On any given Sunday evening, after the brunch rush has settled down and the pictures from last night’s Instagram post have slowed down on collecting likes, the mental and physical preparation for the week ahead is what’s on the top of the to-do list. As the day winds down, more and more millennials are reporting a feeling of anxiety that they associate with the week ahead. Coined as ‘The Sunday Scaries’, this anxiousness is said to be rooted and related to waking up on Monday morning. Whether millennials are reporting to the office or the classroom, ‘The Sunday Scaries’ have replaced relaxing Sunday nights with text messages to friends citing “ugh, I don’t want to go to work tomorrow”, and in some cases, reports that some weeks, feeling as if you can’t do anything at all on their Sunday because the Scaries make it too hard to enjoy.
When I got to talking with others about the Scaries, one thing was made very clear: it can feel like there’s nothing that can be done to keep them away if the root of the problem exists in the company or job itself. A company’s culture is a driving force to creating the Scaries for its employees. If a company is creating a culture or environment of fear or anxiety about the week ahead, then of course employees are going to be feeling that dread every Sunday. A company is defined by its culture. When job hunting, how many times have you went digging through reviews on websites such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, or Indeed, looking for previous and current employee comments about what it was like working there? I have turned down job opportunities based on reviews of the company’s culture and how they were treating employees. In the recruiting world, I have spoken with candidates that were willing to take a pay cut if it meant that their supervisor appreciated their work, and most importantly, their time.
Are ‘The Sunday Scaries’ really a message to employers about how they should be treating their employees? I think, yes! If your employees are working in a situation where the thought of waking up for work causes such dread, then the issue is not only how you are treating your employees, but how you are reacting to their basic needs. A healthy mind and body should be a basic right in the workforce and in situations where it is not, employers should be doing whatever is in their power to help their employees achieve that. A positive and uplifting environment makes all the difference.
As employees, we also have it in our power to manage the Scaries. By spending time on the weekend doing hobbies that are unrelated to a work project that may be causing you stress or investing time in your wellness for the week, those feelings can become slightly more manageable. Creating a routine for your Sunday evening allows a familiarity for your body and mind to reset and focus on yourself, whether it be meal prepping lunches or Sunday night football, finding those things in your weekend that bring peace is so important. Together, as a workforce, employers and employees can combat ‘The Sunday Scaries’ to help make them a feeling of the past.
Sam Cooke is a Marketing Recruitment Associate and Content Creator for McKinsey CMO Group. Based out of Boston, she also writes personal essays and fiction.