COLUMBIA, S.C. — As much as we look forward to Friday, the weekend can seem too short.
Monday blues used to get people down, but according to a new study, the dread about heading back to work now seeps into the weekend.
A new survey conducted by The Sleep Judge an organization that helps people get a good night's sleep, polled over 1,000 people about their Sunday anxiety and shed new light on what causes it and what we can all do about it.
81% of Americans reported experiencing higher than normal levels of anxiety on Sunday evening.
Sunday anxiety, or "the Sunday scaries" as it's sometimes called, is a kind of situational depression. A condition that many people experience as the work- or school-week approaches.
It presents itself not only as fear, irritability and panic but as physical discomfort as well. People who experience the "Sunday Scaries " reported some feelings of nausea, heart palpitations, sweating, breathing difficulties, fatigue and headaches.
This effect is universal across profession types.
Most people working in education, legal, and finance and insurance had the highest likelihood of experiencing Sunday anxiety. While many of these are in-office positions, remote and employees who work at home don’t always have an easier time managing work-related stress. For many people working from home, the interruptions, isolation, long hours, and an uneven work-life balance can create anxiety.
Also, this feeling of depression does not mean you do not like your work.
In fact 80% of people who got along with their boss reported anxiety.
While a good relationship with your boss can be a positive for your career, the flip side of that growth is a heavier workload, greater expectations and pressure to succeed in the work place.
Sunday anxiety may be common, but the study authors say it still needs to be addressed. Stress has been proven to increase cardiovascular disease, diabetes and premature death.
Monday might never be your favorite day of the week, but it doesn't need to drag down your weekends or health.
Research indicates that the Sunday dread starts out lighter on Sunday morning, then builds throughout the day, by evening the heavy anxiety, irritability, headaches, depressed mood, and restless sleep sets in.
Sixty-one percent of survey takers pinpointed Sunday night as their worst night of sleep out of the entire week. The second most restless night of sleep for most people was Monday.
Many people report enjoying a cocktail or two to take the edge off a hard week. But the study suggests that may do more harm than good. The people in this survey who got drunk frequently on the weekends reported feeling even more anxious on Sunday night.
So, what can you do to relax?
First identify the triggers.
It's important to evaluate what's causing the dread on Sunday night. Is it your boss, an intense workload, a toxic environment, rough commute or pages of unanswered emails? Start breaking it down, so you can identify stressors to address or reduce them.
Those surveyed offered up some of their secrets: Exercise,
entertainment like watching and spending time with friends and family were the top stress relievers. Participation in out door activities and even getting organized fared well.
Some mental health experts suggest creating an evening ritual to mentally attach to the work ahead the night before . This can make you feel more positive, engaged, and energized about the coming workday.
However, it you’re finding yourself coming down with the Sunday night blues every week, it might be time to consider looking for a new job or trying a new career path.