sunday night work anxiety!
Overcome your Sunday night fear!
I have been there, we all have. In fact you might be right now. Sitting at home with that constant weight pressing down on the back of your mind. The weekend is over, Monday is tomorrow! Which only means one thing – work!
Sunday evening, that ‘Fear’ feeling tends to hit the hardest. The overwhelming feeling of dread about what’s to come. And the funny thing is there may not be any one particular urgent need, just everything combining together to create that awful feeling. The pandemic has amplified it, as the boundaries between work and home have blurred.
This mental effect was a recurring theme for me, it usually raised its ugly head by Sunday afternoon continuing right though to Sunday night as I tried to get to sleep. I starting thinking about going back to work the next day and the feeling hit me, ‘oh no!’. The pressure, the deadlines, the boss, the client – it all gets too much. To be honest it ruined my Sundays, my only real break from work was Friday night and Saturday and with that, most of Friday evening was spent decompressing from the week before. It began to seriously burn me out. There had to be another way. If I was going to reach financial freedom, I couldn’t keep this up, I would burnout long before I get there. I needed to address this.
I work in a fast paced, stressful job where everything is due ten mins ago. Life of a Strategy Consultant. This Sunday night fear had a very real physical effect. It impacted my mood, my time spent at home with my partner and even my sleep. I was a cloud of misery to be around on a Sunday night. There was one time a few months back, I literally felt physically sick thinking about it. Not ideal to say the least.
If you are going through this too, there is hope. You can conquer it, you might even be able to enjoy your Sunday nights without worrying about the working week to come at all. Surely thats not too much to ask for?
Well recently I’ve actually started to turn a corner. I wouldn’t say I’ve conquered it yet, but I’ve definitely made some improvements. I’ve followed some easy, simple to follow steps and techniques to help ease the burden. Try them, they worked for me!
Try some of the following simple practical steps. They’ve really helped me in the past when work became too much.
Get Outside: Go for a walk, run, cycle – whatever the vehicle, just get outside. Even better do a workout while you are at it. This helps clear my head, focuses my mind on the workout and also tires me out which helps when I get to bed.
Plan your week: This can be a simple jot down of notes and key tasks for the week – this really helps lighten the burden as it puts down on paper what you need to accomplish. Which as it turns out isn’t solving world hunger or curing cancer. So don’t worry, you got this.
Start saving: One of the major reasons we work is to pay our bills, if you get into the habit of saving and have a nice pot of cash to fall back on. You honestly will worry and stress less. I’ve found the more I’ve saved the less importance I place on my job, and the less I’ve actually worried about losing it now that I have enough to tide me over for years to come. (Read how I saved $150k in 3 years here). Try it, no matter how small, start building that nest egg. You’re Sunday night fear will lessen over time any may eventually disappear altogether.
Start looking for another job: I’ve done this in the past when work was really stressful, or I was coming up to an engagement deadline and I wanted to quit so badly. I opened up Linkedin and applied for other jobs. It worked short term, as it gave my mind an out – letting me know that there are plenty of other jobs and companies that would take me. Who knows you might even take one too. Remember your company is lucky to have you, not the other way around!
Take a shower before bed: This helps clear my mind and get my body ready for actually sleeping, who doesn’t like a hot shower too?
2. Try Visualization techniques
Alternatively you can also try some of the following visualization techniques. There are so many out there, but the two below I’ve tried and continue to do even now. They work!
First the Bubble technique: When you wake on Sunday morning, try setting a more positive and productive intention for the rest of the day. This technique is commonly referred to as the ‘Bubble technique’. It helped me bring clarity to my day and quieten my mind and worries not only about work but everything else too.
• Sit upright on your bed, couch or chair (wherever is comfortable), breathe slowly, close your eyes and start to visualize yourself in an actual bubble (yes, a bubble 🙂 don’t knock it until you try it)
• Think about how it actually looks – is it small or big, close to you or does it create a big space around you, is it transparent or coloured, thick or thin?
• Notice how you start to feel calmer, and visualize your worries and stresses (work or other) on the other side of the bubble – they can’t touch you and you are protected by the bubble. Think about how reassured and secure that makes you feel. Stay with this feeling. As short or as long as you think you need. for as long as you need. 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 20 minutes – you decide.
Open you’re eyes, and notice the smile on your face. Now go enjoy your day – trust me you will feel the difference.
Second try the Bag technique: Bin the negative feelings using the ‘bag’ technique
This technique will engage both your body and mind. It actually can be better at calming your wind and ridding yourself of the ‘Fear’, As both your physical and mental beings are working together. As they say, where the mind goes the body will follow. The ‘bag’ technique helped me bin negative emotions that build up during the day. It will push back against that weight on your mind from the dread of the work week to come.
• Close your eyes, position yourself a couple of feet from your bedroom wall and imagine there is a target on your wall and on that target is a bag.
• Go through all those negative feelings in your mind, one by one, that have surfaced and picture taking a hold of them and placing each one into the bag.
• You can put any feeling, situation or conversation into this bag, Unfortunately you can’t put your colleagues or boss in there although that would be nice 🙂 – so no actual people.
• Hold out your hand in the air in front of you as you picture holding the bag and using your other hand to ‘physically’ place all of those feelings, situations, conversations, deadlines (remember no actual people) into this bag – call out each one as you place it in the bag. When you’ve put them all in there, close the bag.
• Now, assume a position of strength and picture yourself crushing this bag into tiny pieces as they fall away to the floor beneath you. Feel free to get your feet involved too, stomp on them to finish them off. As you crush and stomp, you’ll notice those negative worries and fears disappear.
Don’t just read this, try some of the steps and techniques I’ve listed. They have helped me, and I am confident they will help you too.
If you can’t stick it out in your job, which is ultimately the fuel to achieving financial freedom – you will find it much tougher to achieve your goals and get out of the corporate rate race. Surely its better to deal with this for 10 years rather than 40! The more you can calm your mind and continue in your job and at the same time diligently saving and investing the sooner you won’t need it anymore. The closer you get I’ve found the less you actually resent your job. You will no longer see it as a requirement, as you won’t need the money – stress will reduce and you get to finally enjoy your weekend. No Sunday night fear. Get started now – and let me know if this helped.
I know its not easy, I found it so difficult to start – but now as I’m further along, looking back I am so glad I started.
I hope this helps you, and lessens the dreaded Sunday night ‘fear’ and nudges you to start or accelerate your journey to financial freedom.
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As always have a lovely day and catch you soon 🙂