iStock_000033478012_SmallCroppedRemember that sinking feeling when it was time to return to the classroom after a fun-filled recess? As adults, many of us regress to that mindset on Sunday night, knowing that Monday morning means a return to the old grind — alarm clock and all.

If you dread Sunday nights, you’re not alone. According to a poll conducted by Monster.com, 76 percent of U.S. respondents said they experience a “really bad” case of the Sunday Night Blues.

Short of packing up your belongings and heading to a remote island, what can you do to alleviate this affliction — and actually start looking forward to work on Monday?

Career Coach Advice to Beat the Sunday Night Blues:

  1. Examine your feelings — What exactly is it about returning to work on Monday that sends your spirits into a downward spiral? Let your thoughts flow freely, jotting them down on paper if it helps. Then consider possible solutions. Do you get stressed out just thinking about the rush of the weekday morning routine? If so, maybe waking up a half hour earlier would help. On the other hand, if a deeper issue is at the root of your Sunday Night Blues, a bigger-picture solution may be warranted. A career coach can help you determine whether it’s time to consider a new job, a move to another company or new career options.
  2. Infuse some enjoyment into the week — Whether it’s binge-watching a popular TV show in the evening, going out for a romantic dinner for two at a favorite restaurant or treating yourself to a manicure after work, there is no rule that says you have to wait until the weekend to do the things you enjoy. By postponing all the activities you deem a “treat” until the weekend, you may be unwittingly making the weekdays more lackluster than they need to be. Scheduling something that you can look forward to on a Wednesday allows you to break up what may otherwise feel like a long work week.
  3. iStock_000029564798_SmallFind the joy in your job — Although the number is trending in the right direction, only 48 percent of U.S. employees are satisfied with their jobs according to the 2015 Conference Board Job Satisfaction Survey. What makes you happy at work? Some people thrive on autonomy, while others need to feel like they’re making some sort of progress in meaningful work. Perhaps you work with a great group of colleagues or at a company that offers a lot of opportunities for professional development. Sometimes we get caught up in the minutiae and forget to appreciate the big picture.
  4. Don’t get behind the eight ball — Starting a new week in catch-up mode is a recipe for disaster. Leaving a mess on your desk on Friday afternoon lends itself to a black cloud over the weekend and a cluttered mind when you return to the office on Monday morning. Career coaches recommend tying up whatever loose ends you can before calling it a week. Then think ahead. Setting aside time to organize and strategize for the upcoming week can reduce workplace stress — and possibly avoid the Sunday Night Blues.

What strategies have you found helpful in warding off the Sunday Night Blues?

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