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Sundays are kind of my thing. I equate them to feeling like a Paul Simon song — sure, they sound light and enjoyable on the surface, but underneath there’s still some depressing shit going on.
Hangovers, depleted bank accounts, and burns on the top of your mouth from trying to eat a slice of 2 a.m. pizza don’t exactly add up to you being defined as a “successful” person in society’s eyes. But that’s neither here nor there. On Sundays, there’s no judging. Just a Xanax-induced care-free attitude that’s waiting for an award show to come on to cure your blues. That’s what successful people do in my book.
Unfortunately, Business Insider has a different idea of what a successful person is — and even more of a different idea of how these people spend their Sundays.
They spend quality time with their families, friends, and significant others.
Successful people know 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.
Scaries love company, yes. But that doesn’t mean we need to have your roommate’s friend’s college buddy lounging around your place for the entire day. Sundays are for day-ones only. Pasta dinner while splitting a couple bottles of wine with the same people you went out with the night before? Sign me up. More than that, though? That’s when we have trouble. Three-friend max because I’m not trying to feel cramped on the couch.
They plan something fun.
“This idea may be the most important tip,” Laura Vanderkam writes in her book “What The Most Successful People Do On The Weekend.” “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.
Something tells me that this Laura Vanderkam is living a little bit of a different lifestyle than your boy here. I’m down to do something “fun,” but that “fun” needs to include taking zero actual steps between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. when I finally crawl into bed. A movie works, sure, but saying you should do a Sunday-night bowling league is just an abysmal idea. Can’t fathom willingly going to a bowling alley on a Sunday night.
They organize 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 coming week, career coach Marsha Egan says. The trick is to do this without stressing yourself out.
Yeah, nappenin’. Close out your work email and ignore the fact that rent is due on Wednesday. Not worth the panic attack of trying to plan your life when everyone knows your life is already in shambles. Saying “the trick is to do this without stressing yourself out” is like saying “the key to winning The Masters is being really good at golf.” Not that simple, lady.
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 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 Vanderkam.
Working out when you’re hungover seems like a good idea. “Yeah, I’ll sweat it all out,” you tell yourself as you walk into the gym with vodka-soda still on your breath. But then you hop on the treadmill and essentially get vertigo because your brain is running on fumes.
If I did 6 o’clock hot yoga on Sunday nights, I’d literally die. 32-ounce ice water or get out of my face.
They eat something healthy.
It might be tempting to wind down with a couple of glasses of your favorite 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.
Alcohol will leave you feeling less energized in the morning? Yeah, no shit. You don’t have to be licensed professional to know that. You just have to have one hangover in your entire life. You can take my energy but you can’t take my Cabernet.
I’m in the minority of people who actually enjoy eating light and healthy while hungover, but you’ll be hard-pressed trying to take eggs benedict and Domino’s out of the clutches of the hungover masses.
Most successful people read every night before bed, so Sunday-night reading is part of their routines.
They also use this time to catch up on reading that has been neglected.
I have fifteen half-read books in my bedroom. I tried reading the weekend Wall Street Journal earlier but nearly threw up on the pages. Reading when you’re tired is the same as doing work when you’re hungover. Your brain can’t function at a high enough level to do it well and you’ll just end up having to go back and do it again. No thanks.
After you finish responding to emails and texts, or returning calls, unplug for a few hours.
Truly successful people do anything but work right before bed, especially on Sunday night, career expert Michael Kerr said. They don’t obsessively check their email, and they try not to dwell on work-related issues.
I’m not saying I want people calling me on Sunday nights (because phone calls immediately make me think someone died), but you’re not going to take my phone out of my hands. I need to watch my Instagram likes pile up (best time to post is Sunday) and make sure my friend still like me. If I unplug, my mind is going to default to the world crumbling around me which will make me more anxious in return.
Take some time Sunday evening to sit back and relax. You need time to recharge your mind and body.
Cohen said 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.”
Well no shit. The reason Joey and Chandler invested in those two beautiful recliners was because they value the act of being lazy. We all need to take a note out of their book when it comes to max-chilling.
I hate to call you out here, Business Insider, but you did just tell us to plan our upcoming week and hit the gym. Those aren’t exactly portraits of relaxation. A man can only do so much while licking his hungover wounds.
“[Another] great way to end the weekend is to volunteer,” Vanderkam wrote in her book. Nothing will take your mind off any stresses in your life like serving people who are less fortunate, she said. “It’s a way to connect with humanity before everyone goes their separate ways for the week.”
Noble as hell, yes. But even those less fortunate don’t want booze breath hitting them in the face while you’re trying to make their lives better. The last thing you need is the other volunteers talking behind your back about how much of a mess you are.
And besides, hungover Sundays are emotional rollercoasters. Volunteering and seeing those in need will make me cry harder than when Hugh Grant pours his heart out in Notting Hill.
They plan out their sleep.
One way to do that is to go to bed at a consistent time each evening, which is a key habit all sleep experts recommend to help ensure a healthy night’s sleep.
This is especially important on Sunday if you want to start the workweek off feeling well-rested and ready to go.
Vanderkam further suggests that you plan out when you’re going to wake up, count back however many hours you need to sleep, and then consider setting an alarm to remind yourself to get ready for bed.
“The worst thing you can do is stay up late then hit snooze in the morning,” she said. “Humans have a limited amount of willpower. Why waste that willpower arguing with yourself over when to get up, and sleeping in miserable nine-minute increments?”
Ever try to go to sleep when you’re staring a two-day Monday-ruining hangover in the face? It’s impossible. Yes, I can go to bed when that Bedtime alert pops up on my shattered iPhone X, but that doesn’t mean I’ll actually rest. I need sleep aids in order to do that, and even then I’m probably going to wake up at 2 a.m. with cold sweats and drenched sheets.
The dying embers of the weekend can be a good time to take a step back and catalog your feelings, especially if you’re dreading Monday. 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 behavior professor James Campbell Quick told 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 said.
Hard to reflect when you browned out the night before and can’t remember whether or not you *actually* went to the bar you talked about hitting for last call.
Besides, this whole thing about writing down your thoughts and cataloging your feelings? Puh-lease. Ever try to write with booze shakes, professor James Campbell?
They get cultured.
Business Insider previously reported, former “Project Runway” cohost and mentor Tim Gunn visits the Metropolitan Museum every Sunday to get his art fix for the week.
Sundays provide a great opportunity to pursue some kind of cultural activity solo or with your loved ones, whether it be seeing a play, visiting an art museum, or swinging by some local historical sites.
Sunday museum trip? Sign. me. the. fuck. up.
Networking doesn’t have to mean “awkwardly standing in the corner of a room, surrounded by people you don’t know.” It’s as simple as reaching out to a former colleague to congratulate them on their new gig, or taking the time to catch up with your college room mate (whose job you secretly want).
Since you might be busy the rest of the week, Sunday night might be a good time to maintain those connections.
No one wants to network with someone was caught sending out “you out?” texts to every girl they’ve ever met the night before. Work is the reason 99 percent of millennials are panicking on Sundays in the first place, so networking and attempting to further your career just seems beyond the call of duty. If it’s not pressing “accept” on LinkedIn requests, it’s not happening.
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,” said Michael Woodward, Ph.D., organizational psychologist and author of “The YOU Plan.”
I thought “high note” was Business Insider’s sneaky way of telling you to smoke weed. Honestly, probably wouldn’t have been the worst idea.
So, successful people, how are you spending your Sunday nights? .