Ranking The Most Anxious Nights Of The Year

Ranking The Most Anxious Nights Of The Year

I’ve belabored the Sunday Scaries. By this time, you know what they are — the anxiety and feeling of dread that sets in on Sunday nights with the impending return to the office, school, or work. Once you’re aware they exist, they’re nearly impossible to shake.

Some of us? We get them every Sunday night. Others? They’ll never get them. But there’s a large contingent of people that get them here and there throughout the year. You know, after a big weekend with some friends, on the tail-end of a vacation, or just on a random weekend in the middle of March where you might’ve had a few too many rocks-margaritas on an empty stomach.

These nights are filled with anxiety that makes you reassess your entire life on every fathomable level. Year after year, you encounter the Scaries-filled nights just knowing the real world is one sweaty night of sleep away. But the fact remains — some nights are Scarier than others.

Honorable Mention: Bachelor Party Sundays

You can no longer party like you could in college, but for that one weekend, you decided to party like you’re still an undergrad (with all of your undergrad friends). Shootin’ craps and passing around strippers like you just won the lotto, you’re going to blow a whole wad of cash on a bunch of intangible shit that you’ll never having anything to show for it. Yeah, it sucks. But luckily you’ll only have to do this once or twice a year.

The good news, and the reason this is an honorable mention rather than a staple on the list? Bachelor parties are rare occurrences that don’t happen on a consistent yearly schedule. Be thankful for that.

Honorable Mention: The First Night Before Starting A New Job

Starting a new job is scary. Where are you going to eat lunch? Is it a communal bathroom where all the girls will hear / smell what you’re laying down? What if you just quit your old job for a shittier new job? Did you even take that into account?

Either way, your funemployment is over. But the fact of the matter is, you’re (hopefully) moving on to bigger and better things. You can’t just skate through life without a job, so stiffen that upper lip and deal with it. You’re probably not even qualified for the position anyway, so put your head down and get to work.

7. President’s Day / Martin Luther King Day / Columbus Day

Frankly, these are lucky to even get consideration on the list. Yeah, I get it, they’re all national holidays that deserve the utmost respect. But we all know that you’re playing with house money if you get one of them off work. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

There’s really nothing substantial you’re doing with your time over these weekends. Maybe you’re taking a ski trip. Perhaps you took a long weekend to see some old friends. Or maybe you just sat at home knowing you could Netflix your face off until Monday night with no repercussions.

But with extra time off comes the extra dread of returning to work, school, or the office. It was so nice having a little extra cushion on the back end of your weekend, wasn’t it? Welp, you wasted it. And now you’re going back to the grind. Hey, at least you’ve got a short week ahead of you.

6. Daylight Savings Time (Spring)

When you wake up an hour later than normal on Sunday morning, you wonder how you managed to sleep in. I mean, you didn’t even get that drunk the night before (yes, you did). But then you remember that it’s Daylight Savings Time and your iPhone automatically adjusted the clock.

Never mind the fact that an hour of your life just disappeared right in front of your eyes — you would’ve wasted it anyway. But shit. Tomorrow, you have to wake up an hour earlier for work. And guess what? It’s going to be dark as hell outside. Sure, it won’t get dark until 9 o’clock, but that’s not helping anyone when you’re dragging as into the office on Monday morning and snooty Account Manager Amy tosses you a “Rough weekend?” before you sit at your desk and silently curse her out.

It’s amazing how sixty minutes can flip your life around come Sunday night. Not only are you struggling to fall asleep at a reasonable hour, but the looming early rise is just standing over your shoulder laughing at you as you count how many coffees you’re going to need at the office to feel normal again.

5. Memorial Day

Ah, the coveted three-day holiday weekend. Whether you head back to your old stomping grounds or hang back for a little staycation, one thing’s for certain — you’re about to go on a bender. I mean, why the hell not? It’s the unofficial summer kickoff and that lake house isn’t going to just destroy itself.

But after taking a half-day on Friday and brutalizing your body until late Sunday night when you realize you should probably call it quits, you head back home for work on Tuesday. There you sit, wondering how you squandered your long weekend by just getting fucked up the entire time rather than being responsible for once.

The good news? Summer has arrived, which is something everyone can get behind and look forward to. That alone gets you through Memorial Monday.

