When I was a kid, there was a soap on Irish television every Sunday night. Glenroe, was set in the Wicklow mountains and had massive viewership all through the 80s and 90s, but my only real memory was the theme tune.
When the jaunty pipes and slide-show of Irish farmland came on, my body went into shock.
The Sunday Scaries hit!
For you it might have been the theme to Sounds of Praise, or the Simpsons, or even listening to the top 40 on Radio 1, but we’ve all gone through the Sunday Scaries – in fact two-thirds of workers in the UK have some form of Sunday anxiety!
Thirty years later, and I still get the Sunday Scaries. But it’s not that I’ve forgotten an English essay that needs to be handed in on Monday morning, it’s a signal that something is not quite right.
Victor Frankl, in Man’s Search for Meaning, describes this feeling as “Sunday neurosis”:
“…that kind of depression which afflicts people who become aware of the lack of content in their lives when the rush of the busy week is over and the void within themselves becomes manifest.”Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
- Is the work you’re doing meaningful and does it create value?
- Do the people you work with raise you up and make you a better person?
- Are you trying to do difficult things that will make the world a better place?
If you’re feeling the Sunday Scaries and the answer to these questions is, “no”, then your body is trying to tell you something – Find meaning in your work life or find a work life that gives you meaning.