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The weekends should be devoted to disconnecting from your job and focusing more on leisure, family and personal development. A global study made by Munster paints a different picture (who’s surprised?). Seems like no less than 76% of American workers get the “Sunday blues”. In other words, they stress and fret during the depressing night that separates them from a new workweek. Of course, it may be natural to feel a bit stressed knowing you’re about to start a new busy work week, but It’s also worth noting that these 76% have “really bad” Sunday blues. That doesn’t sound normal. In fact, over the pond just  47% Europeans felt that way at the time.

“The level of anxiety Americans feel heading into the workweek remains significantly high and is counterproductive,” said Monster Career Expert, Vicki Salemi. “While this could be due to residual stress of the economic downturn or the pressure of doing more with less in the workplace, there’s always an opportunity for people to identify and proactively address the things about their jobs that make them unhappy.”

The Sunday Night Blues are created by a combination of realizing weekend fun is coming to an end and anticipating the beginning of five days of pressure, meaning it can strike even those who like their jobs. In the US, things seem to be worse which is not so surprising when you consider so many people in the States intrinsically wrap their identities around their work.

“Work is now spread out into home life with increasing demands because of email and the ability to work remotely,” says Steven Meyers, professor of psychology at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Ill. “Work has become more of a drain for many people than it was a decade or two ago. There’s more to dread nowadays.”

You’re likely feeling the Sunday blues, so what can you do to feel better? How about relaxing for a change. Reserving your Sunday night for a long family dinner could do wonders.

“Feelings of anxiety and depression are most common when the person is not particularly busy,” Meyers says. “So enjoyable activities that redirect your attention are especially important. Spending time with others, doing things that you find fun, exercising [and] devoting time to hobbies are all good ways to keep busy so that dread doesn’t creep into your mind.”

Ideally, you should schedule your weekend in advance so you don’t get stuck in the house with a WiFi connection. You’ll inevitably check your work email and it goes downhill from there. Of course, there are jobs that actually involve a lot of work during Monday with little time for catching up. Use your Fridays, when you’re already used to the racket and busy workweek to fix those loose ends and prepare for Monday. Keep your Saturdays and Sundays clean. Ultimately, look for a new job if all else fails.

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If you’re a manager, you already have your job cut out for you. We all know your job is probably more stressful than the employees’, but if you want to be a good manager you might want to keep the Sunday blues in check. Research in 2007 by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health showed most senior managers vastly underestimate the scale of mental health issues and think they will never affect their staff. The same survey suggested that people who remain in work without the support they need could be costing businesses up to £15bn a year, while 70m working days are lost every year to mental illness.

 

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