Anxiety has the power to cripple our ability to get things done.
When we experience the hallmarks of anxiety (racing thoughts, tightness in chest, panic etc.), the perception of our obstacles throughout the week becomes worse if we don’t take action.
Why does this happen?
Whether you are a student or in the work force, anxiety can cripple your ability to perform at work or in the classroom and drain you of any energy needed to carry out tasks in your personal life.
Nearly every Sunday evening, my inbox is filled with emails from current and prospective clients requesting an appointment “as soon as possible.”
Very often this need for an appointment is heavily rooted in anxiety.
Why Sunday though?
The weekend is nearly over and the realization that we need to go back to work starts to set in.
- What do I have to do this week?
- What problems will I have to face?
- I have to wake up early! NO!
- I won’t have any free time until next weekend!
Those are some of the most common automatic thoughts people have when they feel anxious about the upcoming week.
When we are anxious, it is difficult to think clearly and our outlook is often pessimistic.
If we view the next five days negatively, our mood will most likely be down and our problems may take on a life of their own. Here are some quick and easy ways to reduce or avoid experiencing Sunday evening anxiety.
Have a schedule.
If you are a student, review your syllabi. Preview the week. See what is due and plan how to budget your time in the afternoons/evenings for time in the library.
With work, preview your schedule for each day of the week.
- When do you have meetings?
- What tasks need to be completed?
- What appointment do you have?
Have a weekly schedule written down and use each day and its events as a “checklist.” Having a visual aide for your schedule can reduce anxiety and help with tremendously with time management.
Have something to look forward to.
Weekdays can be long and often feel like an eternity.
We need something to look forward to DURING the week. Many people schedule a physical activity, a date, prepare a special meal, or spend time with friends/family at some point during the week. This breaks up the week a bit and takes focus off of school/work.
Relax at home.
Instead, work in the office or in the library and here’s why:
- If you can help it, NEVER bring your work home.
- If you have a large amount of schoolwork to do, go to the library to complete it.
- In the library it is quiet and you are less likely to be distracted by friends and your cell phone.
- Another benefit is that since you are in the library, you are more efficient and will use going home as a reward for your hard work.
- If you are stuck in the office late, try to resist taking your work home with you. You are already in the office, if you stop working and you may feel more fatigued during the commute home and may lose any motivation you had once you get home.
- You are more efficient at work. Stay there. Once the work is done, you can go home with a clear mind and relax.
These are just a few tips and tricks for tackling the week.
The more predictable your week is, the better off you will be.
There will be things that you do not account for but since you are in the right mindset and have a strong routine, you will be more adaptable to fluctuations in your schedule.