How to Avoid the Sunday Night Jitters

There are few days of the week that give me internal panic attacks the way that a Sunday night does. The moment I crack my eyelids open on Sunday morning is the moment that the first thought that immediately runs through my head is there are less than 24 hours standing between Sunday and Monday – and it’s time to get all the things done that I’ve been putting off all weekend. Grocery store runs! Laundry! Writing! Even the smallest task suddenly seems so overwhelming. An online bill payment only takes a few minutes with a couple of confirmations to make but it’s as if you just asked me to start climbing Mount Everest, I’m that deep inside of weekend mode. Many of these items on my mental “to-do” list require more focus than others so how does one wind up making the most out of their Sunday night and avoid the “Help I didn’t do enough, I feel like I’m flunking life!” jitters?

1) Meet early deadlines whenever possible.

If you have a deadline for something, be it a freelance assignment or a project for school; work on it to the best of your ability throughout the week whenever you have a free moment. Get bits and pieces of it done here and there. Doing this on top of school, extracurricular activities, work, and y’know, eating and trying to get some sleep, may make you feel stretched a little thinner than usual but once the weekend arrives and you only have to spend a small chunk of time wrapping up any loose ends, you’ll be happy that you worked ahead early enough rather than waited until the last possible minute.

2) Make Monday a day to look forward to.

It’s Monday and author and career coach Ford Myers agrees, saying, “You need something to look forward to right at the beginning of the week.” Grab some coffee from Coffee Bean before class, make a new Pandora station to work out to or find a nom-nom-nom delicious looking recipe to use for dinner that night. One of my favorite Monday morning activities is to read NY Mag’s Vulture recaps of Sunday night’s episodes of Game of Thrones and Mad Men because I’m still jazzed on what I watched the night before and they’re always pretty spot-on and funny. And while we’re on the topic of finding something to look forward to on Mondays, feel free to make that plural with several things scheduled in that day to make it even more exciting to look forward to.

3) Chill out. Go easy on yourself.

When did it become acceptable to lie in bed on Sunday night feeling inadequate because you weren’t pushing yourself to the absolute brink for two days straight to get everything ever accomplished? Weekends are supposed to be slow! You’re supposed to have a good time out and about with friends and put all things work related on hold for a hot second. All work and no play ensures that we all lose sight of what’s in front of us, but beating yourself up over the play not being work-related has got to stop. If you can’t get something done that doesn’t come with a due date the next day, then relax, acknowledge that, and let it go. And repeat. Nobody ever has more time than anyone else in the world so go easy on yourself and enjoy the memories made in the moments you created over the weekend.

(Just don’t read this to your teacher/boss on Monday morning and say, “Well, Heather says it’s only natural to let that book report/department assignment slide for the day.” I’d rather not worry about getting those kinds of emails first thing in the morning, mmm-kay?)

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