January 15, 1995 in Features

No More Sour Sundays

Cynthia Hanson Chicago Tribune
 

It’s Sunday. Do you know where your energy is? Or your good cheer?

Yes, Sundays seem to sour our spirits, and not just because the work week looms ahead.

“We tend to fill weekends with a lot of activity: getting the car washed, returning library books, grocery shopping,” says Karen Barrie, a psychotherapist in Wilmette, Ill., and co-author of “Serpents and Apples: Emotional, Spiritual and Physical Wellness for Working Women” (New Win, $17.95).

“By Sunday, we feel let down because we haven’t really recharged our batteries. The weekend was just another treadmill.”

There may be other reasons Sundays conjure up the blahs: Perhaps we’re feeling guilty about all the chores we ignored. Perhaps Sundays remind us of the dutiful family gatherings our parents forced us to attend when we were young. Or maybe it’s because Sundays stir up old anxieties about high school geometry or a maniacal former boss.

“Your psychological issues become embedded in the neuropathways of your brain,” Barrie says. “In other words, it’s physically all in your head. You can’t say, ‘I won’t have that issue anymore’ because the patterns are set. You have to create new neuropathways. Ironically, the cure is what people probably dread the most - doing nothing and turning inward.”

Here’s how to inject some serenity or sizzle into your Sunday:

Plan an activity with your partner. “If it weren’t for being with my husband, I’d absolutely hate Sundays,” says Wendy Price, a customer service representative in Chicago.

“But I look forward to Sunday - and I don’t even think about going back to work on Monday - because I know we’re going to do something fun, like play golf, go to the beach or take a day trip.”

Schedule social time. Instead of staying home every Sunday night, see a movie or dine with friends. That way you’re breaking out of your routine and building fun into the day.

Try something new. Get out of the Sunday doldrums by practicing a new sport or trying a new recipe.

Focus on being, not doing. “Set aside quiet time, preferably in nature, to acknowledge your inner beauty and restore yourself,” Barrie says.

Plan a Monday pick-me-up. Bring flowers to the office or have lunch with a friend. An enjoyable activity will make the toughest day of the week a bit easier to bear.


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