Quésaco: the “sunday scaries” or Sunday evening insomnia caused by a new work week

Home Quésaco: the “sunday scaries” or Sunday evening insomnia caused by a new work week
Written by Doug Hampton

(ETX Daily Up) – We all know the famous depression of Sunday evening, following a weekend that seems to have gone by much too quickly. But if this “simple” blow of blues turns into real anxiety, it is possible that you undergo the unpleasant experience of “sunday scaries”. Here’s how to guard against it.

The weekend is barely on its way, but you are already thinking about Sunday evening and the apprehension of attacking again on Monday morning… If you recognize yourself in this description, you may be suffering from what the Americans call them “sunday scaries”. Concretely, this expression designates an increased difficulty in falling asleep and/or obtaining quality sleep on Sunday evening, at the mere thought of the work that awaits us on Monday morning. A phenomenon that is more topical than ever, at a time when the cases burnout are increasingly highlighted.

Far from being confined to the United States, the phenomenon of sunday scaries is illustrated in many countries. A study published in 2018 in the Journal of Happiness Studies and carried out in 46 countries has shown in particular that Monday is often the day least appreciated by active citizens. Even more striking: in Japan, a country where work plays an essential role, suicide peaks are observed among middle-aged male individuals… on Monday mornings! At least that is what has been demonstrated by work carried out by Japanese researchers from Waseda and Osaka universities.

Fewer emails and more leisure on weekends

A perspective that is not really encouraging and highly revealing of the daily reality of many workers. However, there are techniques to put in place to prevent them. By starting by changing some of our rituals, for example by refraining from checking emails on Sunday evenings (and setting aside time on Monday mornings to devote ourselves specifically to this task) and by giving ourselves more leisure time. Or by working, as far as possible of course, to complete urgent tasks on Friday before leaving for the weekend in order to attack the week with a little more freedom of mind.

We can also take inspiration from the method suggested by the American Marisa Jo Mayes in a viral video recently published on her TikTok account. Baptized “bare minimum monday”, his strategy is to do as little as possible on Monday morning when arriving at work, in order to save the energy needed to get through all the work of the week in optimal conditions. An idea that will have seduced more than one even if, as some Internet users have pointed out, its effectiveness and feasibility vary considerably according to the profession that one exercises. Marisa Jo Mayes, who works on her own account, recommends in any case to try to preserve herself and to start the week gently, for example by devoting her Monday morning to tasks that are easy or pleasant to carry out.

Tackle the inner workings of companies to reduce stress

But the most effective long-term strategies for overcoming sunday scaries are undoubtedly those that consist of attacking the problem directly at the source, in particular by looking at the internal workings of companies. A recent research published in the journal Jama Network pointed to the specific link between sleep disorders and work-related stress. According to the study, “psychosocial resources at work are associated with a lower risk of sleep disorders”.

More concretely, these interventions at several levels in the workplace can result in solidarity between colleagues, a relaxed atmosphere in the office or even listening and attention towards employees on the part of their superiors. Essential measures to reduce malaise and stress at work, especially if a company’s employees are confronted with a toxic management mode.

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