Unless you’re Lou reed or a clergy, Sunday is likely your least favorite weekend day. According to a massive new survey of 2,000 participants conducted by One Poll and luxury home brand Charisma, Americans begin to succumb to the infamous Sunday Scaries at precisely 3:58 pm.
As for what causes the Sunday Scaries in her book “Happiness at Work”, Jessica Pryce-Jones says it is a result of one—or a combination—of these five causes:
1. You’re not passionate about your work.
2. You work in a toxic environment.
3. You feel overwhelmed with your workload.
4. You feel underappreciated by your leaders and/or peers.
5. You’re bored at work.
The report went on to reveal that the average respondent only gets about four hours of downtime per weekend before panicking about the upcoming week; a tailspin fueled by checking work emails and performing various tasks. Seventy-two percent of this same group said that their weekend never feels quite long enough.
“Taking time for yourself over the weekend is an important way to prepare for the week ahead,” explained Lauren Steinke, SVP of Home at Iconix Brand Group, Inc, which is the parent company of Charisma. “Whether that be watching TV or taking a bath to relax and take your mind off all the other tasks to be done.”
Seventy percent of the respondents queried said that this looming anxiety throws their circadian clocks completely out of rhythm. Even more dramatic though is the amount of time individuals devoted to “non-paid work” on their days off in order to feel like they’ve earned their rest on Sunday night.
I scream Sunday
Thanks to a confluence of internal anxieties and work-related pressures, most fail to maximize their allotted time off between Friday and Sunday night. Over time, this routinely missed opportunity contributes to burnout and can even blunt employee satisfaction.
Forty-five percent of participants spent their weekend checking emails and looking over presentations, and an additional 38% took work calls. Other participants were occupied with house errands, with 48% attending to various chores, like vacuuming and grocery shopping and the remaining set a considerable chunk of their weekend aside to go over expense reports. Seventy-one percent said that they do the most tossing and turning on Sunday night, and an additional 42% try to mitigate this by sleeping longer than they normally would on Friday and Saturday night.
Apparently some good old fashioned alone time also helps. Two-thirds of the respondents reported that reserving time for solitude better prepares them to face the weekday challenges head-on.
“Getting quality sleep during the weekend can help you be more productive with your to-do list and reenergize you for the upcoming week,” said Steinke.
WAYS TO FIGHT THE “SUNDAY SCARIES”
1. Take time for myself during the weekend 44%
2. Make sure to get a full night’s rest on Friday and Saturday 42%
3. Use the end of the day Friday to get organized for Monday 35%
4. Use the weekend to get ahead of what I need to do during the week 34%
5. Take a “digital detox” for part of the weekend 21%
HOW RESPONDENTS WOULD LIKE TO SPEND THEIR “ME TIME”
1. Watching my favorite show(s) or movie 50%
2. Reading a book or magazine 40%
3. Taking a bath 37%
4. Getting a massage 34%
5. Listening to a podcast 33%
6. Taking a nap 27%
7. Exercise 27%
8. Treat myself 21%
9. Do a hobby 18%
10. Take time to catch up with a friend 18%