“I know a girl from a lonely street
Cold as ice cream, but still as sweet
Dry your eyes, Sunday Girl”Sunday Girl, Blondie
Even though we all like to pretend Sunday is a ‘fun day’, much of our global population is united in the same feelings of stress and anxiety every week known as the ‘Sunday Scaries’. Whether it is the anticipation of a brand new week ahead, work stress, existential crises about where we are in our lives, the last couple of hours of the weekend are often lost to this dread every single week. Fun, huh?
According to a 2018 LinkedIn survey, 80% of American professionals experience the Sunday Scaries, but I wonder if that survey were to take place in 2021, would the results be any different? One of the few improvements brought about by the pandemic has been that working from home has become the norm. For parents and carers, in particular, working from home has been a game-changer. So, could the fact that many of us no longer have to endure long commutes, early starts and office stress alleviate our Sunday Scaries at all?
The answer, I think, is complicated. Whilst those particular stresses may not be so prevalent in our minds, others – general and pandemic-related – have reared their ugly heads. Perhaps your internal dialogue looks a little like this: Have I relaxed enough? Have I been productive enough? Have I seen my friends enough? Have I completed my life admin? Have I worked on my side-hustle? Have I wasted too much time on social media? Welcome to the inner-workings of my mind!
The thing is, we fill our lives up with so much stuff beyond our full-time jobs that it is not really that surprising we experience the Sunday Scaries each week, and most likely, the accompanying burnout. Weekdays are intense and busy for most people, and – if you are lucky enough to not work weekends – Saturday often becomes a catch-up day.
Therefore, Sunday is the only real opportunity for leisure activities or relaxation. Whichever way you choose to plan your weekend, with only one day per week to truly unwind, is it any wonder that we simply cannot relax on Sunday (aka the universal day of rest)?
I have always found the narrative that Millennials are painted out to be ‘sensitive snowflakes’ confusing. Millennials, in my opinion, have chosen to dismantle historical taboos and stand up to inequality, wading through difficult conversations surrounding race, LGBTQ+ issues, climate change and mental health. How is any of that sensitive? If you want to call it something, call it brave.
But, as with everything, bravery comes at a price. This desire many of us feel to take on a million things at once should be applauded, but also cautioned. The Sunday Scaries are often a reaction to a sensory and emotional overload. Perhaps it is a sign that we need to take some more time for ourselves, or maybe there is a bigger issue at play? Either way, we should take the time to explore the reasons behind the way we feel. Once we do, we can walk out of the gloom and over to the ice cream van…
The Sunday Scaries are not an Millennial-exclusive issue by any means. However, it is something that Millennials talk about increasingly, so much so, we coined the phrase! I am grateful for that, and the general acknowledgement that this kind of seemingly irrational fear of the week ahead is a shared experience; ultimately, a very human one.
I hope that today’s post makes anyone who is feeling the Sunday Scaries know that they are not alone, and the week ahead is definitely not as scary as your mind is leading you to believe. Perhaps this blog post isn’t as bad as the Scaries would have me believe either.