The Sunday Scaries – By @carlyillston

The Sunday Scaries 

With the demise of society as we know it, we’ve had to let go of every single piece of normality. For many people, the pandemic has shown how much we take for granted. 

But as I’ve discovered in the past fortnight, not every piece of normality has been lost. The Sunday Scaries are here to stay, it appears. Not even a global pandemic can keep them away. So it got me thinking. What actually are the Sunday Scaries? Is it a literal sense of fear? Dread? 

Personally, I find that Sunday exists in a kind of limbo. I can’t relax, because I know it’s back to work tomorrow, but I also desperately want to enjoy myself, to make the most of the time off. And these conflicting feelings inevitably end in me, laying in bed all afternoon, questioning both past decisions, and future plans. And the worst part is that it doesn’t get better with age. I still remember Sundays when I was in Secondary school. They would be an awful day; a day full of last minute homework, remembering that I never washed my PE kit, and running to the shops to buy ingredients for cooking class tomorrow. 

Fast forward to the present day quarantine, I thought one perk of working from home and being able to create your own schedule would mean the Scaries were banished, but I guess it doesn’t work that way. Anxiety is anxiety, whether I’m in South London prepping for another day in Pop Brixton, or sitting in my room in Bermuda, setting my alarm to wake up at 5am (Thank you time difference). 

Looking back at it, I think that the cause of my own anxiety is in fact my body anticipating stressful the week ahead is going to be. Which is ridiculous, because going into any week expecting it to be really stressful will probably mean I end up projecting stress onto every task I have set for myself and making myself, you guessed it, stressed. 

But still, every Sunday I find myself living in this constant state of past reflection, and anxiety about the future, not allowing myself to live in the present. And yeah, the present is kind of a scary place to be living in now, but we have to face it at some time or another. 

One thing that I learned this weekend was the importance of leaving work at the metaphorical front door. Because of course, work and home has become intertwined in a web that is near impossible to navigate. But this weekend, I allowed myself to fully relax, and take a step away from school. Of course I found that my mind was ticking away in the background, but instead of opening a can of worms and stressing about a brief that we won’t even get until Monday, I wrote my worry down on a piece of paper, and let myself forget about it. That piece of paper got quite full, but it meant that my mind could be empty for a little bit. And it was a win-win because now I have my list of smart goals for the week. 

I think everyone has to find their own way, and accept the fact that it takes time to adjust. Some people will take longer than others. I know I’m definitely not there yet. We have to remember that this will probably (hopefully) be the craziest thing any of us live through, and we’re allowed to be scared, and tired, and unmotivated. But we also have to remember that this isn’t forever, and that we need to set ourselves up as best we can for the day that this finally ends and we can go back to normality. But for now, I’m going to have an early night, or I’m not going to be a very pleasant participant on Zoom at 5am tomorrow. 

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