Sunday scaries spook

Photo Courtesy: Flickr

Photo Courtesy: Flickr

Alexandra Downing

   Anxiety approaches many people as the weekend comes to a close and the dreaded “Sunday scaries” encroach. This phenomenon is an anxiety that forms, often in the evening hours, of the Sunday night prior to a work or school week ahead and can be explained by both physical and psychological aspects. 

   According to an NBC news interview with neuropsychologist and a psychoanalyst at NYU Langone Health, Dr. Susanne Cooperman, physically this anticipatory anxiety has symptoms of stress as adrenaline and cortisol is released. This then leads to a real stress reaction which therefore causes it to feel like real anxiety. 

   According to the Cleveland Clinic, the physical symptoms of the “Sunday scaries” can cause your heart to race, sweat, difficulty to breathe, trembles, an upset stomach, a headache, and in extreme cases depression or a heart attack. 

   The prevalence of physical symptoms and their severity depend on the level of anxiety for an individual. The mental symptoms are that of normal anxiety; such as dread and intense worry or fear. 

   As the school year comes to a close this means that AP exams, finals, and other end of the year activities are upon students. This can cause many people extra stress and even intensified cases of the “Sunday scaries”. 

   If this is something that you may deal with, you are not alone. The “Sunday scaries” affect a large number of people. 

   According to NBC News, 76 percent of the American population reports that they endure “really bad anxiety on Sunday nights”. This high commonality can be attributed to the quick 180 that is often required on Sunday nights in order to prepare for the week.

   According to Dr. Albers of the Cleveland Clinic, your cognitive load is significantly lower on the weekends which allows many to let down their guard and relieve themselves of stress. When we start to prepare for the week’s tasks on Sunday night this exerts a lot of mental energy. 

   The greater exertion of mental energy in order to utilize parts of the brain that are often neglected on the weekend can contribute to the anxiety of Sunday night’s. 

   This phenomenon often can make Sunday’s daunting, but there are many preventative measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of anxiety on Sunday night. 

   According to the Cleveland Clinic the practice of positive thoughts, creation of a Sunday night routine, an incentive of a Monday reward or treat, good rest, visualization,  exercise, and the creation of a to-do list are all things to help prevent and reduce symptoms of the “Sunday scaries”. 

   Each of these tools can help you deal with the end of the school year anxieties or anytime you deal with a case of the “Sunday scaries”