Do you suffer from Sunday syndrome?

pexels-photo-94578Sunday syndrome; That sinking feeling at about 5pm on a Sunday when you realise that you have to go to work the next day.

Rationally you know that it’s still 5pm on Sunday and you have hours of weekend left. Objectively you know that no matter what lies waiting for you at the office on Monday morning. ITS STILL SUNDAY yet you can’t shake of the uneasy feeling of dread.

Why do we get this?

I remember getting Sunday syndrome when I was at school because we had double maths on a Monday morning. I wasn’t very good at maths and I was scared of my teacher.

I thought Sunday syndrome was a hangover from double maths Monday dread, but over the years I’ve realised that most people have experienced Sunday syndrome.

It strikes me as a bad thing, most of us spend 40 or more hours a week at work and the thought of going back after a couple of days off should not be so awful.

Do we leave our true selves at the door?

Over the years I’ve observed sparky, funny, passionate and clever people morph into vanilla shells of their former selves as they enter their office on a Monday morning to get on with their professional jobs.

It’s a strange phenomenon. Somehow through our drive to excel in what we do – to reach targets, climb a career ladder, ‘fit in’ or conform to the expectations of a working environment – we over-professionalise ourselves and lose the essence of what makes us extraordinary individuals. It seems the office can strip us of our true identity.

For me, meeting in a relaxing space like a coffee shop – as one client recently put it “where people can be themselves”, rather than in office meeting rooms has become commonplace.

I run team training days and workshops, and we always get better results when they are off site and away from the daily grind. I believe we get better results because leaving the office distances us from every-day routines and ‘business as usual’; helping to put us in a different space and mind-set. When one delegate told me it was a relief to be away from the “stressful work environment”, it made me ponder:

Shouldn’t our day-to-day working environment be a place where we can function without stress and just be ourselves?

And our very best selves at that?

Now I work for myself and I don’t get Sunday syndrome.  I’m not sure if that’s because I put in some hours most days   or because I’ve found something I really love so it doesn’t feel so much like work.

Over the last five years of being a freelancer so many people have asked me for advice on how to do it that I’ve decided to turn my advice into a workshop. So if you are seeking a release from Sunday syndrome and you think working for yourself might be the solution,  why not check out my new half day workshop Free-ranging 2016: out on your own on Wednesday 14 September in London. Sign up and more details here.

2 Comments on “Do you suffer from Sunday syndrome?

  1. Some very valid points Lucy, I can still remember the stomach churning dread of geography on a Monday morning with my scary headmaster in primary school!

    Like you, I now work for myself so no longer experience Sunday syndrome.

    Good on you for helping others to find a cure!

    • Wow – I can remember that feeling in primary school like it was yesterday too…*shudders What if the only remedy to Sunday syndrome is working for yourself? (or not going to school?)

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