Monday A.M. can hit some people like a ton of bricks, but for others, Sunday evenings can be even worse — thanks to none other than the Sunday scaries. Having coping skills to de-stress and is key to overcoming these late weekend blues, and that can include bookmarking go-to calming yoga routines that can help beat the Sunday scaries.
The Sunday scaries, aka the “Sunday blues,” is the feeling of anxiety or sadness that many people get on Sunday nights before the impending work week. While it’s not recognized as an official health diagnosis, the Sunday scaries are pervasive. In fact, NBC News reported in 2017 that a survey conducted by the job search site Monster found that 76% of U.S. adults disclosed having “really bad” anxiety on Sunday evenings. But the Sunday scaries can be accompanied by more than just feelings of moodiness and dread. "Individuals with Sunday anxiety may notice intrusive thoughts or worries about the coming week, feelings of distress, anxiety, or irritability, and/or signs of physiological activation, such as muscle tension, gastrointestinal distress, or headache, to name a few,” Dr. Marla W. Deibler, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist and executive director of The Center for Emotional Health of Philadelphia, previously told Bustle.
Adopting expert-approved tips that work for you — such as not bringing home your work with you, keeping a gratitude journal, and prioritizing self-care — can help you conquer pre-Monday dread. Practicing yoga, which studies have discovered also decreases anxiety and worry, is another way to beat some of the symptoms associated with weekend blues. Here are nine yoga routines that will show the Sunday scaries who's boss, so you can actually feel prepared for Monday A.M.
1. A Relaxing Stretching Routine
Settle into your Sunday afternoons with this simple, 15-minute routine that focuses on achieving complete relaxation by the end. Restorative yoga — a practice Yoga Journal describes focusing on slow, long-held poses — is perfect for when you feel the scaries begin to kick in, and when you need to channel your inner calm. This video is part of a seven-day yoga challenge, so you can keep your flow going throughout the week until the next time your Sunday scaries roll around.
2. A Full-length Restorative Class
Sometimes, your Sunday blues may be so anxiety-provoking that a 15-minute routine simply isn't going to cut it. If you need a restorative flow that's a tad longer to conquer the blues, this sesh with teacher Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts is a full 60 minutes long. It's doable (and calming) for both beginners, intermediate students, and experienced yoga lovers. Dr. Roberts is a highly experienced yoga instructor, so you're getting the added benefits of taking a class from a skilled teacher without having to shell out for an expensive class at a studio.
3. A Flow To Unwind
Jaw clenching, muscle aches, back pain, and headaches are all common physical signs of stress, according to the American Institute of Stress. The Sunday scaries can, undoubtedly, make you feel more tense and stressed than usual. This flow can allow you to release any feelings of stiffness that's tied to your worry. As the video description notes, yoga and meditation instructor, Faith Hunter, "designed this short relaxing yoga practice for you to do at the end of the day, or as a way to simply unwind." The video wraps up with a short meditation for more relaxation.
4. A Routine To Help You De-Stress
If your Sunday blues are often set off by a sense of dread surrounding the start of the work week, finding yoga practices that focus on relieving stress can be majorly valuable. This 25-minute practice is designed to "take stress energy, and root it back down in your foundation." Yoga With Adriene — an extremely popular YouTube channel ran by international yoga teacher Adriene Mishler — has well over 100 yoga videos to choose from that may help if you often feel worn down by stress on Sunday evenings.
5. A 70-Minute Yin Yoga Practice
According to Yoga Journal, Yin Yoga consists of a series of that are held for three to five minutes, designed to reach deep layers of muscles, promoting relaxation. During this 70-minute routine, yoga instructor Maris Aylward leads you through ten main poses, with mini-stretches in-between each of these. Then, it's followed by six minutes of Savasana — aka, the restorative position where you completely lie on the ground with your palms facing up or down — at the end. This flow is meant to tackle deep-seated tension, preparing you for whatever Monday A.M. throws at you.
6. An Energizing Flow To Redirect Your Worry
It may seem counterintuitive to try an energizing yoga routine if you're already feeling shaky or rattled with worry. However, channeling your pent up Sunday nerves into a revitalizing, calming flow can be valuable. This intermediate class is led by "yoga artist" Andrew Sealy, who is also an interviewer for the podcast Yoga Revealed. During this 27-minute "igniting" class with Sealy, you'll be "honing in on balance and breath." It's a great chance to redirect your energy, and get out of your head for a moment.
7. A Routine Full Of Breathing Techniques
Keep things simple with your weekend yoga routine and focus on the breath with a short flow. Research has shown breathing exercises can aid with brain fog, insomnia, and stress — which all happen to be common symptoms of the Sunday scaries. This 19-minute sequence by Yoga with Adriene will teach you "to develop breathing techniques for stress relief, anxiety relief, [and] over all balance and wellbeing." Specifically, this routine focuses on pranayama breathing — which, according to VeryWell Fit, is simply a series of yogic breathing exercises that aim to reconnect you with your breath to promote relaxation.
8. A Confidence Booster
Sundays should be your time to rest up and do a little bit of pampering before you jump back into the work week, but the Sunday blues can make that feel near impossible. Luckily, it's hard not to be inspired to practice some self-care when taking an online yoga class led by yoga teacher Jessamyn Stanley. Consider trying this quick flow taught by Stanley to give your self-esteem a boost, and to feel a little less anxiety-ridden on a Sunday evening. You'll face the dread of the scaries head on, and walk into your office on Monday morning with a little more confidence.
9. A Flow For Better Sleep
It typically seems the Sunday blues become more intense later in the evening. If you're having trouble winding down to hit the hay, adding a yoga flow to your nightly routine could help you catch some decent shuteye. This routine, led by yoga teacher and author Candace Moore will "release tension from the head down, starting with the neck, chest, shoulders, arms, upper back, lower back, hips, [and] hamstrings." This 12-minute sequence is supposed to be done in bed (yes, really!) so you end up in a pose where you are ready to sleep restfully.
Worrying about Monday is no way to spend the last day of the weekend. Incorporating yoga into your daily activities is one way you can begin to de-stress — because yes, you can overcome the Sunday scaries.