In honour of McHappy Day this Saturday 14 October, six designs by children staying at Ronald…
The Sunday Night Dreads is the gloom that descends towards the end of the weekend as thoughts turn towards the week ahead.
I used to lose huge chunks of my weekend to the Sunday Night Dreads. I would be doing my Sunday activities (seeing family, cooking, ironing etc) but I would be lost in the anticipation and anxiety of the coming week. Lots of worrying, ruminating and not enjoying the evening in a relaxing rejuvenating way.
By Monday afternoon the Dreads had passed. I’d given myself over to the work and was committed to the adrenalin rush of tackling urgent challenges, meeting deadlines at the last minute and drunk on the sense of control from perpetually finishing just one more task.
The clamour of the workplace is a strange siren song that drowned out the quiet whispers of my spirit longing to be elsewhere.
Whilst immersed in the work I was free from the longing that burdened me on Sunday evenings. My Sunday Night Dreads were weaved with laments about precious time given to work endeavours that didn’t feed my soul but assuaged my ego’s need to avoid criticism and fed its insatiable need for praise.
On Sunday evenings I felt the full force of resistance to the life I had created. I can see now—it was my body and spirit imploring me to course correct towards a life that better aligned with my true self.
But the pathways for change were unclear and scary.
I lacked the tools and confidence to explore them. So each week I sat in my Sunday Night Dreads feeling hopeless and the only relief I knew was to sink back into work.
And so it continued…until my body gave me little option but to stop: burnout.
The Sunday Night Dreads are no longer part of my life. Each Sunday I still marvel at this fact, and they don’t have to be a part of yours either. I firmly believe you don’t need to upend your life like I did to escape the Dreads. There are some small steps you can take to start edging the needle in a new direction.
Get curious about how the Sunday Night Dreads show up for you
How do they feel and what do you think about when you’re having your Sunday Night Dreads?
Refocus on your weekend.
Practice bringing your attention (both thoughts and physical action) to things other than work on Sunday. For example, if you’re preparing the week’s lunches, notice everything you can about that activity.
If thoughts of work come up say “Thank you Dreads, I’m focusing on making lunches now”.
Acknowledge the wisdom in Your Dreads
Is there some useful information in your Dreads? Are they inviting you to consider changes? Perhaps to introduce a moment of peace, fun or excitement into your week?
Whatever it may be, can you acknowledge that, without any obligation to take action.
The key take-home is that your Sunday Night Dreads do not need to be tolerated and may even hold some wisdom for you. There IS a better way than suffering through the Dreads.