This post may contain affiliate links. By purchasing a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you. Which in return validates to my family the few hours I spend staring at a computer screen in a day . See Disclosure for more info.
The end of the weekend comes crashing down like a wave consuming you, not letting you up for air.
Time to focus. Time to get your head back in the game. Finishing the laundry, meal plan, lunches to be packed, dinner to be thawed, backpacks to pack and itineraries to line out. But it is more than just finishing up overwhelming responsibilities.
It is an uneasiness. I never exactly knew what to call it I just knew how it made me feel. It feels like losing your grip on your family while everyone gets pulled into different directions come Monday morning. Like falling into a deep dark abyss. Leaving the comforts of home and the people you want to be surrounded with, it is leaving what you wish you were doing and joining the rat race.
The rat race seems cold, apathetic and uninviting compared to comforts of home and family. It doesn’t care how you feel. It doesn’t matter that you had a great weekend, Sunday has a way of stripping away all the fun from the previous days. Actually, a good weekend only seems to exacerbate the feelings, bringing you into the unpleasant reality that Monday is coming. This horrible feeling, I have come to learn is a little thing called “Sunday Night Syndrome” and it is real!
From the Kids’ Perspective
I can remember laying in my bed on Sunday nights when I was 8 years old with anxiety consuming me. At the time I didn’t even know what anxiety was. I just suddenly felt like everything came crashing down. My sister and I would call it “feeling little” like the world could swallow you whole. The freedom of the weekend with family, friends, and activities came to a screeching halt.
Come Monday morning the great big world called. It didn’t matter if I liked school, I was extremely homesick just thinking about the impending doom that awaited the next day. Being rushed to daycare, apart from parents all day, then an hour-long bus ride to school (or so it seemed), responsibilities to listen, learn, and pay attention all day at school. Then to get yourself back to where you were supposed to be in the afternoon while you waited for your overtired parents to come to pick you up, only to get home and prepare to start the routine all over again.
The expectations can be heavy for a kid. It signals such an out of control feeling. A message that despite how uncomfortable we feel, or how unnatural the entire process feels to us, in the big scheme of things nothing can be done about it.
As an Adult
From my personal experience, if Sunday Night Syndrome is an issue when you are a kid then it can definitely be intensified as an adult. The loss of freedom from the weekend can trigger sadness and regret as the weekend comes to a close. As an adult, you can feel just as out of control as a small child being hustled and bustled all over the place on a Monday morning. All the sudden we are extremely aware of the transience of life and start to question if where we are and what we are doing is right. All our emotions seem inflated. The urgency seems to overtake us as if we need to make a ton of life-changing decisions overnight (because it’s not like we will sleep well anyway) to make sure we never feel like this again.
After all, wouldn’t we feel better if we were more in control of the situation? If we were at peace with our lot in life then this anxiety wouldn’t come over us. Is the underlying issue that we are just not happy with our vocation? That our job is really not ideal? That life is getting away from us? It is the “post-vacation hangover” or the holiday blues on repeat. Just like any feeling of anxiety, it is the feeling that something is off, and you can’t shake it. You just know that you are not ready to face your responsibilities.
Sunday Night Syndrome is not biased to those that work outside the home, it can affect those that work at home and stay-at-home moms, as the family is pulled in all different directions. Sending spouses and little people out into the world is just as unsettling. Feeling the obligations and schedules that everyone must conform to, stripping the comfort and family unity that we never seem to get enough of.
There are some ways to offer relief from Sunday Night Syndrome.
Don’t’ dwell! Be prepared. You know without a doubt it is coming. Combat it by not letting it sneak up on you. Being prepared takes a lot of the spook out of it. Don’t wait till the last minute for homework to be done or other responsibilities to be started, try to get them out of the way on a Friday evening.
Be aware of what your kids are experiencing. Are they struggling on Sundays? Are they picking up on stressful vibes from other family members in the house? Help them ease into it.
Despite what your instincts are telling you, to withdrawal from the world, plan something Sunday evening preferably outside your home with friends or family. Better yet, have something awesome planned on a Monday or Tuesday evening. I have found that having something fun to look forward to early in the week makes the idea of starting the work week less gloomy and mundane.
So, if you are like me and struggle on Sundays, you can now rest assured that you are not the only one mourning the weekend. When you lay awake in the wee hours of Monday morning staring at the ceiling while your mind spins out of control, take comfort in the fact that 59% of Americans are doing the same thing. Sometimes it helps in knowing that you are not alone in “feeling little” on those dreaded Sundays.
How do you feel as the weekend comes to a close?