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Do Weekends Actually Make You Happy? Let’s Talk Sunday Neurosis

We can bet that you eagerly await Friday after a hectic week. But do you feel the same way about Sunday? In most cases, feelings of apprehension, worry, and exhaustion cloud our Sundays. And guess what? Scientists actually have a term for it and it’s called Sunday neurosis. Here’s more about it.

By Ameya Arora
26 Jun 2022

As you enter the corporate world, life takes a twist. While there’s financial independence, there’s also corporate slavery and the drudgery of a fixed routine. Not just in the corporate world, but as a part of any workforce, or even as a student or a homemaker, we experience fatigue and lethargy. In the quest of finding happiness, we often look forward to Fridays and weekends.

 

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#MondayBlues, #TGIF and Weekend Blues are a part of our everyday social media dialect. As a result, when the weekend actually arrives, the hope of relaxation, fun, and de-stressing lures us, shooting our expectations from the weekend really high.

 

Fridays are exciting because of the prospect of two days of calm and rest lying ahead of us. Late-night dinner plans with friends energise us. Saturdays are nice with not many obligations to fulfill. One may have the luxury to chill all day in bed with our loved ones. But Sundays are a curious case! We feel apprehensive about the coming week. That’s where Sunday neurosis kicks in.

 

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Sunday Neurosis: What Could That Be?

The term was coined by a famous psychiatrist, Victor Frankl in 1946. He suggested that a lot of people suffer from dread about Monday which is accompanied by feelings of stress and anxiety for the coming week. He described it in his book called Man’s Search for Meaning, as “the kind of depression which afflicts people who become aware of the lack of content in their lives when the rush of the busy week is over and the void within themselves becomes manifest”.

 

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Applied Economics reported that employees with a high level of education might suffer from Sunday neurosis. Both men and women had lower life satisfaction on the weekends than they did during the week, says another study conducted by professor Wolfgang Maennig.

 

The feeling is more relevant today than it ever was with hustle culture that leaves us with less time for introspection and personal development. It is common for many to spend their entire time and energy on work, all five or sometimes six days of the week. And Sundays are rife with feelings of emptiness, restlessness, and loads of worry about the coming week. It is on Sunday that we feel how mundane our life is, owing to an inflexible routine. Sometimes, to get away from such a feeling, we indulge in compulsive eating, shopping, or other compensatory behaviours.

 

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Why Is The Supposedly Most Relaxing Day Of The Week Not So Relaxing?

A survey conducted by LinkedIn in 2018 found that 80 per cent of working American adults start worrying about the upcoming week on Sundays. The thought of going to bed early, the end of two days of relaxation, pending work, and going back to work—a worrisome thought consumes us with the feelings of stress and discomfort, especially if we don’t really enjoy our work.

 

At other times, we might feel anxious if we don’t spend our weekend in a productive manner. It may get difficult to just let go of the work, and relax in the true sense of the word. The thought that “I only have today’s time to work on my personal project as I won’t get any time throughout the week” may cloud our mind with pressure.. Then, Sunday night makes us miserable as we look back to realise how little we truly enjoyed or relaxed.

 

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How To Avoid Sunday Neurosis?

To minimise your stress and maximise your relaxation, you can try the following:

 

1. Accomplish as many tasks as you can on Saturdays. This gives you time to replenish on Sundays, without having to worry about tasks.

2. Reserve a sufficient period of time on Sunday mornings for sleeping properly, enjoying every bite of your breakfast, taking things slow, and relaxing.

3. Carry out your hobbies and engage yourself in activities that you cannot afford to do in your normal routine. Perhaps clean your house, go for a morning walk, listen to songs, play with your kids or dog.

4. Reserve some time that you can truly dedicate to yourself. Do any activity which you think can soothe your mind and relax your body. According to a study published in the National Institute of Health, a long, warm bath can help de-stress and relax by increasing blood flow in the body. It's perfect for sundays!

5. Make a mindful decision to not stress about your work. Whatever tasks you must do on Sunday, decide a healthy amount of time you’d like to spend on it, and perform the task within that particular time.

6. If you’re worried about tasks in the upcoming week, you can prepare for a few of those tasks beforehand.

7. Mindfulness, or meditation, can be helpful in alleviating the stress of monday.

 

Related Story: How to Win Over Your Monday Blues

 

 

 

 

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