What are Sunday Scaries and How Do I Know If I Have Them?

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Sunday night, traditionally a time for relaxation and preparation for the week ahead, can also bring about a phenomenon known as Sunday Scaries. This condition is characterized by a sense of unease, dread, or nervousness that often sets in as the weekend comes to a close. In this article, we'll delve into what Sunday Scaries is, what causes it, and strategies for managing and even preventing it.

What is Sunday Night Anxiety?

Sunday Scaries is a form of anticipatory anxiety that many people experience as the weekend draws to a close and the prospect of the workweek looms. It can manifest as a range of emotions, from mild discomfort to intense anxiety. Common feelings associated with Sunday Scaries include:

  1. Dread: The feeling that the upcoming workweek will be overwhelming or unpleasant.
  2. Worry: Concerns about work-related tasks, responsibilities, and deadlines.
  3. Irritability: Increased tension and impatience as Sunday progresses.
  4. Restlessness: Difficulty relaxing or enjoying leisure activities.
  5. Insomnia: Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, often due to racing thoughts about the week ahead.

Causes of Sunday Night Anxiety

Several factors contribute to Sunday Scaries:

  1. Anticipatory Stress: The anticipation of returning to the routine and responsibilities of the workweek can generate stress and anxiety.
  2. Unfinished Tasks: Sometimes, the awareness of incomplete work tasks from the previous week or looming deadlines can be a significant trigger.
  3. Time Pressure: The realization that time is running out to complete personal tasks or enjoy leisure activities before the workweek begins can create pressure and anxiety.
  4. Transition Stress: Moving from the freedom and relaxation of the weekend to the structured workweek can be challenging for some individuals.
  5. Negative Thought Patterns: Negative thoughts about work, such as fear of failure or self-doubt, can intensify Sunday Night Anxiety.
  6. Lack of Work-Life Balance: An unhealthy work-life balance, where work encroaches on personal time, can exacerbate Sunday Night Anxiety.

Strategies for Managing Sunday Night Anxiety

While Sunday Scaries is a common experience, it doesn't have to dominate your Sunday evenings. Here are some strategies to help you manage and even prevent this type of anxiety:

1. Plan Ahead:

  • On Friday or Saturday, create a to-do list for the upcoming week. This can help you feel more organized and in control.

2. Time Management:

  • Prioritize tasks, breaking them down into manageable steps. Allocate time for essential responsibilities and self-care activities.

3. Set Boundaries:

  • Establish boundaries between work and personal life. Avoid checking work emails or engaging in work-related tasks during the weekend.

4. Relaxation Techniques:

  • Engage in relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation to alleviate anxiety.

5. Express Yourself:

  • Share your feelings with a trusted friend or family member. Talking about your worries can provide emotional relief and perspective.

6. Create a Pleasant Evening Routine:

  • Make Sunday evenings enjoyable by engaging in relaxing activities, such as reading a book, taking a bath, or watching a movie.

7. Adjust Your Mindset:

  • Challenge negative thought patterns by focusing on positive aspects of your work, such as learning opportunities or achievements.

8. Self-Compassion:

  • Be kind to yourself. Understand that it's natural to feel some stress or anxiety about the workweek. Practice self-compassion.

9. Seek Professional Help:

  • If Sunday Scaries is severely impacting your life, consider seeking support from a mental health professional. Therapy can provide strategies to manage anxiety effectively.

10. Review Work-Life Balance: - Assess your work-life balance and make necessary adjustments to ensure you have time for relaxation and personal activities.


Sunday Scaries is a common experience that many people face as they transition from the weekend to the workweek. Understanding its causes and implementing strategies to manage this anxiety is crucial for maintaining mental well-being. By planning, setting boundaries, practicing self-compassion, and focusing on positive aspects of work, you can make Sunday evenings more relaxing and less anxiety-inducing.

If Sunday Scaries continues to significantly affect your life, consider consulting a mental health professional who can provide personalized guidance and support. Remember, you don't have to face this anxiety alone, and there are effective ways to manage it.

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