Have you ever experienced the "Sunday Scaries"? That feeling of dread and anxiety that sets in as the weekend ends and the workweek looms.
Does that feeling persist beyond Sunday? Do you find yourself dreading the entire work week?
If you do, you’re not alone. There are many reasons this might be happening. Perhaps it’s because:
Work is taking over. The boundaries have become blurred, and work is all consuming.
The work environment is toxic. It’s a “win at all costs” culture, driven by some problematic leaders.
You’re feeling bored or unfulfilled. Work isn’t challenging or engaging, and it feels like a waste of your talent and potential.
You’re feeling completely uninspired. Work doesn’t feel meaningful – in fact, it feels soul destroying.
What can you do to turn your work week from dread to delight?
If your work is taking over, you might:
Set boundaries around work hours. Let others know when they can expect you to be available. Consider indicating your work hours on your email signature or displayed somewhere on your internal communications channel. Make sure you stick to it.
Find ways to reset and recharge outside of work. Consider reconnecting with something you used to love doing.
Prioritise self-care. Do things that help you relax and unwind. Remember, self-care isn’t just about a wine, a hot bath, or a massage … It’s also about nurturing thoughts and feelings.
If your work environment is toxic, you might:
Speak up. Find a way to address the difficulties with the people you work with – formally or informally.
Consider whether it’s the right job for you. If it’s not, don’t waste the energy on it, and move on instead.
Provide feedback. This can be a tricky one, because so many of us feel uncomfortable giving ‘constructive’ feedback. Instead, think of it as ‘feedforward’ – identifying things people can do in the future to have a better outcome. For instance, “I notice that you did X. What do you think about doing Y next time? I think it might be more helpful.”
If you’re feeling bored or unfulfilled, you might:
Identify your strengths and find ways to use them in your work. Using your strengths makes you feel more engaged and energised.
Be honest about your feelings. If it feels appropriate to do so, talk to your manager and let them know. Ask what opportunities, like secondments or projects might be available.
Consider your career, and what you’re working towards. Work out whether this is a critical part of your journey, or whether it’s time for the next challenge.
If you’re feeling completely uninspired, you might:
Identify your values and reflect on whether they’re being met. When you’re working in a way that’s aligned to what’s most important to you, you’re likely to feel motivated and like you’re doing something meaningful.
Let your manager know how you’re feeling. Ask them whether there are things that can be done to better align with your values.
Find an organisation whose values align with yours. When you’re searching for your next role, look for organisations whose purpose resonates with you.
It’s time to say goodbye to the “Sunday Scaries”, and greetings to a positive and fulfilling work week!