There’s not much comparable to the existential dread we all experience on Sunday nights. At no age are you safe from this phenomenon. I remember being in fifth grade watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition feeling the exact OPPOSITE of Ty Pennington as he exclaimed “Bus Driver, move that bus!” I can barely remember the sources of my anxiety at the time, perhaps who I’d sit next to on the bus in the morning. Something about it being SUNDAY night compounded that anxiety tenfold.
In my 20’s, I’ve spent the last few years blaming my “scaries” on drinking. I’d go out most Saturdays, therefore spend Sunday hungover, eating $40 of GrubHub, and analyzing everything I said and did the night before. I could write a novel on the “Shameover”.
Shameover (n): The post-drinking anxiety likely caused by a chemical imbalance that causes an individual to assume everyone they came in contact with the night prior now “is mad at them”. Typically causes feelings of complete embarrassment and shame.
This Sunday, after a VERY restful Saturday night in, I found myself feeling as though I had INSTEAD stayed up until 4am, texted every ex in my phone, and vomited out of my uber on my doorstep the night prior. As I watched TV curled up in a ball on my couch, I started to re-assess everything I knew about the scaries. On Saturday, I got a full 10 hours of sleep, woke up and went to brunch with a good friend, went to the beach and laid out for a couple hours, THEN even went to the grocery store! What a productive human being!
My mind cycled. I reminisced on every hurtful thing anyone has ever said or done to me. I took it upon my self to revisit every regret from the past 25 years. Ah yes, Sunday at 9pm, THAT’S when I should take a deep dive into that one time I messaged my middle school crush out of the blue on MySpace.
One thing I think we all fail to realize when we’re in this deep pit of self-doubt, is that we ALL FEEL THAT WAY. Whether you’ll be spending your Monday in the office, in class, or even like my dad, retired and likely doing the same thing you did on Saturday, Sundays suck. I’m not a psychologist, so I can’t even begin to explain the cause behind this phenomenon. I can, however, share a few of my coping mechanisms:
- GrubHub. Calories don’t count on Sundays. (Or Thursday nights, Fridays, or Saturdays, frankly). But ESPECIALLY Sundays. As a child, we’d always order Chinese food on Sundays. Perhaps that’s why I still order a family-of-four worth of Asian cuisine on my Sunday nights. Pro-tip: CHECK THE ADDRESS. I once ordered $40 of Chinese food to an ex-flings apartment. Let’s just say, didn’t HELP the scaries.
- Practice self-forgiveness. So you did something stupid the night before. Likely when you were drunk. I have been here PLENTY of times. My trick for this is having a dialogue with yourself as if you’re talking to your best friend that “did something stupid”. What would you say to him/her? You wouldn’t be like “Yeah… your entire life is ruined. No one will EVER forget that you reached over the bar to try to re-fill your own beer then got kicked out of the bar”. Use the same compassion towards yourself you would use with your best friend. Let’s be honest, everyone will forget. And frankly, these stories end up being the one you look back on fondly. Unless law enforcement is involved, even the BIGGEST drunk “oopsies” can be both forgiven and forgotten without consequence.
- Do at least ONE redeemable thing with your Sunday. For me, this usually involves something that gets me out and moving. Take a walk. Use this time to listen to your favorite music or call your mom. She’s probably having some scaries of her own! If it’s nice out, you’ll get the added bonus of some Vitamin D! Not sure what that does for you, but can’t be bad!
- Practice perspective. Everyone is WAY too busy over-analyzing themselves and their lives to even THINK about you.
- Take a social media break. Scrolling through Instagram and seeing everyone “~living their best life~” can be destructive. EVERYONE is able to craft a narrative that they are care-free and fulfilled in every aspect of their life with a few photos and boomerangs. I often find myself comparing myself to others the most on Sunday nights. It’s important to realize that no one’s life is perfect, despite the perception they give off. Everyone has their own insecurities, perceived “shortfalls”, and issues. Put your phone down to prevent yourself from falling victim to this fallacy.
- WE’RE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT. Sometimes the simple fact of remembering that you’re not alone in your misery helps.
Here’s to another long week, fun weekend, and inevitably, another Sunday night filled with angst 🙂