Researchers at the University of Gothenberg found that people report the lowest level of happiness on Sundays, lending credence to the term "Sunday blues."
It makes sense, too: While still part of the weekend, post-partying depression can tend to settle in as you begin to feel Monday fast approaching. And since Sunday is traditionally a day of rest, the lack of activity and distractions can force you to pause and reflect on things you may not want to think about. While it's normal to feel a little bummed that the weekend is over, Sundays don't have to be so dreadful. Next time you find yourself mourning the weekend, try these strategies to fuel excitement about the week ahead:
It's tempting to sleep in on weekends, but doing so could only add to the gloom. Dr. David Reiss, a California-based psychiatrist, told iVillage that rolling out of bed at noon on Sunday will only make it harder for you to fall asleep that night. Mondays are difficult enough without feeling beat, so you want to make sure you wake up refreshed. Taking an afternoon nap can also promote insomnia, so try to avoid it. Wake up within an hour or so of when you normally do on a weekday, and if you're exhausted, simply get into bed earlier that night. Slip on the black dragon sleep mask and you'll block out light while warding off wrinkles.
Then, when you wake up, flick on the verilux happylight energy lamp. All it takes is 30-60 minutes of exposure every day to these energy-efficient bulbs, which mimics natural spectrum daylight, to improve your mood and your energy level. That means you'll feel more well-rested, focused and ready to face the day.
Set a schedule
One of the reasons Sundays can induce anxiety is the lack of structure. Even if you don't have specific appointments or time-sensitive tasks to get done, create a schedule ahead of time anyway. Factoring in basic things, like when you'll cook dinner or take a post-lunch walk, will make your day feel more purposeful. Don't forget to schedule some activities that will lift your mood, even if it's just picking up coffee and a magazine or listening to that new album you've been dying to hear.
Sure, Sunday may be a traditionally lazy day, but making some moves can motivate you for the upcoming week, boost your energy and potentially offer a positive outlook. Psychology Today explained that exercise increases the level of dopamine, the happy chemical, in your brain. Working out doesn't have to mean high intensity intervals at the gym, either. A yoga class could help you to restore a balanced mindset. You could even go for a jog with a friend or take your dog for a stroll.
Start a ritual
Knowing you have something to look forward to on your least favorite day will make it a lot more bearable. Consider starting a weekly potluck dinner, trivia night or movie viewing with friends, rotating apartments to make it convenient for everyone. Even just having one person over to catch up on your favorite TV show will make you feel less lonely, especially if you live by yourself.
Treating yourself to a luxury you wouldn't normally splurge for, like a pedicure or a massage, reinforces the idea that you're worth that extra TLC. If you're strapped for cash, have a girlfriend over for DIY manis. Or, finally make use of your gym's free sauna - the steam will lift impurities from your pores and leave you rejuvenated for a new week.