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Written by Kara Anderson
I have a lot of “things” that I think are just-me-things.
And one of those things for a long time was something I thought of as Sunday Night Panic.
I recently saw it described as “Smonday” – that moment when the weekend becomes the start of a new week, and you know it’s happened because you can feel it, and also, maybe you’re kind of yelling at everyone.
I thought that Sunday nights were just a me thing until a recent conversation with Cait.
We talked about how Sunday nights kind of turn us into the worst versions of ourselves, even though we have the very best intentions.
Sunday has always been my day of the week to reset. I have a lot of things I want to get done before I hit the hay – I want the house picked up, I want my desk clear, I want my sink empty and I want to get ready for a fresh start.
(If I’m being super-honest, I also want a plan for the whole week, and I don’t want anything to come up to change that plan, even if it’s fun.)
And so mostly, I spend Sunday stressed and overwhelmed, barking orders and not understanding for a minute how everyone else can be so calm.
Don’t they know a new week is beginning tomorrow?!
I’ve tried various strategies and techniques to get rid of Sunday Night Panic:
- I started doing the grocery shopping on Saturday; and then I gave it up altogether and let my husband do it (He doesn’t mind at all – he actually thinks it’s like a grown-up scavenger hunt.)
- I tried taking Sundays “off” from work, which would be great if I was a person capable of seeing past the dishes and unpaid bills and actually relaxing.
- I wrote all the things to be done to get ready for the week ahead on our chalkboard, and decided we should distribute everything evenly, but then ended up just doing everything anyway because it all seemed important and pressing, even though it wasn’t.
I’m going to tell you that none of those strategies helped me at all.
In fact, I started finding that even the Sunday nights when all my ducks got in a nice row for the week, it still didn’t make that big of a difference. Things still went wrong, came up unexpectedly and, can you flippin’ believe it … WENT AND GOT MESSY AGAIN.
And so the past few weeks, I’ve been trying something else instead. I’ve been calling it “Self-Care Sundays,” but that sounds waaaay fancier than it actually is.
Mostly, I think about how I am going to take care of myself in the week ahead.
- How will I make time for sanity-saving exercise, mixed in with playdates and math lessons and toilet-scrubbing and meal-making?
- Do I have a good book available for the week? What about an audiobook? (Good books help me stay balanced.)
- Do I have some time set aside for devoted work time (not the same as working while the kids are asking me questions about Pokemon-time.)
- When am I going to need to crawl into my introvert hole? For two hours after co-op? Yup. (I love co-op, but it makes me want to hibernate for the afternoon).
And then I try to pamper myself just a little:
I pick a time when I am going to turn off for the evening, and I make a list of some nice things I want to do for myself in my bullet journal. I don’t get to them all, so I save some for later in the week when MAMA NEEDS A MINUTE.
That might be throwing on a face mask, trimming my nails, or taking a hot bath.
I try to set out my vitamins for the week, pour myself a cup of tea, and curl up with a good fiction book. (Sunday nights are not a time for parenting books or homeschooling books or Pinterest scrolling.)
Instead, I climb into my big bed, and I slather myself with some comforting essential oils, and I QUIT.
Because all the stuff will still be there tomorrow, and there is only so much we can do.
It’s funny how some times pushing helps, and other times, it just makes things harder.
So I’m taking back Sunday nights. And I’m feeling better already.
Recommended reading for making Sunday nights about self-care instead of panic:
The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
Carry On Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton