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The Sunday Scaries is the anxiety and feeling of dread that sets in on Sunday nights with the impending return to the office, school, or work. If you didn’t already know that, where in the world have you been? The internet loves talking about them and trying to solve the issues behind them. But you can’t trust the internet, specifically because everyone’s going to call themselves an expert when it comes to this stuff. Unfortunately for them, there’s only one expert out there and that expert is me.
My qualifications, you ask? I’ve been the world’s foremost expert on the Sunday Scaries since 2013, and I have the blue checkmark to prove it. If you can find me another person out there with those qualifications, I’ll send you an oversized long-sleeve t-shirt that you can spend your Sunday nights lounging in. But until then, I don’t want to hear it.
Especially from Bustle, who claims to have talked to “experts” in regards to fighting off the much-feared Scaries.
Let’s dive in.
1. Get your mind right.
One of the first things you should do when trying to overcome the Sunday scaries is to get your mind in the right place to actually do so. Executive coach and founder of Peloton Coaching and Consulting Michael O’Brien suggested turning around anything negative thinking you might be having, and focusing on the positive when trying to overcome Sunday anxiety.
Okay, O’Brien. Easier said than done. If we all had the magical ability to simply “get our minds right” then I don’t think we’d be scouring the internet for ways to fend off the Scaries in the first place, now would we? When people can’t imagine being in their office come Monday, thinking of the benefits of their job isn’t going to do dick. In the original column, you tell people to focus on the good things of the workplace — let’s say it pays you really well, or you get free lunch every day, or you work with your best friend. Hate to break it to you, but unless you have a start-up-y gig, you probably pack a shitty sandwich and hate everyone you fucking work with.
2. Practice Active Leisure.
To avoid the blues on a Sunday, Cassie Mogilner, Ph.D., a happiness researcher and an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, suggested just that to Real Simple. This means getting up and doing something — anything — that you enjoy. Mogilner told the outlet, “If you’re engaged in an activity that keeps you moving, you’re absorbed in the moment and your mind has much less room to allow workweek worries to sneak in and take hold.”
I’ll just say this – if you want to trust some Ph.D. with your hungover, who-did-I-text-last-night, how-many-shots-did-I-buy anxiety, be my guest. I’m sure this Cassie Mogilner knows everything about waking up after a three-day bender where you drain your body of energy and your bank account of money. Oh, actually, on second thought, no. She’s probably spent the last ten years buried in books studying anxiety rather than living that Scaries life.
3. Distract, distract, distract.
Steven Meyers, professor of psychology at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Ill., spoke to Huffington Post on the topic, and noted, “Feelings of anxiety and depression are most common when the person is not particularly busy. So enjoyable activities that redirect your attention are especially important.” Meyers said this will help prevent the dread from creeping up.
Okay, Steven Meyers of Roosevelt University, do you want to phone into HBO and ask them to add some fire programming that starts before 8 o’clock? Because until that happens, there aren’t going to be any enjoyable things that I do on Sunday that start before then. Brunch is just me trying not to dry-heave my parfait and dinner is eating leftover pizza. From 8 o’clock until 10 o’clock is the only time I feel alive.
4. Clean up.
Andrew Weil, M.D., suggested on his website www.DrWeil.com that getting organized might be a great way to get your thinking away from the week ahead and into the present moment instead. Try blasting your favorite Pandora station (my go-to is Motown Radio) and focusing on the here and now while putting things back in place. Likewise to not thinking about the week ahead, try to not dwell on anything the happened the day or night before.
Oh, cool, Andrew Weil, M.D. You’ve got a website with the word ‘doctor’ in it. Last time I checked, I own www.Sunday-Scaries.com so do you really want to spar with me right now? The most cleaning you’ll get out of a normal, non-M.D. person on a Sunday is wiping their coffee table clean and changing their sheets (but only if they peed in them the night before). We can’t all be Mrs. Fucking Doubtfire when we’re hungover and struggling, dude.
5. Make sure you’re hydrated.
I spoke via email to Rachel Baer, RDN, for more insight into how water plays into the mix. “Staying hydrated during and after a night of drinking is so important — especially during the summer months — because alcohol has a diuretic effect, meaning it can dehydrate the body,” Baer says. “Although dehydration is not considered to be the main cause of hangovers, it may contribute to symptoms like thirst, headache, fatigue, and dry mouth.”
