Do you start feeling dread creep up around 4PM on Sunday afternoon? Does prepping for Monday morning make you panic? You’re stressed out, and your 9 to 5 job is clearly what’s stressing you out most.
You aren’t alone, though. The Huffington Post reports stress is at an all-time high — more than a third of U.S. workers say they’re stressed out, while 69 percent of those employees report struggling to concentrate because of that stress. If your stress is keeping you up at night, the problem becomes even worse. You’re facing your daily workload with little quality sleep, a high stress level, and a burning desire to do absolutely anything but open another PowerPoint file or sit through another meeting.
That’s why self-care Sunday is so important. Giving yourself a day each week to relax, indulge, regroup, or veg out is crucial to achieving a work-life balance and keeping your sanity. While it’s easy to view self-care Sunday as nothing more than a day to chill or avoid responsibilities, it’s actually hugely beneficial.
Self-care Sunday can help you fight stress and become more productive as you head into the work week. Taking care of yourself and indulging in what you love to do — or even just spending the day on the couch — makes you a more focused, more creative employee.
Here are just a few of the ways practicing self-care Sunday affects your productivity in the office come Monday morning.
1. Self-Care Makes You More Confident
Spend every Sunday reinvigorating your body, mind, and spirit with an at-home spa day, curled up with a good book, or enjoying your favorite brunch spot, and you’ll give yourself a confidence boost that lasts well past Monday morning.
Giving yourself a self-care day each week helps you better balance the stress you experience Monday through Friday, but it also helps you feel good about yourself. When you take time for you and you alone, you’ll begin feeling like your best self. Whether you’re getting your nails done or hiking your favorite local trails, self-care helps you feel strong, capable, and simply great.
And that positivity pays off. When you head back to work, you’ll feel confident thanks to those feel-good Sunday vibes. If you’re viewing yourself and your life positively, you’ll carry that positivity into the workweek. As a result, your performance at work will be more upbeat and more motivating.
2. Hanging With Friends Offers an Ego Boost
Friends are the perfect ego boost. If you need a pick-me-up because you’re feeling stressed, grab your friends and plan a self-care Sunday filled with food, fun, and laughs.
There’s little better motivation than listening to others tell you just how incredible you are. When you spend your self-care Sunday surrounded by friends, you’ll be able to talk honestly — and you friends, as your support system, will likely remind you just how awesome you are both at work and beyond.
Research has proven that surrounding yourself with positive people in turn helps you see the world in a more positive light. So, spending some time with friends is the perfect way to prep for the week ahead: you’ll leave your stress in the past, but you’ll also walk into the office on Monday with the attitude that you can do anything. And that goes a long way when you’re facing a tough workload.
3. Self-Care Helps You Reflect on Your Accomplishments
When you’re overwhelmed by stress, your daily responsibilities, and a workload that just won’t quit, it’s tough to remember just how much you’ve accomplished. But every week, you’re accomplishing more and more. You just don’t realize it when you’re swamped.
However, it’s important to reflect on all of the amazing things you’ve done. According to Harvard Business Review, pausing to think back on all of the tasks, goals, and milestones you’ve blown past keeps you passionate, contributing, and active at work. Passion will inspire you to continue working hard during the next week, while feeling like your contributions matter will make you a more focused employee who’s willing to jump into projects.
Think about how proud you were when you achieved your quarterly goals, or revisit the killer presentation you led last week while you’re indulging in your favorite snacks. Consider what went well and what awesome things you accomplished while you relax in a bubble bath. Focus on your highlights as you hit the gym. While you’re enjoying self-care Sunday, reflecting on your best moments will give you the boost you need for a new workweek.
4. You’ll Sleep Better (and Stay Awake at Work!)
Perhaps the most important factor in your motivation, focus, and productivity at work is how much sleep you’re getting. If you’re stressed out, you’re likely spending hours wide awake each night, tossing and turning thanks to work woes.
However, self-care Sunday offers the perfect opportunity to get a good night’s sleep. Spending the day relaxing will refill your energy on its own — but it’ll also prep you to sleep soundly the same night. A restorative day spent lounging, relaxing, and vegging out in front of your favorite streaming service will calm your mind and your worries, leaving you prepared to head to bed stress-free.
As a result, you’ll sleep more soundly on Sunday night. And there’s no better way to begin the workweek than feeling fully rested. While waking up on Monday won’t necessarily be any easier, you’ll be clear-headed, energized, and ready to focus for the entire day ahead, with no midday snooze needed.
5. Self-Care Prevents Burnout
One of the biggest risks you face every day is burnout. With so many responsibilities on your plate, a stressful job or work environment, and a busy world outside of the office, burnout isn’t just possible. It’s highly likely.
And when you’re burned out, your productivity and ability to focus are nonexistent. If you’re exhausted and overwhelmed, you won’t be able to find the willpower to tackle one more task. Fortunately, taking time to block out all other demands and responsibilities in favor of self-care will keep burnout at bay.
The key to preventing — or fighting — burnout is balance. You need to give yourself time to unplug and forget about the stressors in your life. Self-care does exactly that. You’ll disconnect, focus only on relaxation, and feel rejuvenated when you rise on Monday morning. That day of relief will leave you feeling like you’re facing an entirely new world, letting you head into the office without any worries weighing you down.
If you’re ready to reap the benefits of self-care Sunday, it’s easy to get started. Just pick a few hobbies or activities you enjoy and devote the last day of the weekend to yourself. As Kat Anderson writes for Odyssey, no matter what you do or how you practice self-care Sunday, you’re being productive. The only goal should be to perform activities you enjoy!