Want to make the most of the new week coming up without giving in to the panic of Sunday scaries? Here are 24 ways you can set yourself up for success with these meaningful Sunday habits!
As a child, Sunday was probably my favorite day of the week. Sunday breakfast used to typically mean my favorite “luchi ar aloor torkari” (fried flatbread with a potato curry), followed by the weekly screening of a couple of popular TV shows of those times. And of course, lots of playtime with friends and the like.
Fast forward to today. Sunday, especially Sunday evenings, comes with a slight sense of existential dread. The Sunday scaries. That heavy-heartedness of getting back to real/adult life the next day. I may be exaggerating a little bit here, but I am sure you know what I mean. I am sure you’ve felt it too.
Over time, I have tried to simplify my Sunday habits so that the day is a healthy mix of things that I absolutely have to do, things that I would love to do, and things that will set me up for a successful week ahead. Of course, the ongoing WFH situation has probably diluted the difference between a workday and the weekend, but I still feel a certain mental shift happen when Friday or Sunday evening rolls around. So yes, to me, there continues to be a difference between a Sunday and a Monday. :P
I’ve rounded up some ideas for some Sunday habits that you can build into your routine so that the upcoming week feels more manageable, and maybe even fun, to ease into. You don’t have to do all of the things, but this should give you some ideas that you can incorporate when the next Sunday rolls around.
All Things Adulting Sunday Habits
Since it goes without saying that we are not kids anymore, it’s inevitable that we will have to do our fair share of adulting. And yes, even on the weekends! Here’s a list of all the adulting things to do on Sunday which will help you feel more in control when Monday morning rolls around.
1| Review your calendar for the week
Super basic, but also, super important!
After being in a couple of situations where I missed an early morning meeting because I forgot to check the calendar the night before (#totaladultingfail, I know), I’ve now made it a point to have a look through my schedule for the week on Sunday evenings.
Spending some time on Sunday evening/night to review your calendar will help you plan your week better (no more missing that morning meeting, or someone’s birthday party!), and also mentally start the transition to a working/school week. You can also block out time for important tasks in advance.
2| Write down your to-do list for Monday
Have you gotten to work on a Monday morning, only to spend the first hour or so trying to prioritize your plans for the rest of the day? I’ve been there, done that, and I used to hate how it made me feel like I was wasting my precious working hours.
A better thing to do would be to take a moment on Sunday night, go over the emails that might have come over the weekend, and have that Monday to-do list ready even before you get to work on Monday morning. Bonus points if you actually end up making the list on Friday evening before you leave from work, and just do a quick review of it on Sunday night!
Daily Planner & To-Do List
3| Look over your BIG GOALS, and then make note of the related mini-goals for the coming week
In the same vein as the above points, having an eye on the bigger picture before the workweek actually rolls around will help you plan your work with intention and move you closer to your desired outcomes. It would be best to have a list of, say, 3 big things you want to accomplish in the coming week, which should be in keeping with your larger goals and objectives in life.
4| Plan out meals for the week, or at least for the next 3 days
Taking care of your health (aka adulting!) means knowing where your meals are coming from. Without some meal planning done for the next few days, you might find yourself ordering unhealthy takeout because you forgot to do a grocery run on the weekend.
Depending on your schedule and your preferences, you could also do some meal prep for the week, but the key is really to be prepared. Whether that looks like having just a rough idea of what’s available and what you’ll be making, or full-fledged meal prep, that depends entirely on you and your lifestyle.
5| Do a refrigerator clean-out
While we’re on the subject of kitchen matters, how about giving your refrigerator a bit of clean-out as well? Throw out those tiny, rotting vegetable pieces which have somehow gotten lodged at the back of the veggie box, and take stock of any leftovers.
6| Do a quick inbox clean-out
Doing a quick glance through your inbox on Sunday evening helps you mark out any urgent and important ones that may need your attention on Monday morning, and also weed out any junk that might have gotten through. It always feels great to start out a new week on a fresh slate, right?
7| Do the laundry
What could be better than starting off a Monday with an empty laundry basket? (Wait, don’t tell me. I know, a million other things :P). But you know what I mean, right? Sometimes these things tend to pile, especially if you’re living by yourself. Take some time to corral all the things that need washing (towels, bedsheets, clothes hanging behind your bathroom door) and get ahead on the laundry before the start of the week.
8| Start something new
I don’t know about you, but I’ve found it to be too much pressure to always start off a new plan on Monday, especially when it comes to diets or workouts or a new habit. I mean, Monday feels manic enough even by itself, and to add to it the added pressure of starting something life-altering, no thank you.
I’ve found that starting out on Sunday instead takes the pressure off Monday and ultimately leads to better adherence.
9| Transfer photos off your phone
Quick check – how many photos do you have on your phone right now?
I have over 13,000 photos of which probably 8,000 are duplicates!!! Doing a photo clean-up from my phone feels like a mammoth task right now because there are just way too many photos in there.
Don’t be like me.
By spending 15-20 minutes every Sunday (or maybe every other Sunday) to clean up or organize the photos on your phone, you will save yourself hours and hours later.
