I’ve always had mixed feelings about Sunday. Growing up, I was notoriously blue and anxious come Sunday evening – it meant going back to school (and homework), back to sports practice (after only one day of rest) and …back to reality. In my college years, this feeling only intensified, as a weekend’s worth of work often loomed over my head (alongside a mild beer hangover), and Sundays were often spent cramming late into the evening at the library. And throughout my twenties, my “Sunday Scaries” only intensified: Adult realities like returning to work, paying bills and generally “figuring my life out” all seemed insurmountable come Sunday evening.
While I still get the Sunday blues from time to time, I now see Sundays in a more positive light. For one, while my Saturdays are usually filled with social engagements, errands and to-dos, I seem to spend Sundays in ways that are much more thoughtful, restorative and mind clearing these days. Moreover, I now structure my Sundays in a way that gets me prepped – and dare I say excited – for the week ahead. Ahead, I’m sharing just some of these ways – how do you spend your Sunday?
MEAL PREPPING + COOKING
We’ve talked about the benefits of meal prepping on this blog before, and let me tell you: I consider it to be a form of therapy on a Sunday. It gets me organized, it releases stress and it adds a sense of control and certainty to the ensuing week. That’s to say, it’s great knowing that in the coming days, I have items readily on hand for lunch, snacking and even dinner – a boon if you’re a busy person like me. Furthermore, meal prepping is a must-do if you’re trying to stay healthy and keep your budget in check, as it eliminates the need for that last-minute takeout.
Along those lines, cooking on a Sunday is a great tradition to get into, especially if you suffer from the “scaries": It gets your mind off of the week ahead, it gives you an outlet for creativity and it is just a really nourishing act. Added bonus: You have all weekend to shop for a Sunday dinner, so there’s no excuse about not being able to get to the supermarket.
CATCHING UP ON WORK…
This may sound like the most depressing use of a Sunday ever, but hear me out. Putting in a couple of hours of work on Sunday can make a world of difference come Monday morning, since you’re already ahead of the game, so to speak. Furthermore, peeking at your email (or workload) on a Sunday feels infinitely less overwhelming when you know that your boss or client isn’t breathing down your neck. So, the next time you’re dreading going through your inbox on a Monday morning, try starting the process on a Sunday – I promise you’ll feel more relaxed come the start of the week.
…OR TOTALLY SHUTTING DOWN
On the other end of the spectrum, I often reserve Sunday (or parts of Sunday) for a total shutdown of my usual communication channels – emails, texts, et cetera. This can be a liberating and relaxing exercise; one that helps to clear your mind and get you ready for the onslaught on communication for the week ahead. Try doing this for an hour in the beginning, gradually working your way up over time.
MAKING A TO-DO LIST
Come Monday morning, the list of must-dos suddenly feels insurmountable. But oftentimes, it’s hard to even parse out what it is you need to do versus what you feel like you need to do. For example, if you’re in the process of looking for a new job, you may start your week thinking, “I need to start finding a new job this week.” Which is a totally overwhelming statement – and one that won’t get you anywhere, either. Instead, try making your to-do list on a Sunday, when you’re feeling the most clearheaded and relaxed. Be as specific as possible and try putting dates / timelines next to each item. (In the case of job searching, maybe that means something like, “Monday evening: Contact old colleague with resume.”) You get the picture…
INDULGING IN SELF-CARE
We just covered self-care on the blog; coincidentally, many of our recommendations are a great way to spend a Sunday. Whether this means coloring like a kid, having a spa day or taking a time to practice some meditation, earmark the last day of the week to give yourself some love.
HAVING LOVING AND RESTORATIVE CONVERSATIONS
Which brings me to my final (and favorite) way to spend a Sunday. In lieu of wallowing in your sorrows, use this day to catch up with friends and family. Whether it's a walk with your BFF or a phone call with your mom, these weekly check-ins about life can really help provide clarity when you’re feeling frantic or overwhelmed, plus they help you contextualize the problems that you’re facing. After all, you probably aren’t the only person who is stressed about having to go back to work.