Many people spend their week looking forward to 5pm on Friday. Did you know there are 63 hours between 5 p.m. on Friday evening and 8 a.m. on Monday morning? – interesting, right?! These hours are suppose to be a blissful reprieve from the stress of the work week. However they’re not all blissful when you suffer with Sunday night blues!
For years when it got to around 4pm on Sunday I started to feel sick, the looming feeling of dread, the ‘anxiety butterflies’ would wake up and start flight, my head started to getting pre-occupied, the thoughts of ‘what’s in my inbox’ and ‘what’s in the diary that I need to prepare for’. My lovely weekend would slip away as I saw the time ticking away Sunday evening and the mist would start to descend. Instead of looking forward to the last few hours of the weekend, looming Monday took hold. Can your loved ones pretty much set their watches by the changes in you as you morph from laid back ‘weekend you’ into the more uptight ‘workweek you’? – mine could.
Whether it’s anxiety over anticipating your overflowing inbox, the chore of pulling together the packed lunches, or the oppressive to do list that is as long as your arm, it’s a very real phenomenon for many. In fact a global poll (by Monster.com) back in March/April 2015, showed that 80% of people suffered from Sunday Blues to some extent or another. Another survey in the EU showed that 42% of respondents who have the Sunday night blues report they are “really bad”. Whilst we know that what we’re doing to ourselves is counterproductive, it doesn’t top the automatic chain of events that cause the emotional, physical and thinking shifts. 98% of your behaviour is automatic (we run 10-20k patterns or programmes automatically each DAY!) so if you suffer with Sunday blues, it’s not just a one off – it’s most Sunday nights.
Time is precious (as we all need to enjoy our Sunday), so let’s cut to the chase …
What are Sunday Blues and what causes them?
In short, it’s a habit (read more about habits here). Its a pattern of behaviour (actions, feelings and way of being) that is triggered by something (in my case it’s seeing the time, but your trigger could be something different e.g. you see a particular show on the TV, hear a particular radio show – like the Sunday chart show, you know it’s time to start to cook tea etc etc). It is a pattern of behaviour that is well trodden – in NLP we call is a strategy – the chances are that for years you’ve been running the same strategy. The thing with strategies is that they are a sequence of external things and things you do internally in your head – that always lead to a specific outcome.
We run strategies in our head at an unconscious level for everything from getting up in the morning, brushing our teeth, falling in love, decision making, reassuring ourselves – you name it, there’s likely to be a strategy behind it. Top sports professionals like Tiger Woods and Andrew Agassi use NLP techniques consistently to achieve excellent results – in terms of strategies, they break down every little step of every little thing they do, so that they can understand it, change it if needed and then replicate their results again and again.
Let’s change things up – let’s change and disrupt the strategy …5 ways
So, as always, to change things, you gotta change the way you think (which directly affects how you feel) – and I’m going to suggest you change your routine tonight – let’s not settle for the same old, same old.
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got –
NLP professionals have ways of changing people’s strategy quickly and for the long term, but I’m guessing you don’t have an NLP Practitioner or Master Practitioner on hand to do this for you right now! So, next best are some techniques or tactics you can do yourself to start to disrupt the strategy – give it a go and see if it helps:
- Do something different – whatever your normal routine is for a Sunday night, do something different (the bigger the difference the better). Don’t do some things things and instead do something else. This could for example be: not doing the ironing or watching the TV tonight and instead going for a swim, run or gym this evening. You could turn Sunday evenings into a learning experience – reading a personal development book or doing an online course. You could pop to see a friend or neighbour for a glass of something nice or whatever you enjoy that is different (exercise is a great one for a Sunday afternoons and evenings because it releases helpful hormones that lift your mood).
- If there are things you ‘have to’ do on a Sunday, do them on a Saturday – now, I appreciate I’m posting this blog on a Sunday, so you can’t implement this today, but next weekend you can. If you have things that you still need to do today, but you normally wait to do then Sunday evening, do them now (before the mist comes down – and you never know it might stop the mist descending in quite the same way!). A lot of what we do is learnt behaviour – take homework as an example. When I was a kid I always left my homework till Sunday night (because I’d put it off) – encourage your kids to get it done and out the way Saturday morning (I know they’ll moan, but they’ll thank you for it longer term as they are less likely to have an engrained strategy on a Sunday night of doing last minute things ahead of Monday in a panicked state – which is not helpful before winding down for bed). The same goes for us adults to – get the chores done early and out the way.
- What’s your routine on any other evening of the week? – my guess is that on the other nights of the week you don’t feel the same as you do on a sunday – have a think about what your routine is like on those evenings, and borrow some things from those evenings. Do you always do the the gym in the week? Do you have evening classes?
- Cut yourself some slack – it doesn’t all have to be done tonight – I don’t know about you, but the time factor makes me think ‘oh s**t, I’ve only got a few hours left, so I’d better get busy’. If this is you, be aware that you are setting your own deadlines and putting pressure on yourself (my guess is that no-one else is saying this to you) – what’s the worst that will happen if it doesn’t get done? There is always tomorrow.
- Reframe Mondays – instead of thinking of Monday as something that needs to be endured, actively book in something you enjoy on Mondays. It’ll give you something to actively look forward to on Sunday evening – seeing a friend, doing something you love or speaking to someone special. If you do this repeatedly, they over time you can retrain your brain.
Now, go and enjoy the rest of your Sunday folks!
Before I go …..
If you’re interested in changing these unconscious programme and processes for the long term, then get in touch about out NLP Practitioner Course. We’ve helped lots of people change how they think so they can change their results. We’ve also trained many Coaches who have clients who want assistance in this area – we help coaches help their clients unleash their potential in business and life!
Email us (details below) and we’d be delighted to talk to you about how NLP can help you!
Laura is passionate about helping people realise their potential, and achieve the results they deserve. She believes, if you change your thinking, you can change your results. If you’d like to find out more about Unleash Your Potential, you can check out our NLP courses and coaching options, and link up with us via our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or link up with Laura via LinkedIn. You can of course also email us at: email@example.com