If you work a traditional Monday through Friday schedule and are feeling stressed about work, you aren’t alone. A recent Gallup study found we are far happier on weekends than we are on weekdays, which is certainly no surprise to most of us. The percentage of Americans reporting feelings of happiness and low stress ranged between 44% and 48% during the week whereas Saturdays were at 57%, only to drop to 55% on Sundays.
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Although we are generally happier on Sundays than on weekdays there is that ever looming worry of Monday morning that starts creeping into our consciousness as night begins to fall. Closing out Sunday night on a high note can be beneficial to both your health and to getting a great start to the work week. Sunday night should be the time you unwind from the fun of the weekend and spend a little quality time with your loved ones. That being said, here are some ideas to consider:
Start a Fun Sunday Ritual
Every Sunday my wife and I look forward to ordering a pizza from our local pizza parlor, popping open a bottle of wine and relaxing on the couch with the Sunday newspaper. It’s a ritual we started about a year ago and we’ve stuck with it. As part of our tradition we share the different stories we read which makes for a fresh and fun conversation that doesn’t involve work or chores. By doing this we have made Sunday night a time to look forward to as opposed to a countdown to the work week. So, when considering possible Sunday rituals take the time to create something that is easy to do and actually enjoyable.
Disconnect Well Before Bed
When closing out your Sunday the last thing you need is to be lying in bed thinking about an e-mail you just read from that overzealous boss who spends all their waking hours coming up with random requests driven by little more than a momentary impulse. Give yourself a buffer period between the time you read your last e-mail and the time you go to bed. Take some time to chat with your spouse, talk to your kids, or play with your dog. The idea is to get your head out of work before you lay down to go to sleep. I also try to avoid ending my night by watching the newscast because there is rarely anything soothing about the latest crime spree.
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Lay Down on a Positive Note
It’s easy to fall into the trap of replaying negative situations from that meeting last week that you wish you’d handled differently. Regardless of how it went you have to let go. You must be sure to steer clear of that pessimistic spiral of negative self-talk because it will only create more stress. Take some time to reflect on the positive moments of the weekend. Remember, we all choose our own thoughts and it’s up to you to choose the ones that will be the most conducive to getting a good night’s sleep.