If you ever find yourself feeling anxious, sad, and/or stressed out as your Sunday comes to a close, you may be experiencing the Sunday scaries.
These feelings can be brought on for a number of reasons, whether that be stress from the week of work one has ahead of them, sadness about having to say goodbye to the fun, relaxing weekend, or angst from personal problems that have to be shelved as the working week begins again.
This phenomenon is more common than employer might think; one LinkedIn survey found that 75% of working Americans say they experience the Sunday scaries. This is an alarming amount of people who are starting off their work week on a bad note, and this can translate into productivity and engagement levels.
Setting the right tone for the week ahead can make all the difference with keeping a team engaged. After all, studies show that happy employees are noticeably more productive, and so employers should be considering what they can do to change that feeling of dread Monday brings into a feeling of excitement.
This is where the Monday Mantra comes in; employers should start considering creating their own unique mantra’s that they can use to bring the team together and ensure that the working week is starting off on a positive, stress-free note. This can take shape in a number of different and creative ways:
- Do a quick team meeting to start the day – this would see the team leader start Monday off by bringing everyone together and having an open discussion. Set goals for the week, ask what anyone in the team might need assistance with and where, and top this off with a fun and inspiring mantra that is rooted in the company’s mission. This can really help to recalibrate employees as they wean off the weekend and ease them into the week ahead, while also making it seem significantly less daunting.
- Check-in with 1:1s – it’s very likely that a company will have a system where they set up one-to-ones, and these are a great opportunity to discuss in a more private and confidential setting about any feelings of angst or stress someone may be having. It can sometimes be difficult for someone to switch out of their personal life persona and switch into their professional persona, especially those who have other responsibilities beyond the workplace, such as childcare or caring for a family member. If team leaders are able to discuss these needs openly and sensitively, they will be able to better offer support where they can.
- Be clear about the support available – make sure that staff are aware of the mental wellbeing support that is available to them, whether that be an employee assistance program, externally outsourced support, or wellbeing apps such as Calm or Headspace to help manage anxiety.
- Introduce ‘No Meetings Monday’ – a more creative approach to warding off the Sunday scaries could be the introduction of a ‘no meetings Monday’, as this has been seen to help improve productivity and ease employees back into work mode.
- Have a ‘desk yoga’ session – Yoga is well-known to be an effective destressing tool for the body and the mind, so why not try and incorporate it into a Monday Mantra? Desk yoga is a fun new exercise which has been designed for someone to be able to do at their desk, making it perfect for setting the tone on a Monday morning!
- Plan ahead to Monday – team leaders can also be coaching their employees to plan their Monday’s before they leave work on Friday. Part of the angst can come from the element of feeling a sudden flood of responsibility after a weekend away, and so if employees are planning out what their Monday will entail, this will likely make it much more approachable as a task.
In some instances, employees who are frequently feeling the Sunday scaries may be a symptom of a deeper problem. This can either be an issue rooted in the company culture that is making them not want to come to work, or it could be a lack of motivation for the work they do. In both instances, we can help by conducting a cultural audit to identify where the issue may be and create strategies to tackle this. As well as coaching leaders to consider new ways of innovating the workday, such as creating ‘squiggle room’ with job crafting to breathe new life into a role.
If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org