Gentle Ways to Remedy Sunday Blues
Everyone experiences depression at some point or another in their lives. The tips in this post represent my own personal views on what have helped me with mild, temporary feelings of depression. They are not intended as advice or diagnoses from a qualified medical professional. If you feel that depression is interrupting your life, there is no shame in going to your doctor or seeking the help of a mental health professional. If you need help now, contact the crisis text line here.
I don’t know where I read this, but somewhere out there in the internet universe, someone mentioned that, statistically, Sunday afternoon and into Sunday evening is one of the worst times for people with depression.
I mean, it makes sense. Your weekend’s PRACTICALLY over, and you still have to get ready for work or school, probably finish a few projects you’ve been putting off, maybe force yourself to go to bed at a reasonable hour… It’s no joke: Sunday sucks.
Even as a kid, Sunday night is the least fun night of the week. And when everyone in the house has the Sunday Blues, it can spiral out of control pretty quick, what with people feeding off of each other’s anger or exhaustion or pure sadness.
But you already know all that. In today’s post, I wanted to share with you some ways that have worked for me when I’ve needed to nurture myself, to steer myself back towards a brighter perspective, and to lift myself up out of the Sunday Blues.
As someone who’s had the Sunday Blues pretty much every Sunday of my life (and even more so on football Sundays – I can’t tell you how depressing the house feels when the TV’s off after we lost a game), I feel over-qualified to share several ways I help myself get out of the funk, or at least to manage it. Sometimes you can’t completely throw off the mood, and that’s okay, so don’t force yourself to be cheerful if you feel you can’t, because that puts totally unnecessary stress on you, the depressed.
I love this trick. On Sundays especially, the roof over our heads can seem oppressive instead of sheltering. Take a walk around your yard or your block, or if you’re lucky enough to live near the woods or a trail, take a short (dare I suggest, brisk?) walk there. Something about having the open sky above you is a quick, easy way to lift some of the weight from your shoulders.
I may have mentioned it once or twice before, but I LOVE Yoga with Adriene. She has such a gentle, loving nature, and she has all kinds of yoga videos ranging from about five minutes up to over an hour on her YouTube channel. They’re great for anytime, but she also has yoga specifically for depression, stress, sadness, loneliness, and many other feelings you might be experiencing on a blue Sunday afternoon. Here, here, and here are some of my favorites for this particular day of the week.
Visit a Bookstore.
If you just need to get out of the house and away from it all, take an hour or two to visit your local bookshop. Bonus points if you can walk or ride your bike there. (Kyle and I lived literally three blocks away from our beautiful Peter White Public Library and the bookstore in Marquette, MI when we lived in our lakeshore apartment, and I miss it so much. Can you imagine sunlight filtering through the gold leaves onto the sidewalk, the sounds of your bike tires skimming the pavement, a canvas bag thumping on your back for the stack of books you’re going to bring home?)
I love visiting a bookstore or library on sad days because for me, there’s nothing better than a book to get me out of my depression. When we lived in Clarksville, we have a bookstore and a library, and both were a bit of a drive away – but not so far that I couldn’t go if I really needed to. Books-A-Million, the book store on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard, also has a coffee shop, which I consider deserving of bonus points, too.
So even if you don’t have money to spend, go to the bookstore. Plunk yourself down in one of those seating areas, or on the floor, with a magazine or a book of your choice (preferably something that’ll make you smile) and peruse for a while. If you have a dollar or two, and your book store has a café, order a latte or something sweet. You deserve it. And if you would rather shop or play video games instead of visit the bookstore, then go for it! Go to those cute boutiques downtown and do some perusing or window-shopping (as long as you can trust yourself not to blow your budget on impulse buys – usually that will just result with you feeling bluer in the long run). If you’d rather play a video game, go through some of your old ones, or head to the library. YES, libraries have video games for rent! I’m serious!
Complete a Task.
I know what you’re thinking: lady, chores are the REASON I’m feeling blue today. But hear me out. It doesn’t have to be a massive chore like cleaning the fridge or doing all the laundry or organizing the garage. You could totally do something super small like wiping down your countertops, brushing your pet, or preparing some hard-boiled eggs or a lunch for the week. It might not be much, but you will have accomplished SOMETHING, and that might be enough to boost your mood a bit.
Do Something New.
Have you ever gone out for Indian food? Have you ever climbed (clumb? Weird.) one of the trees in your back yard? How about visiting your local zoo or aquarium, or going to a movie you haven’t pre-determined? Would you feel better if you learned how to make a loaf of homemade bread? If you can muster the energy and the courage, try something you’ve never done before this Sunday. You could even make a list of all the things you’ve never done before – half the medicinal value of this practice is in the use of the imagination. Write a list of what you’d do if you went to Bali, to Budapest, to Boston. Who knows? Maybe one day soon those lists will become real plans.
Make Sunday Fun.
I know you’re probably LOLing right now. But if you’re reading this before Sunday and you know you usually get the blues on Sundays, it might be beneficial to start making plans to stay busy so you can preempt the blues when they’re most likely to come calling. Think of it as preventative care. This could also go along with the “Do something new” suggestion. Head to the zoo or a movie on a Sunday afternoon, or call up a few friends and do an impromptu board game party (bonus points if it’s Scrabble or Clue, my favorites). You don’t have to pull an all-nighter to have fun, and you might just pull someone else out of their Sunday Blues in the process.
Call Someone You Love.
Since it’s just Kyle and me, and we don’t have too many friends, it can sometimes get depressing just because of a lack of emotional connection. Yes, your spouse can provide for you up to a point, but they can’t fulfill your every need, and that’s where your friends and family come in. Give someone a call. Preferably someone you can talk with easily, who doesn’t put too much pressure on you for whatever reason. Honestly, even if you don’t do much talking, it can sometimes be therapeutic to listen to someone else’s problems to take your mind off your own. If that sounds bad, then tough. This is business.
There are tons of other things you could do to pull yourself out of a Sunday Funk. If none of these are working for you, keep looking! Scrolling isn’t all bad, after all. And if you are still looking for more ideas, here are a few more things I do when I’m feeling blue:
breathing exercises and/or meditation (check out this meditation video from – who else? – Adriene)
color (I keep a ton of those meditation coloring books on hand for times like these, but you do NOT need them; you can color with literally any materials you have)
watch or just put on a movie you’ve seen a hundred times (sometimes the background noise is enough to get the energy moving in the house)
make a pot of tea and drink it (with a touch of honey or sugar if you usually go sugar-free, like me)
write about your blues, or about anything
Do you ever feel blue on Sundays? What are some things you do when you have the Sunday Blues?