“BOO!” says Sunday evening, right as Monday anxiety creeps in. The Sunday scaries are no joke, as you start to remember the onslaught of to-dos coming up for the week. For some reason, we’ve deemed Monday as a day to get as much done as possible, when really? That’s an extremely overwhelming approach. Monday doesn’t have to be the most productive day of the week. In fact, it can be the most relaxed! Read on for tips on how to relieve stress and anxiety and, plus 8 weekend hacks that can set you up for Monday success.
What Causes Stress
Stress is normal human emotion caused by any stimulus that triggers a fight or flight response in our body. This could be an acute stressor like exercise, or a chronic stressor such as daily stress from a toxic work environment or relationship.
We all experience some degree of stress daily, and there’s no one cause. Different people are triggered by different stressors! Consider showing up late to an appointment or event, for example. Someone who is always on time could be highly triggered by the slightest delay, while someone who is known to be “fashionably late” may not experience increased stress due to tardiness.
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Why Too Much Stress is Bad For You
We often associate stress with negative emotions or effects, but stress is a normal and healthy emotion.
Acute daily stressors like exercise, large crowds or traffic, job interviews, and public speaking can all be considered acute, healthy forms of stress. If we know how to relieve stress and anxiety from these situations, they will not turn into chronic stressors!
But, knowing the best ways to reduce stress isn’t always easy. And, if stress isn’t effectively managed, it can become chronic and problematic quicker than you think. This type of stress is long-term stress that is perceived as never-ending — when stress reaches this level, it can pose major risks to your mental, emotional, and physical health.So, how can we prevent good stress from turning bad? By having a variety of ways to reduce stress and manage those unwanted emotions before they turn chronic! And, what better time to implement these stress-reducing strategies than over the weekend?
How to Relieve Stress Over the Weekend
Want to keep the stress-free weekend mindset going through the week? These eight tips will teach you how to relieve stress anxiety while preparing you for a less stressful Monday. Read on!
#1 Brain Dump Your Top To-Dos
When our brain starts remembering all of those little tasks coming up in the week, our first response is usually to avoid them and distract ourselves with TV or scrolling Instagram. The problem? Those distractions usually don’t last for long, especially as the overwhelm continues to build. So rather than avoiding what you have to do, face it! Brain dump all of the top items that come to mind. And if needed, create a short Sunday to-do list.
The keyword, though? Short. You don’t have to do all the things at once. Maybe just focus on the tasks that will make Monday easier overall, like getting a head start on laundry.
#2 Optimize Your Sleep
Most of us associate Sunday mornings with sleeping in and being lazy. But, while there’s nothing wrong with extra rest, you can actually throw off your sleep cycle with too much sleep. Our bodies work best on consistent habits! It’s okay to sleep in for an hour or so, but any more, and it’ll probably be harder to get up on Monday morning.
See these 9 Tips for Getting Your Circadian Rhythm Back on Track.
#3 Schedule In YOU Time
Relieving stress doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as prioritizing YOU!
Sometimes Monday anxiety comes from dread. Rather than filling up every spare moment of the week with work, socializing, and family priorities, make sure you schedule in time for you, too!
This could look like panning out 30 minutes of alone time, doing something you love, or even scheduling your workouts. You can easily do this in the FitOn app!
#4 Meal Prep
It’s an oldie but a goodie. Meal prep is popular for a reason: it saves time! A lot of our stress comes from never feeling like there are enough minutes in the day. And with schedules getting busier and busier, it makes sense!
However, you can avoid this by meal prepping on the weekends. And it doesn’t have to be anything extensive! Even whipping up one or two meals for the week can save you time in the kitchen as a preemptive way for how to relieve stress and anxiety on those hectic weeknights!
RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning
#5 Avoid Overscheduling Mondays
Want to know one of the best ways to reduce stress and walk into your week with ease? Well, setting yourself up for Monday success is simple — don’t overload your schedule!
Again, one of the reasons Monday is so daunting is because we feel like we have to do all the things. Nuh-uh! The more laid back, the more we can ease into our week and keep our energy levels steady — rather than burning out on day one!
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#6 Disconnect Over the Weekend
With most of us working from home now, it’s easy to feel like you can never truly switch off. This means our free time is practically nonexistent. But guess what? Always being glued to our phones drains our free time, too! Before we know it, we’re 3 hours deep in Instagram stories, wondering why the weekend keeps flying by.
So try to put your phone down during your days off and connect with other things that really bring you joy, like spending time with family, getting outside, or whipping up your favorite recipe.
#7 Meditate: Keep Up With Your Self-Care!
Here’s your gentle reminder not to forget to keep up with your self-care each weekend! While it may feel like there are a dozen things to get done during your time off, self-care is one of the best ways to reduce stress and feel recharged by Monday morning. Try fitting in a morning or before-bed meditation on both weekend days — it may make a big difference in keeping your stress levels in check.
Try these short meditations that will fit into even the busiest weekend schedule:
A positive meditation to help ease the anxiety of being a human being who cares about the world.
Your new go-to meditation when you need to find calmness now.
A beautiful visual meditation, including those cotton candy clouds you see during sunset.
#8 Plan Some Chill Sunday Activities
When Monday anxiety drops in on your weekend mindset, try not to sit in those emotions too long! After making your to-do lists and getting ahead of the game with ways to reduce stress, wind back down with some chill activities like painting or reading a book. It can prevent you from fixating on the stressful week ahead!
What You Can Do on Monday
Keep in mind: we don’t have to put so much pressure on ourselves to make Monday as great as possible. Because at the end of the day, life happens. And sometimes even Mondays don’t go as planned. We don’t want our entire week to be thrown off just because of one day.
Instead, try to be flexible and prepared with ways to reduce stress! And as you gear up for a new week, find things to get excited about, whether it’s a package that’s arriving or trying out a new recipe. Yay for Mondays!
Ditch the Sunday Scaries With These Weekend Hacks
Ditch the Sunday scaries and remember: Mondays can be fun! When you start ruminating over your Monday to-do list, take a deep breath and refer back to this guide for how to hack your weekend for a lower stress Monday. For more stress-busting hacks, sign up for FitOn and explore our library full of unlimited free workouts, meditations, expert tips, and calming flows.