10| Clean up a few messes
I would advise against a full-fledged Monica attack if you can avoid it. After all, it’s a Sunday – don’t make it feel like another working day! But even a little bit of tidying up will help you feel fresher and more sorted. Maybe tackle the makeup drawer, or the bathroom cabinet, or your purse. Keep it manageable and it won’t feel like such a massive chore then.
Make Time for Some Sunday Self-Care
Because what’s a Sunday if you can’t let your hair down a little, and enjoy the slow, good life? Taking some time to do the things that make you feel good physically and mentally, and charge you up in the best possible way, should definitely feature on your list of things to do on Sunday. All your Sunday habits don’t have to be about maximizing productivity, you know! After all, you’re a human being, not a human doing.
11| Take an afternoon nap
Nothing screams Sunday to me like an afternoon nap. It’s probably my favorite Sunday habit that I’ve consistently followed! :P
Make an event of it. Darken the room, draw the curtains, switch on the AC if you need to, and sink into your comfortable bed, and drift off to a leisurely sleep for whatever amount of time works best for you. For me, the sweet spot is about 45 – 60 minutes. Anything more than an hour leaves me feeling super groggy later, though I have, on occasion, indulged in a 2-hour afternoon nap as well.
12| Spend some time discovering new music
This is a recent thing for me, but I’m totally loving the whole experience of discovering new music. There’s nothing wrong with my old favorites, but ever so often, I want to refresh my personal music library. The Spotify playlists are my favorite way of discovering new tunes.
13| Take a leisurely bath/shower, or indulge in a decadent foot soak
Use this time to try out the new body oil or scrub you’ve put away for a special occasion. Make your Sunday bath ritual THE special occasion. Light a candle or an incense stick, put on a chill playlist, throw some bath salts into the water, and soak your way to some moments of bliss.
And if a leisurely bath or shower sounds like too much time commitment to you, fill a small tub with warm water, add in a few drops of essential oils, and soak your feet for a few cozy minutes.
14| Learn something new
Whether it’s going through a couple of lessons of the online course you’ve signed up for, or a new word of the day, or even a new recipe, use a little bit of your time on Sunday to learn something new.
15| Do some guided meditation
I am not the most regular practiontioner of meditation, but I happen to love the short and varied guided meditations on the Meditation Minis podcast. I tend to pop it on for some near-instant calm any time I find myself fidgeting more than usual, or my monkey mind is being super active.
16| Stretch or do some yoga
Sure, use your Sunday as your rest day, but a little bit of stretching or yoga feels extremely restorative, especially if you work out on the daily. Stretch out those sore muscles, maybe do a short mobility workout, or go for a leisurely walk. Your muscles and soul will thank you for it.
17| Schedule something special around the mid-week mark
How about a Wednesday evening Happy Hours Zoom call with friends? Or a pub quiz with your office colleagues? Or maybe designate Wednesday as Pizza Day. The idea is to have something fun or special planned around mid-week so that you already have something to look forward to during the week.
18| Do a digital detox
Say no to hours of mindless scrolling. You’ve got your weekday commutes for that. :P
And if a complete digital detox seems like too much, at least stay away from social media for a few hours at least. You will survive it!
19| Do some mindful journaling
You don’t have to spend hours spilling your guts out into your diary. Instead, use a simple mindfulness journal prompt to help you feel more in the moment and centered.
20| Dig into a creative hobby
You may not get a lot of time for indulging in your creative hobbies over the week, so you could use some time on a Sunday to do so. Or pick any hobby, actually. Finish that latest bestseller, or watch the latest Netflix show – just pick a hobby that refreshes you.
Make Time for Meaningful Connections
Because your relationships matter and they deserve your time and attention.
21| Call up old friends or relatives
Even a hardcore introvert like me wants meaningful connections. And if the last few months of going through a global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that real human connection is something that we all want more of. So use a few minutes of your Sunday to connect with someone who matters to you. An old friend, an aging relative, a cousin you haven’t spoken to in months. This kind gesture will bring joy to both you and the other person.
22| Incorporate a fun family ritual
If you’re living with family, either parents or kids, this would make for a welcome addition to your Sunday schedule. Pick a board game, or maybe have the kids make snacks, or bake something with the kids – anything goes, really, as long as the family is engaged and having fun.
23| Create a check-in ritual with your partner
I’ve seen Hitha talk about how a weekly check-in ritual with her husband has helped them so much over the years. If you’re coupled up, maybe it’s something you can incorporate into your own relationship too.
Lastly, The Most Important Sunday Habit…
24| Do nothing for a few moments
Ultimately, Sunday is a day of rest. Give your mind and body a complete rest for a few moments – whether that’s 60 seconds or 60 minutes, do what works best for you. Don’t let your Sunday become all about checking things off a list, even if it’s a happy, good-for-you list. You’ve earned yourself a moment of complete peace and quiet and stillness.
What else would you add to this list? What are your favorite mindful Sunday habits to make the transition from weekend to weekday a little easier? Leave me your best ideas below!
Image via The Creative Library