Do you ever feel like there’s a switch that flips on Sunday evening and your mood suddenly turns sour? If that’s you, you’re not alone! I’m going to share three reasons why Sunday nights feel heavy and how to change it. So if your Sunday nights feel disappointing and you’re struggling with motivation, this is for you.
As a wife, homeschool mom, business owner, copywriter, and remote employee, my weeks are full. But I can still remember the old days before I had so many responsibilities when the Sunday night blues would hit hard. During that period of my life, I learned the power of doing small things that would set me up for success the next day.
The Power of Starting Small
Back in the day, my solution to the Sunday night blues was to make my lunch. It sounds like such a small thing. But making my lunch on Sunday night set me up for a smoother morning. No more scrambling around, frantically trying to pack my lunch so I wouldn’t miss my train. Making my lunch also saved me money and time since I didn’t have to pick up something unhealthy on the fly during my workday.
Back to the present day… with all the chaos and challenges of 2020, life had gotten pretty stressful. When it became clear that the pandemic was going to last a long time, I knew I needed a solution to the Sunday night blues. I went back to that piece of wisdom that had served me well in the past and used it as the foundation.
We Haven’t Reflected On The Previous Week
Why do our Sunday nights feel heavy? There are three big reasons I’ll discuss in this post. First, Sunday nights feel off because you haven’t really properly reflected on the past week. It’s important to check in with yourself and ask questions like, how did the past week go? What went well? What didn’t go well? This will help you know what you need to change for the upcoming week.
Making space to look back on the past week can help set you up for moving forward with more joy and more purpose. It takes a small amount of time to do this, but you aren’t thoughtlessly starting another week.
You Need A Planning System For A More Fulfilling Week
The second reason Sunday nights feel heavy is you don’t have a system for planning your week. When you think about the week ahead, you feel overwhelmed. You might even look at the calendar and think, “Oh, this is gonna be a terrible week.” Because you already have the expectation that this is gonna be bad, it likely will. This way of thinking doesn’t serve you well.
When you don’t have a system and you have a full week, it feels even worse. So the second reason that Sunday night feels so heavy is you’re going into an intense week without a system to help you plan the week.
The third reason your Sunday night feels heavy is that the things that are actually on your calendar don’t align with your values and your priorities. You’re busy, you’re doing things, you’re go, go, going. But the things you’re doing aren’t things that are aligned with what you want to do. They’re don’t bring you joy, and they don’t provide a sense of fulfillment. They’re just things that are filling your time, your efforts, and your calendar, but they’re not really taking you where you want to go. So those are three reasons why you feel heavy on Sunday night.
Change Is Possible
It doesn’t have to be like this! As I mentioned before, that one simple first step that I took years ago of making my lunch on Sunday night came back to me earlier this year. When the pandemic hit and all my plans went sideways, I decided that I could get unstuck by taking a simple first step. This time that simple first step was my weekly planning time on my Sunday night.
I developed a five-part system for planning my week. The routine helps me begin each week with goals and a clear purpose and a plan. Maybe you’re wondering what the five different parts are that I use when I sit down on Sunday to plan. Here’s a quick rundown of the five parts.
My Five-Step Planning Process
First, I think about what thoughts and ideas I’ve had the past week, and I write them down. Basically, I’m making notes so that they don’t escape. Second, I think about what has to get done, the deal-breaker deadlines.
Third, I think about one project that I want to work on for the week. Note I said one. Not a dozen projects, not five projects, not one massive project but one small project that I can actually do over the course of a week. Fourth, I look at my calendar, and I make sure all of my appointments, events, phone calls, other non-negotiable things that need to happen are there.
Fifth, I manage my details. I need to know what w’re eating for dinner. Then I can ask: do I need to get groceries? What about activities for the kids? Do they need a ride somewhere? Is there an event that’s coming up that requires me to bring something? After going through these five steps, I’m ready for the week. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, but it’s easier to pivot from a plan to have to wing everything during the week.
I hope this was helpful and that you can find something valuable as you try to understand why Sunday night feels so heavy for you. If you could use more encouragement for planning your week, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel, where I share routines for busy Christian moms. We’ll talk all about the different practices that can help you overcome overwhelm, break out of the mom slump, and learn to thrive.