If one more person tells me to “mix in a water” at the bar the night before in an effort to feel better on Sunday, I’m going to take the shot they handed me and throw it in their eyes. The most you’re going to get out of me on a weekend is chugging my morning Riptide Rush before drinking lemon-waters out of a tall Tervis all night. If I can achieve that, I’ve accomplished something.
6. Go for a walk.
Walking is an excellent way to fight anxiety, according to the experts at CalmClinic.com, so this goes for those dreadful Sunday feelings as well. According to the site’s experts, walking allows us to copy with anxiety more effectively, so hit the pavement. All it takes is a quick 10 to 15 minutes to start reaping the benefits.
I just checked my walking stats on my iPhone and it says I average 1,000 steps a day on Sundays. Most of those steps are probably from my bed to the bathroom, from the bathroom to the kitchen, and from the kitchen to my bedroom. Wash, rinse, repeat for the twelve hours I decide to be up that day. Every single time I’ve decided to kick it into gear and get in a workout when I tied one on a little too hard the night before, I find myself on a treadmill smelling like bourbon wondering if I’m going to need help getting to the locker room from the elderly man next to me on the recumbent bike.
7. Get social.
According to Mogilner, connecting with others can benefit you big time when you’re trying to get past those horrible Sunday feelings — particularly if you’re doing so face-to-face. Real Simple noted many studies agree with this notion — that being less social can mean being less happy.
“If we’re all Scared collectively, we’re less Scared individually,” is something that’s always resonated with me. Much like doing psychedilics (not that I’d know, mom), you need someone there with you to make sure you don’t go off the rails and spiral into a full-blown panic attack. Sometimes, Twitter gets you there. Other times, you FaceTime with someone until your iPad dies. And if you really need it, sure, face-to-face contact works, I guess.
8. Choose your brunch meal wisely.
Tempted to opt for something heavy on the carbs? Think again. If you choose something card-loaded, you’re risking a crash later on, according to Keri Gans, a NYC-based nutritionist. Gans suggested to Cosmopolitan that a better choice would be something that offers a mix of protein and fiber.
Okay, Keri. I don’t know who you are or what your “thing” is in life besides being a nutritionist, but I think we’d get along. And that’s saying a lot considering you’re in the presence of a bunch of nerds here. I’m under the impression that eating only makes hangovers worse, and it’s pivotal to eat light so you don’t find yourself torpedoing to every bathroom in the tri-state area. I’m that dude at brunch who gets something from the “lighter fare” portion of the menu and I dedicate myself to mimos and salty dogs. Is it easy? No, but no one said it was supposed to be.
9. Write it out.
James Campbell Quick, professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at The University of Texas at Arlington, suggested to Huffington Post that writing down precisely the things that are bothering you can be helpful at this point to moving past them. He told the outlet, “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.”
That’s what having a solid group text is all about, guys. Last time I checked, not that many people can make a living just writing about their Sunday Scaries. I’m pretty much the only person in the world who’s literally allowed to do that. And if you think any of us are writing something on paper, James Campbell Quick, The University of Texas at Arlington needs to reassess your tenure.
10. Treat yourself.
According to Nataly Kogan, CEO of Happier Inc., a good way to avoid having a bad mindset heading into Sunday evening is to treat yourself to something nice.
For the past two weeks running, I’ve purchased something athleisure related on both Sundays with the sole reasoning of needing some retail therapy to curb the frights. No qualms here with Nataly Kogan of Happier Inc.
11. Try a few moments of meditation.
Kelli Hyland, M.D., a psychiatrist who practices in Salt Lake City, Utah, suggested to Psych Central that mediation is an effective way to quickly and simply reduce anxiety. Specifically, Hyland suggested, “Picture yourself on a river bank or outside in a favorite park, field or beach. Watch leaves pass by on the river or clouds pass by in the sky. Assign [your] emotions, thoughts [and] sensations to the clouds and leaves, and just watch them float by.”
With all due respect, Kelli Hyland M.D., don’t be an idiot. Closing your eyes and being alone with your thoughts is the single worst way to deal with your Sunday Scaries. And this is classic doctor talk, guys. I’m going to sound like a crazy homeless man spouting off shit on the corner of Haight and Ashbury, but you can’t trust these doctors when it comes to a disease that’s caused by having a good time. These corporate, big pharma solutions will only get you so far. You? You stick with me and you’ll be just fine. .
Image via Shutterstock