By Jacquelyn Smith
Most people will tell you they don’t look forward to Sunday evenings.
In fact, a whopping 76% of American workers say they get the Sunday-night blues, according to a 2015 Monster survey.
Even if you love your job and typically look forward to getting back into the swing of things, “it’s easy to feel a bit of trepidation on Sundays about the stresses waiting for you on Monday morning,” writes Laura Vanderkam in her book “What The Most Successful People Do On The Weekend.”
Experts say there are certain things successful people do at the end of the weekend to combat those Sunday-night blues and prepare for the week ahead.
Here are 12 of them:
1. They spend quality time with their families, friends, and significant others.
Successful people know their weeks will be jammed and that they are likely to be unavailable, says Roy Cohen, a career coach and author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.” So they make the most of their Sunday nights by spending time with their loved ones.
2. They plan something fun.
“This idea may be the most important tip,” Vanderkam writes. “This extends the weekend and keeps you focused on the fun to come, rather than on Monday morning.”
Vanderkam quotes Caitlin Andrews, a librarian, who says her extended family gets together for dinner almost every Sunday, alternating houses. “It takes my mind off any Sunday night blues that might be coming on,” Andrews says.
You might also make Sunday a movie or spa night, or you could join a Sunday-night bowling league.
3. They organize and plan for the week ahead.
Some successful people like to look at their calendars on Sunday night and set goals and deadlines for the coming week, career coach Marsha Egan says. The trick is to do this without stressing yourself out.
4. They exercise.
Take a walk, play a game of tennis, or go to a class at the gym, Egan suggests.
Vanderkam writes in her book that reality-TV producer Aliza Rosen does hot yoga at 6 p.m. on Sundays. “It’s a great way for me to sweat out the toxins of the week and center myself for Monday,” Rosen told Vanderkam.
5. They eat something healthy.
It might be tempting to wind down with a couple of glasses of your favorite Cabernet, but as licensed counselor and Urban Balance CEO Joyce Marter points out in an article for PsychCentral, alcohol is a depressant that will leave you feeling less energized in the morning.
“Instead, make a healthy meal and enjoy with some herbal tea or some seltzer water with lemon,” she writes.
6. They read.
Most successful people read every night before bed, so Sunday-night reading is part of their routines.
They also use this time to catch up on reading that has been neglected.
7. They return calls, emails, and texts.
Sunday nights often allow us the undivided time to return phone calls from friends or family and to respond to texts or personal emails we didn’t have time to get to during the week.
8. They unplug.
After you finish responding to emails and texts, or returning calls, unplug for a few hours.
Truly successful people do anything but work right before bed, especially on Sunday night,career expert Michael Kerr says. They don’t obsessively check their email, and they try not to dwell on work-related issues.
9. They relax.
Take some time Sunday evening to sit back and relax. You need time to recharge your mind and body.
Cohen says when you know that the week ahead will be full, a good night’s sleep and a healthy meal are essential. “Fuel for the body and mind.”
10. They volunteer.
“[Another] great way to end the weekend is to volunteer,” Vanderkam writes in her book. Nothing will take your mind off any stresses in your life like serving people who are less fortunate, she says. “It’s a way to connect with humanity before everyone goes their separate ways for the week.”
11. They reflect.
The dying embers of the weekend can be a good time to take a step back and catalog your feelings, especially if you’re dreading Monday. Writing down your thoughts on a piece of paper can help you get to the bottom of what’s bugging you, or give you the perspective that things aren’t so bad after all.
Either way, the process will provide you with valuable emotional release, University of Texas at Arlington organizational behavior professor James Campbell Quick told The Huffington Post.
“It’s a catharsis to get it out on paper … It’s like flushing a toilet: You get it out on paper and you have flushed your system out,” Quick says.
12. They end Sunday on a high note.
“Monday will come regardless of how you feel, so try to engage in positive thinking and reflect on positive experiences before ending your weekend,” says Michael Woodward, Ph.D., organizational psychologist and author of “The YOU Plan.”
Via Business Insider