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How to say goodbye to those Sunday night blues

Career coach Amalia Chilianis shares her tips to approach the end of the weekend with positivity and joy. 

Your weekend is fading as Sunday progresses into night and the thought of starting another week of work fills you with dread and lethargy.

As well as meeting your fundamental need for an income, work can be enjoyable, provide for great satisfaction and can positively impact happiness and wellbeing, yet many of us endure an unsatisfying job for a range of reasons.

The good news is, there are some simple things you can do to say goodbye to those Sunday night blues.

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1. Why, Why, Oh Why

As uncomfortable as it can be, you need to reflect and analyse the specifics of what it is that fills you with dread when faced with the prospect of another week at work. One helpful way to do this is to reflect on your job as if it were a relationship.

How would you describe the relationship? Would others say they treat you well? What qualities do you value most/least? Analysing the cause of your feelings using an analogy, can help you examine it from multiple perspectives, put a little distance between you and the situation and help you decide whether it’s worth persevering or time to move on.

2. Confidence

If your Sunday night blues are linked to fears about your own perceived lack of ability at work or lack of ability to make a change to something different, then try to imagine it is a very good friend coming to you with those same concerns.

What would you say to them? How would you help them? Be as kind and as encouraging to yourself as you would be to others. Confidence is really about your ability to lead yourself and becoming confident in your skills and ability to either work through what worries you or make a change.

3. Meaning

An effective way to combat the Sunday night blues is to look at the issues that make you feel the way you do and attribute a meaning to it that is more helpful. As humans we are meaning-seeking and meaning-making creatures.

In the dictionary, “meaning” as a noun describes what something expresses or represents, or the sense of importance of the thing being described. This can help turn something that you really don’t enjoy into something that you can derive satisfaction from.

For example, an experiment with hotel cleaners, demonstrated that those who attributed a meaning of improving their fitness from cleaning, actually became healthier and improved their fitness over just 4 weeks even though their workload did not change. Can you attribute some form of positive meaning to the situation even if the experience itself is unpleasant? Even setting a time limit so you know that this experience is finite can help.

4. Choose your support team

When work is unenjoyable, and you are possibly considering a change, you have a greater chance of success with one or two close relationships to support you. Choose people who will respond actively and in a supportive way, and who will also be honest with you when you need it.

If you decide you want to make a change, but are unclear as to what to change to, get help. Seek out a coach or if your budget does not extend to a coach, look at your network and talk to someone who you can help you find some direction.

5. Small safe steps

Small safe steps can go a long way to helping reduce those Sunday night blues. For example, the simple act of updating your resume, can help you feel a little more in control. It is good practice to regularly update your resume, so if the time comes to make a change you are well prepared.

Start talking to your close networks who you trust to explore what else might be out there or how you can make a change where you are. Set a goal of one small safe step a week, and you will make good progress in much less time than you think.

Your path through the Sunday night blues involves understanding why, building your confidence, assigning positive meaning, getting help from others and taking small safe steps.

While it may seem like those Sunday night blues are a permanent fixture of your weekly routine, you can make a decision and start to make changes that will ultimately help you eliminate them.

Amalia Chilianis, author of Work-a-holistic: A practical guide to changing your career (Publish Central $29.95), is a career and capability development expert. She is a coach, consultant, speaker and facilitator working internationally. Find out more at https://amaliachilianis.com

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