4. Super Bowl Sunday

There’s a contingent out there that says this Sunday is the Scariest Sunday of them all. And honestly? I get it. I really do. Football, the stronghold that helped you through many a anxious fall and winter night since the end of summer, officially comes to an end. That’s a tough pill to swallow.

But just be real with yourself here: it pales in comparison to the other nights you stack it against. Sure, you can’t fall asleep at halftime of the Sunday Night Football game with Al Michaels whispering into your ear. But how many of those games were you actually invested in, emotionally or fiscally? Okay, maybe don’t answer that because I’ve got a suspicion that there’s a surplus of gamblers out there who live and die by Sunday night spreads.

Just look at it this way — now you’ve got free Sunday nights to do whatever the hell you want. Movies, television, jerking off, whatever your little heart desires. At the end of the day, your team didn’t have a shot after Week Nine so I don’t want to hear your complaining.

3. Sunday After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a beast all its own. From the moment you hit the bars on Wednesday night (regarded as the biggest bar night of the year), you put yourself through a gauntlet of beers, turkey, and everything in between. It’s the holiday elastic waistbands were made for. And while it’s all fine and dandy to toss on some sweatpants after your hungover meal of Thanksgiving food, there’s no wearing sweatpants in the office on Monday.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. You’re pounding brown liquor the entire time in a whole-hearted effort to kick off the holiday season right. But then there’s the “Suck me, beautiful,” texts to your high school girlfriend from Wednesday night that start creeping into your head when you’re in bed watching a rom-com trying to stave off the Sunday Scaries.

The only saving grace is that you have the entire month of December in front of you — a month of drinking, ugly sweater parties, popcorn tins, and winter wonderlands. But more on that in a minute.

2. Labor Day

“Nothing seems as strange as when the leaves begin to change.” — Kid Rock

It was Labor Day Weekend and I was living at my parent’s house. I had spent the better part of the weekend doing everything I love to do — getting hammered next to a huge body of water while listening to the sweet sounds of Kid Rock and the Twisted Brown Trucker Band. He had just held a concert that night at local ski resort, with the crisp 75-degree air smelling of fried food, jean shorts, and bourbon. The stuff dreams are made of.

But when I walked downstairs the day after the concert, two things lingered in my head — 1. How did I get home? 2. Summer is fucking over. Both harsh realizations to run through your head on a hungover Sunday morning.

Essentially, Labor Day is Memorial Day’s bitchy sister. They have some similarities, but when you take a step back and really take a good hard look at the two, Labor Day is just the pits. When you’re lying in bed Labor Day knowing you’ve got to show your face at the office that following Tuesday, you know that summer is finally over and you’ve got nothing to look forward to anymore but Thanksgiving. I mean, you’ve just spent the last three months peacocking around with your shirt unbuttoned and a drink cemented to your hand, and now you have to deal with it being unacceptable for girls to wear white pants? Kill me now.

Summer’s collective hangover hits you all at once, and that’s not a world I want to live in.

1. Sunday After New Year’s Eve / First ‘Work Night’ Of The New Year

“It’s been a long December, and there’s reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last.” — The Counting Crows

Sure, like The Counting Crows said, there’s reason to believe this year will be better than the last. But chances are, this year is going to suck until it hits 70-degrees again and girls start wearing white pants. Until then? You’re going to be bundled up, shuttling yourself to and from work when it’s dark when you leave (and even darker when you get home). The holidays are in the past, spring is three months off (at least), and you officially start seeing how much of a piece of shit you’ve become after eating sandwich after sandwich of honey baked ham leftovers from Christmas.

Your waistline? Bursting. Your New Year’s Resolutions? Weighing hard on your mind. Your bank account? Struggling, because you’ve already blown through your minuscule holiday bonus on Christmas gifts, bar tabs, and flights to and from your hometown. All you want to do is Home Alone scream into your mirror and wake up from the nightmare that is work the next day.

But hey, there’s always that long Martin Luther King Weekend to look forward to, right?

Image via Shutterstock

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Will deFries (Twitter / Instagram) is a Senior Writer at Grandex and the world's foremost authority on Sunday Scaries (Twitter / Instagram). Email me at

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