A woman with sunday night anxiety with her worries in bubbles above her
Mental Health

Sunday Scaries: is returning to the office making your Sunday night anxiety worse? Try this

Welcome to Sleepless Nights, Stylist’s weekly series designed to help you put your anxiety and worries to bed. This week, we’re speaking to Dora Kamau, a mindfulness and meditation teacher and host of Headspace and Spotify’s new podcast Sunday Scaries.

Alleviating Sunday night anxiety can sometimes feel like an impossible task. If you’re not in a position where you a) want to or b) can quit your job, there’s no getting rid of the fact that you have to face work on Monday morning.

But just because you can’t rid yourself of the source of your anxiety, doesn’t mean there aren’t simple, effective techniques you can use to help you cope and make Sunday nights easier. 

You may also like

Sunday night anxiety: what causes the ‘Sunday Scaries’?

And it’s these techniques that are the subject of a new podcast from Headspace and Spotify. Called Sunday Scaries, this ‘microcast’ series will consist of 12 short weekly episodes designed to help listeners explore and reframe their anxiety using mindfulness practice.

With the first two episodes available to listen to now, Stylist spoke to host Dora Kamau – a mindfulness and meditation teacher at Headspace, as well as a registered psychiatric nurse – to find out more about Sunday night anxiety and her top tips for dealing with it. Here’s what she had to say. 

Why do you think so many people struggle with Sunday night anxiety?

A woman looking anxious with the sun setting in her room
Sunday night anxiety is characterised by a feeling of dread about the approach of the working week.

“The term ‘Sunday Scaries’ has been popular for a few years now and refers to the sense of anxiety or dread that sets in on Sundays as you gear up for the week ahead,” Kamau says.

“I think so many suffer from this feeling because of the fast-paced nature of our jobs and life overall. We live in a society where we’re constantly on the go and being pressured to achieve in work and/or school so it’s natural to feel stressed about the obligations that set in on Monday morning.”

She continues: “There is also this sense of heightened anxiety brought on by the pandemic and as we adjust back to going into the office and being around people again in a work/school setting, it isn’t surprising that we feel a little fearful.

“So if we’re living life fast-paced and not facing or feeling those moments of fear and dread, over time, that suffering intensifies and grows.” 

What’s your top tip for dealing with Sunday night anxiety? 

A womans hands looking nervous
Reframing your thoughts using gratitude practice is one way to help Sunday night anxiety.

“A technique shared in the series that isn’t just exclusive to Sunday evening is the practice of gratitude!” Kamau says.

“If it is Sunday evening, take a moment to reflect on the week that just passed and find 3-5 things that you are grateful or can show appreciation for. You can also practice gratitude for a few things that you’re anticipating in the week ahead. It could be a show you’re looking forward to, a morning workout or even a chat with a friend.”

She continues: “Gratitude shifts our focus from that impending sense of dread to a lighter, more manageable feeling. There’s even science on the way gratitude works to change the chemistry in our minds and bodies! So, taking some time each day or at the end of each week, can have some truly impactful benefits.” 

For more Sleepless Nights content, you can check out the hub page.

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Getty