notebook or use your phone and spill out all your thoughts, even if they are not well-organized or in complete sentences. This process can be beneficial for some people to calm their worries.

Alternatively, if you are more inclined to make lists than keep a diary, experts recommend taking out a few minutes on Sunday to jot down a task list for Monday. Afterward, set it aside, giving yourself an action plan and reassurance that things will be taken care of.

brain dump

3. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness doesn’t always mean meditation. Engaging in any mindful activity, such as being present with those around you, taking care of yourself, or actively participating in your surroundings, can address the anxiety linked to Mondays. Try taking some time to recognize and accept your feelings, reassuring yourself that the weekend is for relaxation and that you will get things done when the time comes.

4. Give yourself a Monday treat

Brighten up your Mondays by giving yourself a little treat. Having something special to look forward to can make the shift from Sunday to Monday feel much smoother. Whether it is enjoying your favorite breakfast, catching up on an episode of a show you love, or taking a short walk in the park, these small indulgences can add a touch of joy to the start of your week.

5. Prepare your week in advance

Consider this to prepare your week: on Thursday before the weekend starts, think about what you would like to eat for the upcoming week and do your grocery shopping. If there are specific outfits you plan to wear, take them out and iron them before the weekend begins. The goal is to change how people perceive the start of the week. Many experience a sense of anxiety, but with some advance planning, you can change that.

If you wake up on Monday with no clean clothes and an empty fridge, it can set a negative tone for the workweek. However, when you plan ahead, it reduces anxiety, gives you the freedom to relax on Sunday night, and helps you understand Sunday scaries meaning better.

prepare your week in advance

6. Detach from social media

For many of us, it is not easy to switch off our phones during the work week. That's why you can leverage Sundays, as it can be an excellent day to take a break from digital devices. Give it a try—turn off your gadgets, even if it is just for an hour or two. You might be surprised at how it helps you escape the constant stress of being 'always on' with technology.

7. Have a nighttime sleep routine

Poor sleep can impact both your physical and mental well-being in various ways. During the weekend, we always change our sleep routine, staying up later than usual. However, it is crucial to prioritize regular sleep for optimal mental fitness. Strive for consistency in your sleep schedule to better understand Sunday blues meaning and ways to manage it. Moreover, avoiding screens, reading, and taking a shower before bed are some of the best ways to get healthy sleep.

have a nighttime sleep routine

8. Have a work-life balance

Sunday blues happen when work-related concerns bother your leisure time. To ease the anxiety on Sunday nights, try maintaining a clear boundary between work and home. For instance, don’t bring your office work home; when you are at home, only focus on spending time with your family, enjoying your own company, and doing something you love. By doing this, you teach your brain that thoughts about work should stay away during your home time.

If you find your mind wandering to work on Sunday afternoon or evening, actively dismiss those thoughts. Remind yourself that Monday is approaching, and you can address work-related matters when the new week begins.

9. Spend time with your loved ones

Instead of being alone on Sundays, consider spending time with the people you love the most. Whether it is in-person meet-ups or enjoying some alone time, being with friends or loved ones helps ease anxiety by reassuring you that you are not alone. Moreover, you can also join a supportive community to overcome your loneliness and share your feelings.

spend time with your loved one

10. Practice self-care

Make Sundays about taking care of yourself by setting aside time for activities that bring you joy. Consider indulging in a relaxing warm bath, getting lost in a good book, or jotting down your thoughts in a journal—choose whatever brings you comfort.

11. Have gratitude

Develop a practice of expressing gratitude every Sunday. For that matter, you can use a dedicated notebook or your phone to jot down things you are thankful for. To combat anxiety and foster a feeling of contentment, ensure to shift your attention to the positive aspects of your life, since making these lists can also instantly uplift your mood and help you understand Sunday scaries meaning.

12. Talk to a therapist

The impact of the Sunday scaries varies from person to person. It might be a brief attack of anxiety lasting only a few minutes, or it could extend into hours of worrying. If you find that it significantly disrupts your day, feels overwhelming, or keeps you up at night despite your efforts, and nothing seems to alleviate it, it is a signal to consider speaking with a therapist.

Don’t delay reaching out just because you think therapy is solely for major issues; even if you're dealing with the Sunday blues, a mental health professional can help you uncover the underlying causes and develop a plan to guide you through them in a healthy way.

talk to a therapist

When to Seek Help

If you find yourself dealing with intense anxiety every Sunday night or if you have tried various methods to understand the Sunday blues meaning but have remained unsuccessful, now is the time to seek help from a mental health professional. A counselor or therapist will go into the root causes of your Sunday anxiety and offer practical tips to overcome it.

Various types of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and art therapy, have proven effective in relieving anxiety. This means you don't have to simply accept anxiety as a regular part of your Sunday routine. Instead, you can manage those feelings of anxiety and enjoy your entire weekend.

In that matter, Now&Me has a supportive platform where you can reach out to experts for help. These experts are qualified to manage your stressful feelings and lead a peaceful work life. To consult a therapist at the most affordable cost of just Rs. 30, you can simply download the Now&Me app and book the call at your convenience.

Now that you have understood the difference between normal Sunday blues and Sunday scaries, get free guidance from a professional expert to get rid of the latter and lead a stress free life right away.


  1. Sunday Scaries: 10 ways to settle Sunday evening anxiety. Published July. https://www.calm.com/blog/sunday-scaries

  2. What Are the Sunday Scaries. Published July 2022. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-the-sunday-scaries-5094087

  3. Got a Bad Case of the Sunday Scaries? Therapists Explain How to Beat Them. Published December 2021. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a38392057/sunday-scaries/

  4. 8 ways to fight off the Sunday scaries. Published April 2022. https://www.betterup.com/blog/sunday-scaries

Now&Me articles are written by experienced mental health contributors and are purely based on scientific research and evidence-based practices, which are thoroughly reviewed by experts, including therapists and psychologists with various specialties, to ensure accuracy and alignment with current industry standards.

However, it is important to note that the information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individual circumstances vary, and it is advisable to consult with a qualified mental health professional for personalized advice and guidance.

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