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76% of American workers say they get the “Sunday night blues”

Take back your weekend with these five strategies

76% of American workers say they get the “Sunday night blues”

Everyone in the workforce looks forward to the end of the workweek: When 5 o’clock rolls around on Friday, liberation commences!

Well, until Sunday morning, that is.

In theory the whole weekend should be your time, but most Americans spend their final 24 hours fretting about their jobs. According to a recent poll by Monster, 76% of Americans report having “really bad” Sunday night blues — generally defined as depression over the fact that one night’s sleep stands between you and a new workweek.

And we’ve got an especially bad case stateside, with only 42% of European respondents saying they had it “really bad.”

Maybe that’s because here in the United States our identities are intrinsically wrapped around our occupations. We have become what we do for a living, and we live to work instead of work to live. We could be leisurely enjoying a three-hour Sunday night dinner with family or friends, like many of our European counterparts, but instead we’re quickly devouring dinner, logging in and immersing ourselves in work mode to get ahead before Monday morning hits.

Want to avoid the dread? Take hints from the other 24% of Americans who are enjoying their weekends to the fullest :

  1. Don’t check work email. The more you refrain from checking-in, the more refreshed you’ll feel on Monday morning. If you find it too challenging to completely remain off the grid, you want to get a head start on the upcoming week, or your boss demands that you be in touch, set a timer. Limit yourself to no more than an hour to check email. Or at least do tasks that don’t require much brainpower, such as updating your calendar and task list for the upcoming week.
  2. Identify the triggers. It’s important to evaluate what’s causing the dread on Sunday night. Is it your boss? An intense workload? A toxic environment? A rough commute? Start breaking it down, so you can identify stressors in order to address or reduce them.
  3. Review your wins. Keep a running list of accomplishments, however small, as well as recognition from your colleagues. Glance at it whenever you’re feeling down and continue to build upon the list throughout the week.
  4. Schedule something for Sunday night Create a work-life balance that incorporates valuable time with family and friends, exercise and healthy eating right up through the end of the weekend to distract you from the blues.
  5. Look for a new job. Revising your resume and looking for a new job can help remedy the situation. What does a job description look like at your ideal job? Create a proactive job search plan centered on your career goals.

Instead of accepting the blues as part of life, consider it temporary. Once you take the necessary measures to look for a new job, the blues will hopefully start to vanish. If you’re truly unhappy in your current position, create an action plan to network and find a new job that will make you happy — every day of the week.

Got a job interview coming up?

Photo: Graeme Law/Flickr


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