3 Little Ways to Avoid Dreading Sunday Nights

Updated: Feb. 14, 2023

Reclaim happy weekends by using these tactics from to avoid hating Sunday nights.

Even if you absolutely love your job, thinking about Monday and jumping back into the hectic weekly routine is stressful. It sucks actually.

Then there’s the dread of the Sunday evening dread. Yes, there is absolutely such a thing, and I’ve become absolutely expert at it. Essentially it’s starting “Sunday evening dread” sooner—like Sunday morning. Since I knew it was coming, I started to feel it even earlier. Which often meant that the entire Sunday was shot.

That’s a terrible way to feel and a really good way to miss out on enjoying your weekends. So here are a few things you can do to avoid dreading Sunday evenings and—dare I say—even like them?

1. Save Sunday nights for something you enjoy

My Sunday late afternoons and evenings used to consist of cooking for the week, organizing for the week, and catching up on work before Monday. But I realized that ending my Sunday by writing work emails or spending three hours in the kitchen was the least relaxing thing I could do. So I changed things around. I decided to catch up on emails and cook earlier in the day, and I announced to my family that Sunday evenings would be fun family meals. We either grab dinner with friends or do something fun at home, but either way, it’s a special little tradition we can look forward to.

Take out your calendar (digital or physical), and schedule something for Sunday evenings that you can really look forward to. Maybe you want to watch a favorite show, hang out with your friends or family, take a yoga class, go for a walk—whatever you truly enjoy. Many studies have shown that when we have something positive to anticipate, we feel better and more optimistic.

2. If you have to work on Sunday evenings, make it your favorite work.
None of us lives in a perfect world—sometimes you have to spend your Sunday evening catching up on work (I often do). Whatever job you have, there are probably parts you like more and those you like less. On Sunday evenings, can you focus on some of your favorites?

I am writing this article on a Sunday evening. I love to write and it’s something I don’t get to do as often as I’d like to. For me, writing is actually quite fun and relaxing—perfect for a Sunday evening.

3. Treat yourself to something tiny every Sunday night.

The worst thing you can do is end Sunday in a stressed-out mindset, not get some good sleep, and start the week with a serious case of the Mondays. Make a plan to treat yourself to something nice on Sunday night to catch your breath, feel good, and go to bed feeling that way. Here, find out the downside to sleeping in on weekends.

Light a candle you like and just sit and breathe for a while. Read in your favorite chair. Soak in the tub. Make a cup of your favorite tea (decaf preferably) and savor it for a few minutes. Listen to a few songs that make you smile. Do some yoga or meditate for a few minutes – whatever that means to you, including just being still, with your eyes closed, or going for a short meditative walk (my favorite way to meditate and to be honest, the only way I am able to do it).

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest