Psychological Insight Towards the Sunday Scaries
You know that feeling you get the night before you leave for a big trip? Or the feeling before going on an interview for a job that you really want or taking an important exam or giving a very important presentation — That feeling of nervousness mixed in with excitement and anxiety; the feeling that makes it difficult to fall asleep right away.
Your mind and body are so hyper-stimulated that you’re physically incapable of falling asleep easily. It’s a well-known feeling for many of us. However, it doesn’t occur solely in relation to exciting events that we’re really looking forward to. It also occurs with the ones that we completely dread as well.
The term “Sunday scaries” has become a common one for many of us within the working class. In essence, it’s defined as,
“The feeling of dread knowing that Monday is going to be rough” (This is according to Urban Dictionary, at least).
As a Millennial, having been catapulted into a full-time office job immediately after college, I really had no flexibility in being picky about the job that I got after I graduated. I just knew that I needed a job…any job. And fortunately for me, I had a really great experience with my first full-time job and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
However, at that time, I wasn’t necessarily thinking of the “big picture” of where I wanted to be five or ten or twenty years from now. I was just thinking, “Okay, I need to start paying off my student loan debt right now”. And this pretty much set the tone for my next seven years (up until this very day) post-college graduation.
I viewed work as simply a means to an end in order to pay off my student loan debt, which is sadly how many of us in the working class view it as well.
Millions of students graduate college each year. And each year, those graduates eventually enter the work force. According to the National Center for Education Statistics,
“In 2017, the employment rate was higher for those with higher levels of educational attainment. For example, the employment rate was highest for young adults with a bachelor’s or higher degree (86 percent).”
From that percentage, it makes one wonder what percentage of individuals actually took a job within their chosen field of study. In a CNBC article written by Annie Nova, titled “Why your first job out of college really, really matters”, the author highlights a report from the Strada Institute for the Future of Work and Burning Glass Technologies, which claims,
“More than 40 percent of college graduates take positions out of school that don’t require a degree, the study found.”
As depressing as this sounds, it is indeed a harsh reality. Similar to me, not all of us have the luxury of hand-picking the exact job that we want when we graduate. Many of us don’t even know what kind of job we actually want. We just know that we need to make a living in order to survive. And that’s where the Sunday scaries comes into play.
As we should all know, the most daunting tasks to complete are the ones that we don’t necessarily want to do, but we know that we have to do. The Sunday scaries are rooted in this entire mindset of knowing that we have to do something that we aren’t particularly looking forward to.
It’s caused by the anticipation leading up to a specific dreadful event (in this case it’s work). According to an NBC article validating the existence of the Sunday scaries titled, “The ‘Sunday Scaries’ Are Real — This is Why”, the article highlights,
“76% of Americans self-reported having “really bad” Sunday night anxiety”
So, how do we tackle this?
If you are viewing work as a means to an end, know that there will eventually be a light at the end of the tunnel and reassure yourself of that in order to continue to push through. We have to shine light on the notion that there is in fact an end goal and a reasoning behind doing the things that we are doing.
However, if you are so miserable to the point of frustration and exhaustion, then something obviously needs to be done in order to remedy that — Just know that we can only control the things within our control. So, make the necessary changes that are within your abilities so you can alleviate some of that misery and make your days more bearable.
At the end of the day, it’s all about our mental attitude and how we mentally (and physically) prepare for the days to come. Sunday scaries, although very real, can be prevented. We just have to make a drastic shift in our perspective.