8 Ways To Beat The Sunday Scaries

Sweat logo

July 1, 2022

8 Ways To Beat The Sunday Scaries - Hero image

Picture this: it’s Sunday afternoon and you’re going about your day, but as the evening draws closer and the start of another week looms ahead, you start to feel a sense of unease, some worrying thoughts, or even full-blown dread. Sound familiar? This is what’s known as the Sunday Scaries (or Sunday blues) - anticipatory anxiety that, for many people, rears its head near the end of the weekend.

We put together some tips to help you learn what causes it, what it feels like and how to beat it.

What causes the Sunday Scaries? 

The Sunday Scaries definitely isn’t a universal experience and some people love every moment of their Sundays (or even look forward to the start of a fresh week!), but for others, Sunday brings on an unpleasant routine emotion about the return to the weekly grind. Depending on your lifestyle, this could mean work, early starts, deadlines, study, being a stay-at-home parent, or trying to find employment.

According to 2018 research by LinkedIn, 80% of working professionals experience the Sunday Scaries, and that number is over 90% for Gen Z and Millenials - yikes. 

For respondents in their survey, the feeling is most commonly caused by workload worries, followed by concerns about our work-life balance and unfinished tasks from the previous week.

8 Ways To Beat The Sunday Scaries - Picture Panel 2 - Desktop

Feeling this sense of malaise isn’t just about what lies ahead, it can also be connected to how you’ve spent your weekend. Perhaps you didn’t get through much of your to-do list, didn’t do anything fun, or your weekend was so jam-packed that you didn’t have any time for rest and relaxation

Despite the name, this feeling isn’t strictly limited to Sundays. If you’re a shift worker or your work week starts on a different day, the end-of-week blues could be more apparent for you then. It can also manifest as physical symptoms, such as an upset stomach, difficulty sleeping, headaches, shakiness, lack of appetite or stress eating

Whatever the cause and symptoms are for you, it can really dampen your mood or even spike adrenaline and cortisol, leaving you feeling stressed out.

How can you beat the Sunday Scaries?

Prioritise joy

One of the best ways to feel better on a Sunday is to do things that bring you joy. This could be spending time with friends and family, going out for brunch, reading, hiking, baking, gardening, or listening to a great podcast. Whatever floats your boat and fills up your cup! Getting into the habit of prioritising the things you love can help increase those feel-good chemicals and make Sunday a day you cherish and look forward to.

If your mood tends to slump in the evening, experiment with different self-care rituals to help you relax in a positive frame of mind, such as taking a bath, making a comforting home-cooked meal, practising yoga or journaling. Live alone? Calling a loved one for a chat can help during any moments of loneliness, too. 

Sometimes, feeling low on a Sunday can come from unmet expectations about how you spent your weekend. If that’s the case, try to focus on what you DID get done or the things you feel grateful for.

Caring for your mind and prioritising your emotional wellbeing can really set you up for a better start to your week.

8 Ways To Beat The Sunday Scaries - Picture Panel 3 - Desktop

Make Mondays better

Got a lot to do on Mondays or struggle with getting back into your routine? Think about what you could do to help lighten the load for future you. Perhaps every Friday, you could finish up your work week by writing a to-do list for Monday and tying up any loose ends. 

Weekends could involve some meal prep, grocery shopping or chores. If you tend to jam-pack your weekends and get to Sunday night feeling even MORE exhausted, try deliberately carving out time for relaxation and chill time. Burnout is real, so your future self will thank you for it!

You could also make Mondays a day you look forward to by adding things to your schedule that make you feel good. Stuck for ideas? Why not try…

  • Phone a friend for a catch-up

  • Visit your favourite coffee shop

  • Have lunch with a colleague

  • Do a quick workout

  • Enjoy a walk in the sun

  • Watch an episode of your favourite show

  • Listen to a funny or motivational podcast

Move your body 

Exercise has so many benefits! It’s a cheap, healthy and effective way to feel better - physically and mentally. The release of endorphins and serotonin can lift your mood, and a workout can also improve cognitive function and self-esteem. 

Making movement a part of your Sunday routine can be as easy as a fun at-home workout, a walk or bike ride, or a yoga flow. If you can exercise outdoors, you’ll also get a beneficial dose of vitamin D! 

8 Ways To Beat The Sunday Scaries - Picture Panel 4 - Desktop

Reduce your alcohol consumption

There’s no doubt about it - being hungover is never a recipe for a good time on a Sunday. Alcohol is a depressant and has an impact on your central nervous system, sleep and brain function, so reducing your consumption (or avoiding alcohol altogether), can make a big difference to how you feel. 

Wanting to feel like the best version of herself is one of the reasons Head Trainer Kayla Itsines chooses not to drink and she has many helpful tips if you’re sober curious! If you do want to have a few drinks over the weekend, always remember to drink responsibly and drink lots of water the next day to rehydrate.

Use technology mindfully

Everyone has a different relationship with their phone, emails and social media (not to mention different work responsibilities), so figure out if anything triggers a stress response and what you can do to reduce it.

This could mean turning off notifications for emails after work hours, setting boundaries around when you check emails, or only being contactable for emergencies. If you find yourself scrolling social media for hours during the weekend, setting time limits on apps can help, too!

Find yourself doomscrolling during a particularly heavy news cycle? This can have a negative effect on our stress and anxiety levels, but there are steps you can take to set up digital boundaries to better protect your mental health.

8 Ways To Beat The Sunday Scaries - Picture Panel 5 - Desktop


The Sunday Scaries typically comes down to fixating on the past (how you spent your weekend) or the future (what’s happening in the week ahead). Meditation can help by giving us an outlet to focus the mind on the present moment, and it’s easy to get started.

One 2019 study on the effect of a meditation app on work stress and wellbeing suggests that weekly guided meditations can have a positive impact, and the results of another 2018 study suggest that brief mindfulness training has a beneficial impact on several aspects of psychosocial wellbeing. Start with an achievable goal like five minutes a day and work your way up from there. 

Try affirmations

When you think about it, we are all constantly affirming things to ourselves all day in our heads, so using affirmations can be a powerful tool to rewire any repetitive and unhelpful thoughts. 

“I am very capable. I can do this!” or “I’ve done this before, I’m going to be absolutely fine” are two empowering and reassuring phrases you can remind yourself of when the Sunday blues creep in. If there’s a specific situation you tend to worry about, you could even come up with a unique affirmation of your own. 

Sweat Trainer Kelsey Wells also loves using affirmations in her workouts to remind you about your worth, your power and your strength.

“When you take the time to get really intentional with what’s happening in your mind too, it’s a game-changer,” says Kelsey, who says the responses to her Redefine Fitness program has been one of the highlights of her career.

Sweat is about so much more than your workouts

Feel your best - inside AND out

Find the root cause or seek out extra support

If your Sunday Scaries are getting worse or nothing seems to help, getting to the root of it might be a more effective solution. This could mean looking for a new job, talking to your boss about your workload, or seeking the help of a therapist for some professional guidance. 

Have you experienced the Sunday Scaries and have tips of your own for beating the blues and reclaiming your Sunday? Share them in the comments!

Sweat logo

A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


Recommended Stories

We have a feeling you’re going to love Sweat

That's why the first week is on us.