Picture this: it’s Sunday and you are relaxing after a gratifying weekend. You had a fun-filled Friday night. Saturday was full of your favorite activities and hobbies. Maybe you finally prioritized running those errands that have been on your to-do list for way too long. But then, your phone dings. It’s an email from work, and suddenly, your mind is racing about the busy week ahead. You try to relax and push yourself to stay in the moment. You want to enjoy the rest of your weekend. But you can’t – the Sunday scaries hit.
If you are unfamiliar with the term, the Sunday scaries refers to the looming feeling you get on a Sunday about the work week ahead of you. It hangs over you like a looming rain cloud. You can’t seem to stop thinking about your responsibilities. Feelings of anxiety and fear begin to take over. You are already worried about the unknowns that Monday morning may or may not bring.
No matter what sector you are in, Sunday scaries still affect you – especially if you work for a nonprofit. Unique stressors come with many nonprofit positions. Some nonprofits serve individuals in traumatic, complex, or heart-wrenching situations. Employees might work in crisis centers, soup kitchens, or animal shelters. Therefore, individuals may be exposed to tense scenarios and distressful narratives. When you are in a position that provides assistance to individuals or groups in need, there is inherent pressure to perform well. Nonprofit workers may feel an anxiety around potentially letting others down due to stress surrounding the nonprofit’s mission to do good and help others. There can be a lot of heavy weight that comes with the job.
You might think, “If my work is rewarding and you love helping others, how can I prevent myself from feeling this way?” Well, let’s take a closer look.
Instead of constantly fighting your work anxiety, we may find ways to reduce stress. Now, let’s walk through a few small ways to beat the Sunday scaries.
All in all, know that you are not alone in your feeling of work anxiety. Nonprofit workers are a community, and we have a special understanding what others within the sector experience. We all are faced with our own personal challenges inside and outside of work.