By Andrea Romano
October 02, 2019
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If you’re feeling tired, stressed, or burned out at work, your weekend is an invaluable time to rest and recharge. But at some point, how we use our weekends can become a symptom of the problem rather than the solution.

According to the Huffington Post, people’s attitudes about their weekend can actually be a sign of (or contribute to) work-related burnout.

We like to joke about “weekend warriors” or “working for the weekend,” but people who are apparently wrapped up in separating the week and the weekend may be unaware of how stressed out they really are.

There are many perfect examples of this kind of person in pop culture, especially the beloved Garfield cartoons, in which the grumpy (but lovable) orange cat often says, “I hate Mondays.” Or in the 1999 movie, 'Office Space,' in which a temp worker says to the main character Peter Gibbons, “Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays.”

Then, in real life, you can probably point out at least one coworker who consistently says something like, “TGIF!” once Friday rolls around. Or, perhaps more concerning, counts the days until Friday. Such as, “It’s Wednesday! Two more days till Friday!”

Everyone has either been guilty of saying things like this or seen someone else do it.

“When people say, ‘I hate Mondays,’ or ‘Thank God it’s Friday,’ these are cute little sayings, but what you’re telling yourself is, ‘80% of my life sucks.’” said clinical psychologist Ryan Howes to the Huffington Post. “When people split their week up and start thinking of work as bad and the weekend as all good, that contributes to the problem.”

This separation of the “bad” work week and the “good” weekend can often lead to anxiety and moodiness depending on what day of the week it is. The Sunday Scaries – or a feeling of dread and anxiety workers experience just before the workweek begins – has become commonplace for many people who see their lives this way.

Luckily, you can still enjoy your weekends without letting it ruin your workweek. Here are a few tips to help:

Get a Good Night’s Sleep During the Week

Don’t rely on the weekend to get your rest. In fact, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found that sleeping in on the weekend in order to “catch up” on sleep can have a negative impact on your health.

Unplug

According to NBC News, one way to avoid the “Sunday Scaries” is to try to disconnect from your phone, laptop, social media, etc., as much as possible.

Bring Your Weekend Into the Week

Howes told the Huffington Post that one good way is to find things to look forward to during the week, like going to a bookstore on your lunch break or meeting with a non-work friend during the week.

Surround Yourself With People Who Boost Your Mood

Find coworkers who make you laugh and keep you feeling positive or spend time with non-work friends that help you get your mind off work, family and marriage therapist Adriana Alejandre told the Huffington Post.

Challenge Yourself

Dive into a hobby, a side hustle, or volunteer work, the Huffington Post reported. A creative outlet can help you find new skills and keep your mind engaged.

Plan Ahead

According to ZipRecruiter, Sunday is a good time for creating lists, prepping workweek outfits, meal planning, or basically doing whatever you need to feel less stressed during the week.

Be Present

“Because anxiety is a future-oriented state, do anything you can — and it’s best to make this a practice — to ground you in the present moment,” said Andrea Petersen, author of "On Edge," to NBC News.

Taking a rejuvenating vacation is also a good way to combat burnout, especially if you’re starting to feel too stressed and need a reset. There are good ways to plan a vacation that leaves you feeling recharged and ready to get back to your work life again.

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