Sunday, January 2, 2011

Beating the Sunday Blues

A 2010 study by the UK mental health charity MIND found that over a quarter of workers (26%) dread going back to work so much that they are unable to enjoy the weekend. The charity stated that this was primarily related to the economy, forcing people to work harder, longer, for less money and with the fear of layoff. 

Almost all the study participants said they were unhappy with their work life balance, and the stress in the workplace was affecting their sleep, illness and morale. With no real end in sight to our economic problems, we need to find ways to manage the stress. Time off is an important part of lowering stress levels, but if we can't enjoy the weekend, how can we make use of that time to relax?

In this post I will list my top five ways to beat those Sunday blues. If you have any others, please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!

1. Exercise

Exercising releases feel-good endorphins which combat stress, depression and anxiety. A quick 30 minute workout on a Sunday morning gets the day off to a good start.

2. Plan something fun

Get outdoors for a fun activity. It doesn't have to cost anything, check your local paper or family magazine for events happening in your community. Other family friendly suggestions include going to the park, ice skating, bowling, going to the beach, swimming, visiting a kid-friendly museum, volunteering for a charity event, or meeting up with friends and family for Sunday brunch.

3. Get organized in advance

I personally hate to have to get work clothes ready, fill up the car with gas, grocery shop, etc on Sundays. It just feels like an earlier start to the work week. Instead I prefer to get all my work-related chores out of the way early on a Saturday morning. 

4. Turn chores into fun family activities

I like to prep some dinner options to make the following week a little easier, but I don't like it to feel like a chore. My kids love to cook with me so we turn it into a fun activity. We'll make meals while watching some football, we have fun all pitching in, and we have lots of heat and serve options in the fridge. One of my favorites is homemade pizza. Trader Joe's has some delicious pizza dough, and the kids love to stretch the dough, sprinkle on the cheese and pick their toppings. It makes for a great Sunday night meal, with the bonus that the pizzas are HUGE, the leftovers easily last for a few days in the fridge and they taste even better re-heated.

Here's my daughter making pizzas:

5. Make the most of Sunday evenings

If you're like me, you start seeing the end of the weekend approaching by about noon on Sundays. I find that if I have something to look forward to on Sunday night it lessens those noon-time blues. This could be something as small as a new episode of the Amazing Race (I love that show) or it could be a dinner with extended family, a mini date night in with hubby once the kids are asleep or a drive-in movie with the family.

Happy Sunday!


Organized Working Mom

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