A Sunday Evening Ritual That Makes Monday Less Awful

Five tasks to stave off the Sunday Blues.

Kristin Wong

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Photo by Cristian Rojas from Pexels

Like wet socks and the word “moist,” Sunday evenings are notoriously unpleasant. Even if you work for yourself, you don’t work at all, or you have a job you like, Sunday evenings still seem to carry that last-day-of-vacation vibe. The end of the collective week is kind of a drag.

I once came across advice that argued you should do a small amount of work on Sundays. This way, Monday morning feels less shocking, less like jumping from a warm bed into a cold shower. I gave it a try and used Sundays to catch up on emails. Turns out, the advice was pretty solid. I found when I spent an hour or so working on Sunday, it made for a smoother transition into Monday. But I still hate the idea of working on Sunday, so I tweaked the advice a bit. Instead, I use Sunday to plan my week ahead. This routine involves five main tasks, and I’ve been using it every week for a year. It’s done a lot to stave off the Sunday evening blues, and maybe it will for you, too.

Schedule a time for writing. I’m happy when I’m writing. But with a week full of obligations — work meetings, dentist appointments, Zoom birthdays— it can be hard to squeeze in anything else. Rather than search for time to write as the week unfolds, I schedule writing time into my week before it even starts. My Sunday planning ritual starts with finding at least two hours in my week to get some of my own writing done, whether it’s taking a class, joining an accountability group, or freewriting on my own. If writing isn’t your thing, substitute this step with whatever hobby or activity puts you in your happy place.

Plan dinners for the week. Being married is great, but one thing I could do without is the whole “I dunno, what do you want to eat?” song-and-dance. On Sundays, I make a loose meal plan for the week with a few quick, basic meals, one elaborate recipe I’ve saved, and one takeout meal or restaurant reservation (soon!). It gives me less to worry about during the week. As someone who enjoys cooking and dining out, it also gives me something to look forward to.

Make plans around my “core desired feelings.” I’ve written before about the creative brilliance of Danielle LaPorte and her concept of “core desired feelings.”…

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Kristin Wong

Kristin Wong has written for the New York Times, The Cut, Catapult, The Atlantic and ELLE.