Sunday night blues are for real. A large number of us suffer from it. I can tell you that Sunday evenings are the bleakest time of the week for me. Unless of course I’m leaving for a vacation on Monday morning. Hah!
Weekends are the breaks that life offers us every week and Mondays feel like life is throwing us back to the business end of things. This feeling makes a regular appearance for most of us right from our school days – that feeling of going back to drudgery on a Monday morning.
My nine year old also goes through this. When I asked him whether he experiences the Sunday night blues, he said, “It feels like all my fun is taken away from me on a Sunday evening and it’s all dark.” Possibly with lots of homework and studies to be kept ready for Monday morning, we start associating Sunday evenings with stress from quite early in life.
Even though I work from home and I have the luxury of sitting in my pyjamas on a Monday catching the latest show on Netflix, I still face a massive case of the Sunday night blues. Monday morning, the husband is off for the week to another city and my son leaves for school. It brings with it a sense of helplessness and subtle anxiety that the family time is slipping away.
I find it silly that we have two days of weekend and I’m spending nearly 1/3rd of my Sunday brooding or feeling rather low. Last Sunday, I had a real bad case of the blues and I decided to put down a list of things that usually help me get over it. What works for me may not work for you, but it will help you make your own little list that will help you overcome the Sunday blues.
The ultimate 12 point plan to overcome Sunday night blues
- Don’t drink too much over a Sunday brunch that spills over until late afternoon / evening. This is a sure shot way to feel totally blah and messed in your head, aggravating the crash of the Sunday night even further. Cut off any drinkies by 2 pm max and then stick to non-alco beverages or plain water.
- Get off social media. Be it checking out the latest political outrage on twitter or updates on your friend’s friend’s kid’s birthday party on Facebook – this is one thing we don’t need for a Sunday evening.
- Do a home beauty routine like a face pack or pedicure. I’ve been suffering terribly dry skin since the weather took a turn for the worse here. Sunday evening, I spent a good half an hour preparing and applying a wonderfully moisturising and exfoliating face and body mask. My skin (and me) felt amazing at the end of it. [read: a 2 ingredient face pack with instant results]
- While the face mask is drying, run a bath with a few drops of your favourite essential oils. You can also fill a mesh bag or a muslin bag with a bunch of herbs like rosemary. Immerse it into the hot water for a refreshing herbal bath. If a bath is too much trouble, then even a foot soak with a peppermint essential oil works wonders for the soul (and sole) – sorry, couldn’t resist that 😛
- Don’t underestimate the power of essential oils and aromas to uplift your mood. I regularly burn quality camphor (or camphor essential oil) in a diffuser and I find it does wonders for my mood. Burning candles / incense sticks /‘ dhoop’ cones of frankincense have been practised in Indian homes since ages. I love the Auroshikha brand from Pondicherry. I feel they make the best quality of aroma products in India.
- Comfort food for Sunday dinner! Go with what your family and you love. This could be a dal-rice or a baked pasta dish that could be prepared in advance and reheated. There’s a reason it is called comfort food – it will make you feel good!
- Turn to your gratitude journal. Whenever you feel low, that’s the best time to recall your highs. In other words, to be thankful for your blessings. Be it your family, or a job well done, or for a happy time spent with friends. Note it all down and you’ll feel so much better. Now that you have pulled out your journal, write down the happy things to look forward to next week. It may be an evening out with your friends, a meal at your favourite restaurant or a show you are looking forward to watching. Just having something to look forward to in the coming week will ease off the Sunday blues big time.
- Since we have already turned off the social media tap, step into the real world. Do a quick catch up with a friend who lives nearby or a neighbour. I prefer these to be pre-dinner or post-dinner, because neither party needs to do the extra work of ‘entertaining’. These catch ups with old and familiar friends don’t come with the social anxiety of meeting someone new. It always puts me in a positive and happy frame of mind.
- Have a playlist of your all time favourite happy songs and put it on in the evening. Upbeat music is great for the mood, keeping it propped up when the blues threaten to bring it down. What’s even better is to go put on this music and go for a quick 20 minute walk or run. The endorphin rush is guaranteed to banish the blues.
- Call your parents (or grandparents) – Or your aunt and uncle. Even if they are Whatsapp and Facebook savvy, they still belong to the old world. Nothing makes them happier than hearing your voice. General updates, talking about this and that, a bit of family gossip is not just good for you, you’ll also make your family feel happier. I know that I’ll feel happy if my son calls me on a Sunday evening when I’m old and grey.
- We all have our list of favourite books that we can pick up at any time for some instant joy. PG Wodehouse books have this effect on me. And in shows, it is Fawlty Towers. So have a dedicated, comfortable reading nook in the house where you can put your feet up and read.
- Wind down with a herbal tea or hot chocolate. Chamomile tea is known for its relaxing properties. As Sunday night blues are often paired with some background anxiety over the week ahead, a herbal tea like chamomile is calming and soothing. But if chocolate does that for you, then by all means fix yourself a cup of hot chocolate.
So what is your tried and tested tip to beat the Sunday night blues? I’d love it if you shared with us in the comments.
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