How to banish the Sunday night blues
Sunday traditions here in the UK often include long walks, roast dinners, iconic television shows, and, unfortunately for some, the Sunday night blues.
The Sunday blues can put a huge downer on important down time, as many people mourn the end of the weekend and dread the working week ahead.
Sunday blues might leave you feeling anxious, uneasy, worried, and apprehensive. And, if these feelings creep in early in the afternoon, it can feel as though a huge part of your weekend has been ruined, leaving these feelings of worry and anxiety overspilling into the rest of your week.
Why do so many people experience Sunday night blues?
A Linkedin study found that 80% of professionals suffered from feelings of work-related depression and anxiety at the end of the weekend.
Sunday night blues is simply a form of negative anticipation. Worrying or overthinking about what has not yet happened. It's thinking ahead negatively, rather than being present and living in the moment.
The reasons why you might experience Sunday blues will vary from one individual to another. For some, there may be issues at work, whilst others could be suffering from poor mental health.
With so many people affected, it’s important to get a better understanding to tackle the blues for yourself and/or the team you lead.
What can leaders do to empower people to start the week on a more positive note?
Practice good communication and an open-door policy
Ensure your employees know that you welcome open communication and can support them in problem-solving, dealing with complex tasks, or managing something that’s worrying them. For employees experiencing Sunday blues, knowing they have a supportive leader can make the world of difference.
This is exactly why we created Loopin. Unlike quarterly or annual employee surveys, employees can log their mood and emotions throughout the week, allowing managers to spot negative trends of stress, worry, or burnout, before things escalate. A preventative approach to employee wellbeing keeps employees engaged and supports their wellbeing.
It’s also important to communicate what’s happening the following week so employees know exactly what to expect on Monday, rather than worrying about what might be in store over the weekend. Give employees foresight of any Monday meeting agendas and outline the key activities and objectives for the coming week.
Encourage your team to have a good work-life balance
Encourage your people to take time over the weekend to rest, relax and rejuvenate. Those who have not switched off and continue to work on their days off will no doubt start the working week tired, stressed, and counterproductive.
Communicate the importance of work-life balance regularly, and make it part of your organisation's culture.
Consider flexible or alternative routines for your team
Look at the needs of your people and consider adopting more flexible working arrangements or give them the autonomy to set their own schedules. Compressed hours on a Monday, late starts or early finishes, or the opportunity to work from home are just some changes that can make a positive difference to employees’ mindset.
It’s important to remember that everyone has individual needs and preferences, so work with employees to find the best options for them and the business.
Don’t save incentives and perks for Friday, Monday’s can be fun too!
Does the ‘fun stuff’ take place on Fridays within your organisation? Whether it’s company rewards, team lunches, or charity fundraisers, it’s usually saved for the end of the week. So, why not break the mould and make Monday a fun day?
Look at the perks and incentives you offer, and see what can be incorporated on a Monday. Activities can boost moods and minds, and engage employees right from the start of the week.
You could also hold your Monday morning meetings over a coffee outside of the office space, so employees have the opportunity to socialise and get some fresh air before delving into their workload.
What behaviours and habits can we adopt as individuals to improve our outlook and wellbeing at work?
It’s not just leaders and managers who can implement a change in Monday mindset. As individuals, we can take a look at our behaviours and habits and see where we could make small changes too.
A Sunday well spent brings a week of content
The old saying rings true. If you spend a Sunday doing positive and productive things, you’ll feel more equipped to start the week on a positive note. Get some fresh air, watch a movie, meet up with friends, try out a new gym class, cook something tasty—whatever it is that makes you feel good on the inside.
Three steps to improving wellbeing: Diet, exercise, and rest
Good wellbeing is important both inside and outside of work. Sunday blues are more likely to kick in if you’re already feeling low. Whilst it can feel daunting switching up our routine, it’s so important to take care of our mind and body. Start with simple steps like short walks in the fresh air, drinking more water, and getting plenty of sleep.
Communication is key
If there is a particular task or area of your work that’s causing you concern, it’s important to share this with a friend, colleague, and most importantly, your manager. We know, this is something that can feel daunting too. But a problem shared really is a problem halved. Your manager is there to support and empower you to be your best self.
Prepare and plan for the week ahead
Try and start every Monday morning with a positive plan for the week ahead. Break your task list into manageable daily chunks, prioritising tight deadlines and the most important tasks first.
We often refer to the ‘Eat the frog’ strategy in the Loopin office. If you’re not familiar with this, the idea is to identify your most challenging task (the frog) and complete the task first thing in the morning (eating it). This gets the biggest or most difficult task out of the way straight away. (For us, this is usually reporting. Yuck.)
Remember. Even the best weeks start with Monday. You got this!
Monday’s are probably never going to be our favourite day of the week, but we can absolutely make them more manageable.
We hope these ideas and tips helped you take care of some of those pesky Sunday blues. If you have any more to add to the list above, be sure to join the conversation on social media.
If you’d like to learn more about Loopin or chat with the team about upcoming events, features, or ideas, feel free to book some time in our diary here.