The ‘Sunday Scaries’

One in seven people contend with stress in the workplace, research by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities found 53% of people feel anxious about working in person, compared to 6% of people who feel anxious about working from home. Stress is one of the biggest causes of health problems in the workplace with long hours, tight deadlines and ever-increasing demands which can leave you feeling drained, worried, and overwhelmed. A 2018 survey commissioned by LinkedIn found that 80 percent of professionals worry about the upcoming workweek on Sundays.

Many tend to suffer with ‘Sunday Scaries’ which is prone to creep up when enjoying the last hours of the weekend. Sunday Scaries refers to the dread, fear and anxiety people face the day before heading back to work, regularly affecting more than two-thirds of Britons who report work stresses, lack of sleep and looming to-do lists.

Even if we did have a fulfilling weekend and don’t particularly have a stressful work week coming up, we can still get hit with the Sunday Scaries if we frequently associate work with stress. We trigger our fight or flight response when thinking of work and experience a real stress reaction to what we perceive as a threat, creating feelings of work stress whilst being at home. A Clinical Psychologist and Professor at The University of North Carolina stated, “The perceived threat varies—it might be getting up early or being busy, and “on” for several days in a row.”

The Sunday anxiety may also occur because of a social overload that happens during the weekend. This may be more recognisable for people who work hard during the week and designate their weekend as being their primary time for socializing. Research, commissioned by The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), found that people turned to social media, binge-watching, and comfort food to distract themselves.

As the minutes pass by on Sunday evening, anxiety symptoms may arise such as, stomach issues, restlessness, irritability, and a vague sense of unease. Here are some tips on how to overcome the ‘Sunday Scaries’:

· Make a Change to your Schedule

· Be Kind to Yourself

· Make Sundays More Enjoyable

Making a change to your schedule and rearranging your plans, allows you to consider whether you’re overbooking yourself. Taking the time to prioritise yourself in your day-to-day tasks is important as well as splitting up your day to ensure you are being more organised with your time. This relives overwhelming feeling of stress and anxiety.

A change to your mindset is crucial to avoid feelings of disappointment from the tasks you didn’t complete over the weekend or the week prior. Getting down on yourself for not doing enough will only worsen the Sunday Scaries, instead be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you can only do your best and focus on things you love such as friends, family, and hobbies.

Making Sunday night enjoyable can help relieve some of your distress. Dedicate Sunday to relaxing activities such as reading a new book, taking a walk or hike, or even taking part in a yoga class. This will enable you to replace your fear and anxiety with something calmer and more peaceful.

International Stress Awareness Week held from the 7th – 11th November focuses on stress management and campaigning against the stigma associated with stress and mental health issues, promoting the importance of employee wellbeing for individuals and organisations.

Wellity want to support your organisations and teams around this crucial topic, we offer sessions that help you to recognise triggers and tells, explore the fundamentals of stress awareness, and learn coping strategies to proactively tackle stress to prevent physical and mental ill-health.

Our training titles include:

• Banishing Burnout

• From Distress to De-Stress

• Stress Awareness Management

• Creating an Energy Management

To find out how you can better support your team around this significant awareness week. Contact our Wellity team on

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