Conquering the dragon: Seven tips for taming the “Sunday Scaries”
October 6, 2023, 10:03
No matter how long they’ve been in the K–12 space, many a professional gets a dose of anxiety on Sundays. Do you spend the day worrying that you’re not truly ready for the week? Maybe you’ve got emails, intervention plans, and IEP reports hanging over your head. Perhaps it’s the fear of the unknown that really sends you into a tailspin. Whatever it is that has you sweating over Monday morning, these tips can help you tame the “Sunday Scaries”!
Pick a weekday to plan ahead. Don’t wait until Sunday to plan next week’s lessons! Protect your sacred downtime by planning next week’s IEP reports the week before. Choose one day every week as your report day, and another as your intervention planning day — or get it all done in one fell swoop. Procrastination is the mother of anxiety, and going into the weekend knowing you’re prepared will ensure you can focus on the activities that bring you joy.
Claim your 40%! You’ve got two whole days to do what you want to do, even if that’s getting caught up on laundry or sitting through endless tee ball games. (Nachos with orange cheese, anyone?) Filling your weekend with activities you enjoy will help clear your mind so you can return to your classroom refreshed on Monday morning.
Sunday nights are for self-care. If you’ve accomplished #1, this is your moment to shine! Instead of spending Sunday evening stressing about plans, reports, and answering emails, commit to using that time to focus on your needs as a person, not just a teacher. What relaxing activities do you enjoy? Are you a bath person? Blow the dust off your favorite candle, find one of the 12,000 bottles of bubble bath you’ve gotten from your students, put some relaxing music on, and soak away your cares! Make a conscious effort to set your phone down after dinner and leave it there until the next morning. Make a cup of green tea and climb into bed with that book you’ve been trying to find time to read (or listen to). You can do this!
Monday funday! Purposefully plan an activity for Monday that makes you happy. Sign yourself up for a dance class or softball league that meets on Monday nights. Plan to order in from your favorite restaurant, book a massage, or schedule your trips to the local library. This way, no matter what happens on Monday morning, you have something to look forward to.
Hocus focus. If you set aside weekend time to work, focus solely on your work. If you stop working to check your socials, play games on your phone, or clean the kitchen, it will extend the amount of time it takes you to finish what you set out to do, and your day will magically disappear. Get yourself organized, figure out what absolutely needs to get done, and get to it.
Lists, lists, and more lists! There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing items off a to-do list. If you’re a visual person, have anxiety, or are easily distracted, lists can literally save the day. Write down any tasks that need to be completed and then categorize them by importance. If you’ve never used the Eisenhower matrix, this is a good time to start .: Posting grades, planning interventions, running reports for IEP meetings, etc.
1. Important and urgent : Planning some professional development, general email queries from parents
2. Important and not urgent : Planning what you’re bringing for next week’s potluck
3. Not important and urgent : Tasks you can cross off or delegate
4. Not important and not urgent
Conquer the dragon. Choose the one thing that’s causing you the most anxiety and tackle it. Going back to #6, is anything on your list important and urgent? If so, it’s likely causing that knot in your stomach. Even if it’s something big and scary, figure out how to get your arms around it, knock it out, and cross it off your list! Not only will you feel better come Monday, you’ll also be creating good habits for the weeks ahead.
While these tips might be pivotal for professionals just beginning their careers, some of our more “seasoned” educators may have discovered their own tricks for taming the Sunday Scaries. We would love it if you shared your own tips in the comments; you never know when your words of wisdom will be exactly what someone else needs to hear!
If you’re having the Mondayest of Mondays, these songs might help lift your spirits! Read our blog:
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