I get hit with end-of-the-weekend anxiety pretty much every week, and I know I’m not alone. Sometimes I feel restless and upset with myself for not maximizing every minute of my weekend (what does that even mean?) and other times I feel anxious about the week ahead. Whatever the case, there are a few tricks I’ve learned to help myself get out of the Sunday (or, in the case of a long weekend like this past one, Monday) spiral.
#1 - Meal Prep
I'm a big believer in meal prepping and try to do it every week. I know for a fact that I eat more sensibly and am less inclined towards takeout when I’ve made at least a few meals in advance for the week. Some weeks I go all out (hello, vegetable tarts and breakfast bakes!) while others I count myself lucky if I can manage to mix some tuna salad for sandwiches. No matter what, a little Meal Prep Sunday action always makes me feel more centered and prepared for the week ahead (and gives me some Instagram content to boot).
#2 - Do Laundry/Clean my Apartment
Doing laundry is one of my least favourite chores, so I try to get it out of the way first thing Sunday or even Saturday morning so I can sip tea and relax with a book while I’m doing it. Knowing that I’ll have my pick of clean clothes to wear (not to mention clean sheets to sleep on!) makes facing the work week that much less daunting. If I can pull a few outfits together in advance so they are ready to throw on and head out the door, that’s even better.
I feel extra anxious in cluttered spaces but relaxed and at peace in tidy ones, so I make an effort to do at least one major chore each weekend (floors, dusting, windows, etc.). Luckily for me, Jackson and our roommate are both also great at keeping on top of things, so our home stays pretty clean outside of the occasional build up of cat hair and dust bunnies. Not bad for a household of folks with packed schedules full of work, school, hobbies, and other commitments.
#3 - Paint my Nails
I don’t do this every weekend, but if I find myself particularly restless and anxious I’ll pull out some nail polish and spend an hour making my nails look nice with some Netflix on in the background. It may sound silly, but focusing on one task for a short stretch of time helps me stop ruminating, and I get to look at nice nails for the rest of the week. Win/win.
#4 - Use Organizational Tools to Prep for the Week
I’m a big fan of using lists and other tools to help me stay on my game both at work and at home. On Sundays, I like to sit down for a few minutes and make a rough plan for the week. This helps me feel like I’m on top of things and discover just how much “down time” I actually have built into the week ahead. Feeling strapped for time and anxious about not getting the space I need is something I struggle with, so doing this kind of prep work helps me keep things in perspective and calm the heck down. The whole process takes maybe 15 minutes and looks something like this:
- Open my Google calendar and review any meetings/evening commitments coming up during the week. Take note of any preparations I need to do and, if necessary, send an email to my work account with a list of tasks to do when I get into my office the next morning.
- Make a to-do list of tasks that must get done throughout the week. Set reminders in my calendar for key dates/times related to those tasks. Book a carshare car if needed.
- Review Jackson’s schedule and note which days he’ll be around in the evening and which evenings he’ll be out. Plan time for personal projects and self-maintenance (aka self-care).
- Take a look at what’s going on out in the world throughout the week and the following weekend and share interesting events with Jackson/friends
That’s it, really. A few minutes each Sunday spent preparing (more often than not accomplished on my phone from the bathtub, TBH) and 99% of the time I find myself much more calm, relaxed, and ready to head into the week.
#5 - Write it Out
Sometimes, the only way I can get that end-of-weekend anxiety to stop gnawing at me is to try to pinpoint exactly what’s bothering me, and I’ve found that the best way for me to do that is by writing it out. I keep a journal and usually after about 5 or 10 minutes of trying to work through a problem in writing I’ll come to realize that what’s at the root of my anxiety is something silly. For example, I might be worrying that I’ll oversleep and miss a meeting that I have scheduled the next morning, or that “something bad” (?) will happen during the week. Sometimes it’s some monster imposter syndrome creeping in to try and convince me that this is the week everyone figures out that I am terrible at my job and should be terminated immediately. Whatever it is, I can usually tease it out through journal writing, address it with a bit of logic, and feel much better for it.
For me, successfully navigating end-of-the-weekend anxiety boils down to preparing myself as much as possible for the week ahead, taking some me time, and tackling my anxieties head on as much as I can.
Do you feel anxiety or restlessness at the end of the weekend? What do you do to address those feelings?