I dread going to work.
Well, I used to.
Through the years, I have collected tips, tactics, and hacks that help me get through periods of time where I’m dreading work. Because if we are going to be honest, even if you LOVE your job (and I do!), there are occasionally projects or situations that creep up where we dread going to work.
For many people, the work dread feeling sets in as the “Sunday Night Blues.” And no, that is not an awful band name. Rather, it’s the feeling of the work week looming large, casting a shadow on the remainder of the weekend. It starts with a sinking feeling in your stomach. If you don’t catch the feeling and squash it immediately, anxiety can build like an out-of-control freight train. Thank God It’s Sunday (TGIS) is something you’ll never hear.
Even those happy at work get caught up in the end-of-the-weekend doldrums. We are all so busy living 24-hours ahead of ourselves that some people are even hit with the Sunday Night Blues as early as Saturday night!
While this illness knows no cure, here are 12 things you can do if you find yourself saying, “I dread going to work.”
Dirty Work Friday. It’s so easy to put things off for the next week – but the earlier you deal with pain – the less painful it will be. Tie up any loose or annoying ends on Friday so you don’t have to give it a second’s thought over the weekend. Plus, those pesky tasks won;t be waiting for you on Monday morning.
Bake a Cake. I’m not kidding. Not only will you keep yourself busy, but you will have something to look forward to the next day. Falling into a slumber on a Sunday night with the prospect of delicious Monday cake around the corner can help ease the pain. The smell of baked goods wafting under your nose as you drift into slumber is a pretty therapeutic experience, too.
Schedule Depression. If you gotta let it out – schedule it – and don’t sweat it a second more. For example, if you wake up on Sunday morning dreading work, pick a 15-minute block of time where you will confront what is filling you with negative energy, and tackle it head-on. Containing work dread can be a challenge but it is essential to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Fake Yourself Out. Dreading work? Tell yourself you’ll call in sick. The anticipation of not being there is sometimes enough to get you through.
Plan Your Escape. Readers of Jobacle know that I am a huge proponent of taking charge of your career by controlling what you can actually control. Update your resume, apply for jobs, enroll in enrichment classes, read a good business book, etc. Bottom line: Do something productive that makes you feel less trapped in the 9-to-5 follies.
Monday Is The End. OK, this one is a bit of a mind game. Do not view Monday as the beginning, rather the end. Sure Tuesday becomes the new Monday… but it could work for a few weeks!
Funnest. Weekend. Ever. The more fun you squeeze out of your weekend, the more satisfied you’ll feel, and the more you will look forward to the next weekend. An unproductive, boring weekend is a great way to double the effects of dreading going to work.
Fantasy Time. The goal here is to lose yourself somewhere else. Every time you find yourself thinking about work when you are not actually at work, distract your mind so that you don’t have too much time for nasty anticipatory thoughts. Watch a movie, read a book, engage in thought stopping, etc.
Make Plans. I often find myself saying that I just want to “relax” on Sunday night and prepare for the week. However, keeping yourself occupied gives you less time to sweat the small stuff. If you find yourself saying, “I dread going to work,” the company of others can be a great antidote. Turn those Sunday Night Blues by getting your friends and family together to plan a vacation or an adventure.
Too Much Sleep. If you are susceptible to dreading work extra on a Sunday night, be careful not to get too much sleep on Friday and Saturday night. If you’re over-rested, you will have trouble sleeping on Sunday night. The SNB’s love nothing more than keeping you awake and having you start the week off exhausted.
Do Not Snowball. It starts by you complaining about something someone said at work 4 days ago. Next thing you know, you’re telling everyone in earshot that you don’t need this stinkin’ job or the grief it brings. Let sleeping dogs lie and don’t compound your work problems.
Bottoms Up. Sunday nights are prime for a drink. We don’t condone excessive use, but a few sips of wine could be the difference between a full-blown SNB attack and just a tremor.
Dreading going to work is not a good place to be. The good news is that you have the power to change that mindset by either making a series of small changes or finding a new job. Start with the former, and if that doesn’t do the trick, move on to the latter.
When you find yourself dreading work, how do you cope?