Sundays are bitter sweet aren’t they? There is something inherently restful about them, this last day of the weekend. Your last chance to relax and rejuvenate before a new week is under way. With Sundays come leisurely breakfasts, afternoon naps, and family dinners.
For many however, Sundays are one of the most stressful days of the week. Monday looming around the corner creates a shadow of anxiousness, a growing feeling of dread with the realization that the weekend is coming to an end. Am I rested enough? Did I get enough done? What will this week throw at me?
Yes, the Sunday blues are real. Many report that feelings of anxiousness and depression increase on Sunday in anticipation of the workweek ahead. This is even more prevalent in busy professionals or those bordering on full burnout. Here is a Sunday routine to not only enjoythe rest of your weekend, but also to help ensure you’re calm, cool, and collected all week long.
Schedule in your ‘me’ time for the week
For me, this means going online and booking myself in for my favourite exercises classes. It could also look like scheduling a massage for yourself or booking in lunch with a friend. I know that if I wait until mid-week, these things often get forgotten, put aside to finish ‘just one last thing’ or to catch up on work. It brings me peace of mind knowing that these important self care acts are already in place for the week.
Prep your Food
Waking up on Monday with an empty fridge and nothing to eat…well lets just say it’s not a good a good start to the week. Sundays are a great day to do some food prep, meal planning, or stock up on staples. Buying and prepping your fruits and veggies for easy mid-week snacking, putting a big meal in the crockpot, or planning out your first few dinners of the week can go a long way in reducing stress levels once the week gets rolling. This will also decrease the amount of eating on the run and fast food or take out. Making home cooked, nourishing meals a priority will go a long way in helping you stay energized and focused throughout your workweek.
Reset and Restore with Self Care
This is all about tuning into an activity that brings you happiness and makes you feel grounded. If you’re so inclined, you can also set an intention or mantra for the week. I really like the concept of “resetting” for bringing a fresh and inspired start to your week. Lately, this has been either a juicy at home yoga practice or a long walk in nature. Both leave me feeling calm, grounded, and ready for whatever the week throws my way. For others this may look like heading out for a run, getting creative with a new art project, or a play date at the park with your little ones.
Take a Break from Technology
It sure is tempting to use Sunday as a catch up day to answer emails, get ahead on some work or knock one or two things off your ‘to-do’ list. (Irony alert: I’m writing this on a Sunday). However, most people are better off taking the weekends to rest and restore and then hit the ground running on Monday morning. If you don’t give yourself a physical AND mental break, you are more prone to being exhausted midweek or completely burning yourself out. If you must check in on work related tasks, give yourself a set timeframe (such as 20-30 minutes) to check your emails or organize your upcoming week. This can help reduce feelings of anxiousness but without overdoing it.
A Good Night’s Sleep
There’s nothing worse than seeing the clock hit midnight on a Sunday night and knowing you’re going to be exhausted Monday morning. Save yourself the stress and aim to get to bed at your usual sleeping time (or before!). Give yourself some extra moments to wind down if needed. If your upcoming week is making your brain spin, try writing down all your “to-do’s” or worries and then put them aside. Meditation, yoga, a good book or warm bath are other great ways to help encourage a restful Sunday sleep. Additional herbal sleep support can also be helpful to help calm the nervous system and ensure a deep restorative sleep.
If these suggestions leave you feeling more overwhelmed than before, don’t fret. Pick one that seems manageable for you and your life and work on integrating it into your current routine. When you have it down rock solid, move on to the next one. Slow sustainable efforts are the key to lasting changes. I wish you all happy and healthy weekends!
Dr. Katie Rothwell is a licensed and board certified Naturopathic Doctor through the College of Naturopaths of Ontario. She maintains a general family practice in Barrie as well as Midland Ontario, with a clinical focus and passion for women’s health, hormonal imbalances, chronic stress, and thyroid conditions. She believes that a multidimensional approach encompassing all areas of one’s life is the key to seeing lasting improvement and focuses on personalized medicine for each one of her unique patients.
After completing her Honours Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Guelph, Katie went on to complete a four-year degree at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She is an active member of both the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors and the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors. She is also an avid tea drinker, mystery novel reader, and in her spare time can be found enjoying the beautiful surroundings of Georgian Bay.