According to InHerSight research, 69 percent of women say they experience the Sunday Scaries, the feeling of dread or anxiety on Sundays that’s tied to the pressures of the upcoming work week. Many women, about 42 percent, also experience the Sunday Creep, or the pressure to begin work on Sunday.
While it’s comforting to know you’re not the only one who stresses on Sunday nights, or even checks a few emails, your weekend is supposed to be a time to recharge and take care of your personal life before you get back to the grind. That life work is equally as valuable as the work you do to make money.
It’s time to take back that time—and your Sundays. Here are five ways to tackle the Sunday Scaries.
1. Stay organized
Part of what makes Sunday so terrifying is knowing you didn’t get everything on your to-do list done the week before. That’s a reality you have to accept. Work should never really be done. However, you also shouldn’t always feel like you’re playing catch-up. There are a few ways to mitigate your dread over the weekend: Set aside one day a week to plan for the week ahead, implement time blocking to help you reserve time to do your actual work, or if you’re a manager, reassess how effectively you’re delegating tasks to your direct reports.
2. Set boundaries
Salaried positions are awesome, but the one downfall of not tracking your hours is you can really work anytime, like every night...for the foreseeable future. Even if you love working, that’s a recipe for burnout. To get a better idea of how much you’re working, track your hours for a week or two. Then start blocking off personal time (maybe even all day Sunday). You schedule doesn’t have to fit the traditional 9-to-5 schedule or the 40-hour work week, but during your “dark periods,” don’t check email and don’t respond to work texts or Slack messages. Those hours are yours.
3. Find ways to be happy at work
Maybe you really love your job, but Mondays always feel terrible because they’re Mondays. There are little things you can do to make Mondays better, like wearing your favorite outfit or creating a mood-boosting playlist. Schedule a fun lunch with your favorite coworkers, or buy yourself a coffee every Monday morning. Give yourself something to look forward to.
Read more: I Learned How to Be Happy at Work
4. Practice self-care
Sometimes self-care sounds a bit ridiculous (like, am I the only one who ended up covered in gold glitter after an unfortunate bath bomb incident?), but self-care is really just a way to manage your mental, emotional, and physical health, which is not ridiculous at all. Create a self-care plan that helps you guard yourself against the Sunday blues, find healthy ways to deal with burnout, and take personal days when you need a mental break from your job.
5. Quit your job
I normally shy away from recommending people quit their jobs because every situation is different, and what you do with your career is really up to you. But sometimes the truth is slapping you in the face with a wet pool noodle. If you dread going into work so much that it’s impacting you (and maybe your personal relationships!) on a day that’s supposed to be entirely yours, then there’s a problem. How you feel about your job shouldn’t be so toxic that it clouds even the sunniest of Sundays. The two should harmonize. Start looking for a job that gives you room to breathe again.
Read more: How to Set a Really Good SMART Goal