Most people will tell you they aren’t looking forward to Sunday evening.
In fact, a 2013 poll conducted by Monster.com found that a whopping 78% of surveyed adults worldwide experience the “Sunday night blues” on a regular basis.
Sundays are the dreaded conclusion to a relaxing reprieve from our chaotic work weeks — and many of us get a twinge of melancholy just thinking about our return to the office Monday morning. Sundays are also the time we start dwelling on our unsettled business and stressing about upcoming deadlines and projects.
Even if you love your job and typically look forward to getting back into the swing of things, “it’s easy to feel a bit of trepidation on Sundays about the stresses waiting for you on Monday morning,” writes Laura Vanderkam in her book, “What The Most Successful People Do On The Weekend.”
Here’s what successful people do Sunday nights:
They spend quality time with their families, friends, and significant others. Successful people know that their weeks will be jammed and that they are likely to be unavailable, says Roy Cohen, a career coach and author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.” So they make the most of their Sunday nights by spending time with their loved ones.
They plan something fun. “This idea may be the most important tip,” Vanderkam writes. “This extends the weekend and keeps you focused on the fun to come, rather than on Monday morning.”
Vanderkam quotes Caitlin Andrews, a librarian, who says her extended family gets together for dinner almost every Sunday, alternating houses. “It takes my mind off any Sunday night blues that might be coming on,” Andrews says.
You might also make Sunday a movie or spa night, or you could join a Sunday night bowling league.
They organise and plan for the week ahead. Some successful people like to look at their calendars on Sunday night and set goals and deadlines for the upcoming week, says career coach Marsha Egan. The trick is to do this without stressing yourself out.
They exercise. Take a walk, play a game of tennis, or go to a class at the gym, Egan suggests.
Vanderkam writes in her book that reality TV producer Aliza Rosen does hot yoga at 6:00 p.m. on Sundays. “It’s a great way for me to sweat out the toxins of the week and center myself for Monday,” Rosen told her.
They eat something healthy. It might be tempting to wind down with a couple glasses of your favourite Cabernet, but as licensed counselor and Urban Balance CEO Joyce Marter points out in an article for PsychCentral, alcohol is a depressant that will leave you feeling less energized in the morning.
“Instead, make a healthy meal and enjoy with some herbal tea or some seltzer water with lemon,” she writes.
They catch up on reading that has been neglected. Many successful people read every night before bed, so Sunday-night reading is part of their routines.
They follow up on commitments. “When we make promises [during the week] there is never enough time to follow through,” Cohen says. Sunday nights often allow us the undivided time to respond to emails and fulfil our commitments.
They relax. When you know that the week ahead will be full, a good night’s sleep and a healthy meal are essential. “Fuel for the body and mind,” Cohen says.
They reflect. The dying embers of the weekend can be a good time to take a step back and catalogue your feelings, especially if you’re having a case of the Sunday night blues. Writing down your thoughts on a piece of paper can help you get to the bottom of what’s bugging you, or give you the perspective that things aren’t so bad after all.
Either way, the process will provide you with valuable emotional release, University of Texas at Arlington organizational behaviour professor James Campbell Quick tells the Huffington Post.
“It’s a catharsis to get it out on paper … It’s like flushing a toilet: You get it out on paper and you have flushed your system out,” Quick says.
They volunteer. “[Another] great way to end the weekend is to volunteer,” Vanderkam writes in her book. Nothing will take your mind off any stresses in your life like serving people who are less fortunate, she says. “It’s a way to connect with humanity before everyone goes their separate ways for the week.”
They end Sunday on a high note.“Monday will come regardless of how you feel, so try to engage in positive thinking and reflect on positive experiences before ending your weekend,” says Michael Woodward, Ph.D., organizational psychologist and author of “The YOU Plan.“
“Sunday night routines help us to anticipate the week ahead and to prepare for the unexpected,” Cohen says. By doing some or all of the above, successful people are able to start their work week off on the right foot.
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