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Are You Giving Employees the "Sunday Scaries?"

What’s good about Sundays when you must go to work on Monday? Whether or not you heard your employees talking about this, the “Sunday Scaries” is real. According to a 1991 New York Times article, this feeling of dread is not a new phenomenon.

The “Sunday Scaries” is often referred to as “Sunday depression” or “Sunday blues.”

According to Dr. Susan Albers, a psychologist with the Cleveland Clinic, they are “feelings of intense anxiety and dread that routinely occur every Sunday. They often start in the late afternoon and continue into the evening. However, depending on a person’s level of anxiety, these feelings can start as soon as they get out of bed.”

The “Sunday Scaries” is affiliated with someone’s return to work on Monday and can be debilitating. This means your employees might not want to get out of bed, feel heavy, and experience headaches, an upset stomach, a racing heart rate, and more. There is a plethora of online resources on how employees can “manage” the “Sunday Scaries”. But do you want your employees to simply manage their dreed of coming to work? Your answer should be a resounding ‘NO!’.

As an employer here are some things you can do to address the “Sunday Scaries” with your workforce:

1. Poll Your Employees. Do they experience Sunday Scaries? If so, what makes them have the Sunday Scaries?

2. Maintain Regular Check-ins. If your employees indicate they do not experience Sunday Scaries, then GREAT! You get a GOLD STAR! Keep up the good work. Continue regular check-ins with your team to make sure “Sunday Scaries” don’t creep in.

3. Create a Culture of Support and Transparency. Foster opportunities to have candid conversations with your employees. Supporting open and transparent communication will help employers understand the needs of their employees and how to best address concerns. Employees should feel comfortable addressing difficult topics including, but not limited to: issues with a direct supervisor, an overwhelming workload, negative work environment, and/or financial stress

4. Better Leverage Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Instead of telling employees, “Yes, go use the EAP”, we should be more intentional in our approach. A more supportive statement sounds like, “the EAP offers free counseling sessions and is worth exploring for helpful solutions. Let’s visit the website together to make sure you are able to log in and then you can work to schedule a counseling session with them directly.”

5. Recognize Your Employees. Sometimes the solution is as simple as providing employees with some recognition. Recognition can go a long way and doesn’t have to be very costly.

The “Sunday Scaries” are real, and they can be debilitating to people. As soon as you’re made aware of your employees’ dread, use it as an opportunity to open a conversation and to find solutions. Coming from someone who had the “Sunday Scaries” with a previous employer, it is freeing to be able to have my Sundays back.

- Jessica

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