How to Avoid the Sunday Bummer

Yes! The weekend is finally here! Time kick back and do the things you’ve been waiting all week to do.

Maybe you’ll hang out with friends, attend a family party, watch a movie, or go on a shopping spree (pick up something for me!). Maybe you’ll get around to cleaning the kitchen or just relaxing on the couch with a good book.

It’s the weekend, baby, and the sky’s the limit!

But then it starts to happen…so slowly you might not even realize it.

Around 3:00 Sunday afternoon, an invisible weight will start to settle onto your shoulders. You’ll begin to feel anxious, like you’re running out of time—“Why didn’t I get the car’s oil changed on Friday?”

You’ll start to get nervous about the upcoming work day—“Oh, I really don’t want to have to get up at 6:00 tomorrow morning.”

You might even get snappy with your loved ones—“The weekend’s almost over, and we STILL haven’t bought the plane tickets!”

When it’s finally time to shut off the lights and climb into bed (grudgingly), you’ll feel cheated and frustrated.

“The weekend went by too fast! I didn’t get enough personal time! And I certainly didn’t finish all the household errands!”

Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve just experienced the phenomenon commonly referred to as the Sunday Bummer.

It happens to everyone. No matter how great the weekend is, there’s still a part of us that’s bummed out that it has to end. So long play time, hello work and responsibility.

You can still experience the Sunday Bummer even if you enjoy your job or have something fun to do on Monday. It’s natural to feel disappointed when it’s time to return to your normal routine.

Don’t let the Sunday Bummer get you down! Try these tricks for getting the most out of your weekend.

Finish Your Errands Early

I recommend knocking a little bit off your to-do list every weeknight so your weekends will be free from mundane tasks like going to the post office or doing laundry. I realize you might not have a lot of time after work or school, but even getting a few small things completed during the week will make Saturday and Sunday seem that much sweeter.

Take a Tech Break

Spending your whole weekend glued to the TV or computer is a surefire way to feel like you wasted the weekend come Monday morning. And put down the gadgets, people! If possible, limit yourself to just 1-2 hours of screen time each day. Get out of the house and try something new. Explore your neighborhood the way a tourist might do. Is there a museum you’ve always wanted to visit or a sporting event you’ve never made time for? Now’s your chance!

Create a Sunday Night Ritual

Instead of moping on the couch about how the weekend is over, use Sunday night to build yourself up. Plan a family dinner and use the good plates and fancy tablecloths (there’s no need to save them for a special occasion). Round up your friends for a weekly game night. Laughing with your friends will ease the Sunday sadness. You could even plan a beauty night for yourself. Take a super long bubble bath, paint your nails, and pamper yourself for a night. You’ll definitely wake up more refreshed. Hey, you could even dig out your bad day emergency kit.

Plan Something Special for Monday

Set up a lunch date with a friend. Take a 20-minute walk in the afternoon to get outside and feel the sunshine on your face. Start a new audio book on your commute. Wear the new outfit you bought on Saturday.

Even though the weekend has to come to an end eventually (sorry, I can’t control the fabric of time…or can I?), there are a few easy things you can do to avoid a bad mood on Sunday night.

How do you avoid the Sunday Bummer?

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  1. Cara on May 21, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Wonderful tips for something we all feel at the end of every weekend. I try my hardest to run the easiest errands throughout the week, even if its just one per evening so that my weekends are less crazed. I also try hard to get everything major out of the way on Saturday so Sundays can be more relaxed. I usually make a nice dinner for us on Sunday (with dessert) and we end the night with a game of Scrabble or a movie. Hope you had a great weekend 😀

  2. Anna on May 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Hey Sage, these are great tips (as always, of course). I love the idea of starting a Sunday night ritual with the BF so that the workweek wouldn’t seem so daunting (for him). I just graduate college and am studying for the MCAT full time (D-Day is June 21). I don’t have weekends. Hell, I don’t even have spare time. I’m just one nervous wreck, cramming 10-12 hours a day.

    Any advice for that?

    • Sage on May 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that you graduated. Woo hoo! You must feel amazing…and busy! Cramming for 10+ hours a day sounds exhausting, but I know it’s not realistic to say “just take a break and study less.” This is a really important time in your life.

      Since you can’t fast forward time to June 21, my advice is to rearrange as much as you can in your life to make those marathon studying sessions managable. Keep your pantry and fridge stocked with healthy grab-and-go food. You’re not going to want to stand in the kitchen for 45 minutes making dinner. Think precut fruit/veggies, premade soups, low sodium frozen meals. Ask for help too. If your boyfriend or parents can run a few of your errands while you hit the books, you’ll have less to worry about.

      Even though you’ve got a ton of studying to do, promise me you’ll take a 5 minute break every hour (set a timer!). Stand up, stretch your legs and back, drink a big glass of water (keep a bottle on your desk), or take a quick walk around the block. I always feel refocused after I take a quick break.

      Have you removed distractions? Study in a room without a TV, don’t pick up the mail until the end of the day, and work away from people who distract you. If your neighborhood is noisy, play some white noise. Google “white noise” to find a web site that plays free white noise. When I worked in a loud office, I wouldn’t have gotten anything done without having white noise on in the background.

      That’s all the advice I can come up with off the top of my head. If you do nothing else, please get 8+ hours of sleep per night. You’ll take care of yourself and give your subconscious mind time to absorb the material. Good luck!

  3. Cara on May 18, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    We have a regular Sunday evening celebration – we eat spaghetti, crack open a bottle of red wine, and veg on the couch watching mindless TV until we’re lulled into a post-carb/post-wine/post-animation daze and drift off to sleep without a worry!

    • Sage on May 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Hee hee! Carbs and bad TV sound like the perfect night! 🙂

  4. Shybiker on May 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    You hit on an experience common to almost everyone. I used to feel this way.

    Things improved a lot when I followed one of your tips — on Mondays I have a regular dinner date with some guy-friends. It acts as a reward for having made it through the day and makes Sunday seem less like the end of fun.

    • Sage on May 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      That’s awesome! I like that idea of having a standing dinner with friends.

  5. Molly on May 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I used to get pretty bummed on Sundays, but we’ve done a lot of the things on your list to help. We get all of our errands done by Saturday afternoon and almost always do something extra fun on at least one of the weekend days. Then, we always look forward to watching Family Guy & the other Fox cartoons on Sunday night, but we leave at least one or two on our DVR to watch on Monday night. It gives us something to look forward to. 🙂

    • Sage on May 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm

      Chris and I watch Game of Thrones every Sunday night. I like cuddling on the couch to finish off the weekend. Getting errands done early has helped a lot.

  6. xvavaveganx on May 18, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I think I get extra bummerish on Sunday because a lot of the time it is my only day off… if I have a day off at all! It isn’t unusual for me to go several weeks in the summer without a day off. I think my record was 5 weeks? This year won’t be like that though since we are a bit slower this wedding season. Anyway, I used to really dread Sunday nights because it meant work the next day. Then I decided that instead of wasting half of my day off dreading my next day of work, I’d enjoy my full day off and not worry about working. Whether I like it or not, it’s happening so there is no use wasting my precious free time worrying about it! I’m also lucky because I have a very short work day on Monday so I guess that is part of it.

    Anyway, great tips as always!! I especially love the idea of planning something special for Mondays. Instead of dreading Mondays, it gives you something to look forward to 🙂 Such a great idea! Happy weekend Sage!

    • Sage on May 20, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      I would die if I went 5 weeks without a day off! How can you do that???

      I try to have something fun to look forward to on Mondays. It’s Sunday today but I was working because I’m away on a business trip. It throws off my schedule when I work on the weekends.