How to kill that Sunday dread

Ever arrived at Sunday night and thought you’d rather poke yourself in the eye with a stick than face work on Monday? It happens to the best of us, but it really doesn’t have to be that bad.

Here are four tips to assist you with Sunday dread, not only to temper the black cloud hovering over your head, but also to help make Monday both enjoyable and productive when it inevitably arrives.

  1. Question your work-life balance. Auckland-based career counsellor Anna de Valk believes that work-life balance is often the reason we feel so disheartened about getting up and going to work on a Monday morning. She says, “Work-life balance is not about giving every part of your life equal time. It's about regaining a sense of accomplishment and control, and making choices that are right for the time and circumstances of your life. And it's about living life in a way that makes you feel happy, rewarded and fulfilled.” If all signs point to all work and no play, commit to speaking to your manager to help reinstate the balance, making a change such as studying to prepare yourself for a new career, or looking for a new job at a better company.
  2. Organise and plan for the week ahead. It might seem counter-intuitive, but sitting down at your home computer and looking at your calendar can bring some order and positive anticipation of what’s ahead for the week. Ask yourself what degree of control you have at work. De Valk advises, “Think of where you can bring more control into your working role. For example, volunteer for a special project you would enjoy, step up to take more responsibility or demonstrate some leadership attributes.” If taking on new challenges won’t create enjoyment for you, organise a coffee or lunch catch-up with someone you enjoy being with, or schedule time for an interest or hobby to look forward to.
  3. Assign Sunday nights for doing what you love. Just because it’s Sunday night, doesn't mean the weekend is over yet. If you treat Sunday night as valuable time like you would Saturday night, then the world is your oyster. De Valk asks, “What are you doing about the things in your life, other than work, that can revitalise and motivate your life in general?” You may love having long conversations with family and friends, planning for holidays, pampering yourself with a bubble bath, taking your dog for a walk, going to the gym, cooking up a storm - the list goes on! Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, replace that Sunday sadness with those inspiring and nurturing activities instead.
  4. Put your job into perspective. While work is a necessity for most of us, remind yourself of the personal reasons you do it. Whether you’re providing for your family, wanting to fund a holiday or make mortgage repayments, think about what is the 'light' at the end of the tunnel for you. Is your work moving you towards your goals? Do you need to re-assess what work might be more likely to help you get there? De Valk says, “If there is no alignment in your work and life goals, consider making some changes by taking a good look at the bigger picture of your work and life, establishing clear goals about what you want for your future and considering what can change realistically.”

Most happy and successful people will tell you that when you’re doing what you love, there are fewer dreary days, so start by making some of these changes today.

Have you considered that the reason you don't look forward to Mondays is because of the lack of balance between your work life and non-working life?