The majority of people look forward to 5pm on Friday. There are 63 hours between 5 p.m. on Friday evening and 8 a.m. on Monday morning that are suppose to be a blissful reprieve from the stress of the work week. However, I don’t know about you, but for years it would get to around 4pm on Sunday and the way I felt started to change – my lovely weekend would slip away as I saw the time and the mist would start to descend. Instead of looking forward to the last few hours of the weekend, looming Monday brings the blues – for me, the butterflies started to wake up and flitted around my stomach! 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’?
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, in the EU 42% of respondents who have the Sunday night blues report they are “really bad” (compared to 76% in the US and & 62% globally). Whilst, logically, we know that this is counterproductive, it seems to happen time and time again.
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. 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 …
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. NLP professionals have ways of changing people’s strategy quickly and permanently, but Im guessing you don’t have an NLP Practitioner or Master Practitioner on hand to do this for you right now, so below are some tips you can use 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, reading a personal development book, going around to your friends for a glass of something nice or whatever you enjoy that is different (exercise is a great one for a Sunday night 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 not!) Homework is a classic – 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 (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).
- 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!
- 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 shit, 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?
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday folks!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org