When Sunday night rolls around, it’s hard not to experience that feeling of dread for Monday morning. And I’ve definitely noticed that if I have a fun and carefree weekend, the transition back into the structure of the work week can be a tough pill to sallow. You know the drill: It’s the weekend; you’re living the high-life — and then it suddenly hits you! ‘It’ being the Sunday-night-blues. After you’ve brunched your way to a food baby and frolicked all afternoon at the mall, Monday morning is still looming and it’s approaching fast!
I started asking myself: How can I make these glorious Sunday not suck so much?
So in an effort to take back my Sundays, I embarked on a mission for how to set myself up for Monday morning success! Instead of lamenting the end of the weekend, why not use Sunday to improve the rest of your week!
Picking up good habits on Sundays can not only make your weekend better, but fill you with a sense of purpose. Keep scrolling for 9 power moves I’ve been incorporating into my Sunday routine.
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Think of Sunday as the first day of the week.
Before, I saw my Sundays as my last day to relax before heading back to work or school. And at the end of a fun-filled weekend, I often found myself fretting about the week ahead! But rather than succumb to the stress and allow myself be totally paralyzed, I now use my Sundays as the first chance to prepare for the following week. That way, my Mondays feel a little less overwhelming because I’ve already put myself in the right mindset!
I just bought my first Day Designer planner and it’s the best! I love how founder, Whitney English, uses the first four pages to help you look at “the big picture.” And their patterns are to die for! (image source)
Map out your week.
I love the feeling of being organized! So I actually look forward to sitting down with my planner on Sunday evening and taking stock of what’s on my agenda. And the 20 minutes it takes is a huuuge investment towards feeling prepared and productive all week long! Here’s what mapping out my week looks like:
- I write out my top three priorities for the week,
- Plus three goals I want to accomplish,
- Schedule in times with friends and family and,
- Make sure I have a couple pockets of time for myself!
So if you’re someone who gets anxious come Sunday evening, start mapping out your week! Spend time reviewing your schedule to prep for stressful events and ensure there are no surprises. Once you start having your tasks laid out at the start of the week, you’ll be able to jump right in Monday morning.
Plan something to look forward to.
The weekends aren’t the only time for fun. Setting up little things to look forward to throughout the upcoming week, and even the following weekend, can help to soothe some of your Sunday-evening dread. Your acitivites don’t necessarily have to be elaborate (think: watching that show you’ve had no time to watch or meeting a few girlfriends for Taco Tuesday). Activities like these are small enough to be feasible for workweek activities but large enough to make you feel excited for the week ahead!
Take some time to reflect.
The withering remains of the weekend can be a great time to take a step back and document your feelings — especially if you’re dreading Monday. By writing your thoughts down, you can get to the root of what’s bothering you, or give you perspective that things aren’t so bad after all . . .
Before embarking on a new workweek, take time out to reflect on how the previous week went. Consider what went right, what could have gone better, and where you progressed with both personal and professional goals. Either way, the process will provide you with valuable emotional release, University of Texas at Arlington organizational behavior professor James Campbell Quick told The Huffington Post. “It’s like flushing a toilet: You get it out on paper and you have flushed your system out,” Quick says.
Do something meaningful.
Make the most of your Sundays by doing something that feels meaningful to you. Spend time on an old or new hobby, take a walk in nature, spend quality time with the people you care most about, or go to a yoga class that gets you in the right mental state. Relax and enjoy the moment to recharge your batteries and start the week feeling inspired and clear-headed.
Identify the times you tend to feel anxious as the weekend wears on (Sunday Night Blues can be a misnomer — sometimes it starts Sunday morning or afternoon), and purposely plan something to keep your mind focused on something else during those times.
Make yourself a weekly playlist.
Music makes everyone’s week a little better. But I know all too well the feeling of a music library full of music, but not having anything you feel like listening to! #firstworldproblems
By making a playlist on Sundays, you can keep it up to date and make sure that you have all the tracks you want to hear to keep you motivated on your way to work, when doing a boring task and even for Saturday night fun!
Pick out your outfits for the week.
Friends. I am not lying to you when I say this has helped me tremendously! The amount of time I used to waste on, not only staring aimlessly at my wardrobe, but trying out at least five different outfits was ridiculous. And according to productivity blog, Thoughts Above, “a woman spends almost one year of her life deciding what to wear [which] equates to around 15-20 minutes every weekday morning!” That may not seem like a huge amount of time, but for me, when I get ready in the morning, every minute counts. So do yourself a favor and use Sunday night to look over your wardrobe and prepare your outfits for the week.
And while I don’t always have everything planned to the last detail (or even wear what I picked out), doing this step has really helped take the overwhelm out of my morning routine. (I even have an extra clothing rack in my bedroom where I hang my clothes in order from Monday to Saturday.)
So take some time to check what needs to be washed and/or ironed. Try on outfits that you’re unsure about as to not waste any time in the morning and use that extra 20 minutes for some meditation, pampering or whatever gets you going.
Tidy up your space.
Along with getting my outfits ready for the week ahead, things like changing my bed sheets, clearing off my desk, vacuuming and all that other fun chore stuff is something I always try to do on Sundays. Of course I tinker around during the week so I’m not living in a complete mess. But Sundays are my cleaning days. And there’s nothing that feels better than resting in a nice, clean and organized space.
I’m someone who is super sensitive to their surroundings, so if I come home to a messy bedroom or try and work on my days off in clutter, my productivity isn’t at it’s best. So I like to use Wednesdays and Sundays as my cleaning days and spend a few minutes reorganizing my room every night before bed. I’ll play some chill music or listen to an audiobook (which is a great way to get a few books ticked off my list).
Create A Sunday night self-love routine.
You’re probably aware that morning rituals are important for a productive day. But your evening ritual can be equally important. How you plan your evenings determines how you sleep, how long, how well, and how deeply which in turn affect how you perform the next day.
Once you’ve made a plan, organized your things for the following week and right before the sun starts to set, start winding down and try adding one (or all!) to your Sunday night routine:
- Care for your skin: I started using a face mask every Sunday night for a little pick-me-up. And the great thing about face masks is that you can always find one to fit your needs. GLAMGLOW THIRSTYMUD replenishes moisture in dull, dehydrated skin while the Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask is a great all rounder, promising to lift, smooth, brighten and tighten!
- Get your bath on: The bath is the ultimate relaxing location and the addition of scented oils can really help you unwind. Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath and Shower Oil combines vetiver, chamomile and sandalwood to turn your bathroom into your own personal spa.
- Catch up on some reading: Try turning off your phone, laptop and/or TV an hour before bed. The relaxation I get from reading is super helpful on those nights I’m having a hard time falling asleep.
- Do some light stretching: Despite any strenuous exercise being off limits according to the rules of Sundays, some light yoga and stretching can help you drift off into sleep. It’s also a great way for me to get in touch with my body. This 12 minute routine will have you feeling zen in no time and could help to combat back pain or insomnia.
- Meditate: Meditation is also great right before bed. I usually meditate in the morning, but my Sunday night meditations are a little longer and more structured. I use that time to focus in on my to-do list, my priorities and set an intention for the week.
+In what ways do you use your Sundays for a more productive week? I’d love to hear how you prep yourself for the week ahead with your Sunday routine in the comments!