Instead of feeling rejuvenated after a relaxing weekend, a whopping 76 percent of us are filled with Sunday fears and anxiety. Why not take command if we can’t take it easy? Here are 35 things to do on Sundays to ensure your success.
A recent study published in the Journal of Sleep Research backs up what we (and millions of college students) already knew: sleeping in on Sunday is excellent for the body and mind. If you don’t get enough sleep during the week but make up for it on weekends, you’re no worse off than people who get enough sleep every night.
Prioritize Your To-Do List
Place high-priority chores at the top and low-priority tasks at the bottom. Why? “While it may be tempting to ease into your day, you’re better off tackling the most difficult things first,” writes Hillary Hoffower of Career Contessa. “Get out of the way the three most critical activities of your day—whether it’s something you need to get done right away, a chore you detest, or a time-consuming endeavor. Your day will be much easier once you’ve checked them off.”
Map Out A Big Goal
It’s called micro-progress, and it works by breaking down more difficult activities into a series of smaller ones, according to productivity expert Tim Herrera.
Balance Your Calendar
You’re looking over your schedule for the coming week and notice that you’ve scheduled five meetings in a row for Thursday. And what day did you say you’d meet Cousin Carol for lunch? So you’re not frazzled midweek, get your affairs in order now (including rescheduling two of those Thursday meetings).
Prep A Meal
Getting ahead with a single entrée, whether it’s pancake batter for the next morning, sandwiches for the kids’ lunches, or the salad you’ll eat at your desk, gives your future self more time to make what you’ll actually need Monday morning: coffee.
A Podcast Clean
Hear us out: Scraping tomato sauce off your kitchen backsplash has never felt so enlightening, whether you’re listening to Terry Gross’ soothing voice or the stirring intimacies of the Reese Witherspoon-produced How It Is.
Clean Your Car
We raced out to the garage with antibacterial wipes after reading this set of questions from Benjamin Hardy, author of Willpower Doesn’t Work: “Is your living space cluttered and disorganized, or is it basic and orderly?” Do you save things you don’t use (like clothes)? Is your automobile clean or just another location to store your trash and garbage if you have one? Is your environment conducive to the emotions you wish to feel on a regular basis? Is your surroundings draining or enhancing your energy?” (We’d add “Is that Cheerios dust in your AC vent?” and “How old is that peach?” to that list.)
Shower… But Not Just For Hygiene
According to studies, we actually generate our finest ideas in the shower. “The peaceful, secluded, and nonjudgmental shower setting may provide creative thinking by enabling the mind to wander freely, and prompting people to be more open to their inner stream of consciousness and daydreams,” says cognitive scientist Scott Barry Kauffman. In fact, the majority of participants said they had more creative ideas in the shower than at work. So much for that brainstorming session at 4 p.m.
This one has no right or incorrect answer here. A focused Sunday, whether it’s a spiritual practice or SoulCycle, leads to a fantastic Monday. Mindfulness is important for a reason. According to The Atlantic, terminally ill patients “who engaged in spiritual activities and thought had a larger likelihood of survival than persons who did not—two to four times greater in fact.”
Do Something Indulgent
#Selfcare Sunday has become fashionable. So you won’t be the only one enjoying a three-hour brunch, a “skin-hugging” sheet mask that costs more than your entire Trader Joe’s harvest, or a trip to the farmers’ market to pick up flowers for your desk. (Have we just described the ideal Sunday?)
Set An Intention
This week, you might want to try something new. Or more relaxed. Or maybe kinder. On a Post-It Note, write one word and post it to your refrigerator or mirror. It can’t hurt, right? (Unless your husband returns home late Monday night from work, notices “Be brave” written on a Post-it on the fridge, and chooses to serve leftover brisket with jalapeo pickles.) In this case, it may be harmful. Everyone.)