I used to be a Sunday night hater. That feeling of dread. Back to responsibility. Back to stress of the week. Spending more time away from my kids. Waking up to an alarm.
That’s how I used to see it.
I’d say a lot of how I felt Sunday night depended on what I was doing Monday morning.
Hopefully you love what you do. If you just flat out don’t, it may be time to consider a change. Within your job, or… a new perspective.
As a teacher, I can shift my thinking:
Am I “dealing with kids” or influencing young lives?
Am I “putting up with their behavior problems” or showing them, as an example, how to be patient and control my emotions?
I’ve shifted around 3 schools in 7 years, and I’d say I finally found my “spot.”
I’d also say a large part of how I feel on Sunday night is my own doing.
Did I leave a sink full of dishes? Mounds of undone laundry? Lessons unplanned for the following week?
I’ve been there. It’s stressful. It’s a recipe for the grumps. Ugggh.
While I thought I was “relaxing” all weekend because I was too “tired” from the week, I was actually setting myself up for a dreadful Sunday night.
In the last couple years, I’ve flipped things around. I’ve gotten all the not-so-fun chores done on Friday nights or Saturday mornings.
Do I enjoy doing chores then?
Actually, they’re not that bad. It’s the feeling after, that it’s done that makes it enjoyable.
They have to be done at some point, right? So why not do them first, to start off the weekend?
They are done and not mocking me Sunday at 9pm. I can truly relax without that nagging procrastinating feeling.
Here are some practical things I do *before* Sunday night that make Monday morning and the week ahead not something to dread.
1. Laundry & Clean Sweep the House
This one is not a genius idea. A lot of times I just have to suck-it-up & get started. It’s not so bad once I get going. The best way to have a stressful Monday morning is to have to dig through a basket of laundry for a matching sock.
I try to get all the loads done on Friday night or during the day Saturday.
At the latest, I fold and put away laundry Sunday morning while the kids watch cartoons before church.
I also do a quick (hour or less) clean sweep of the house. (Benefits of a small house!) I work my way from the bedrooms up to the living/kitchen.
Restock the soap and toilet paper. Refill diaper changing station. Whatever is running low, put it on a list for the next time you run to the store.
Vacuum main areas. Sweep kitchen. Change the sheets. Declutter the counter.
2. Lay Out Outfits for the Whole Week
I used to always lay out my outfit the night before, but once I had kids with tiny clothes, I went ahead and put outfits together for the whole week. Shirts + Pants + Socks. Stacked in order Monday-Friday. (I usually pick out outfits while I’m putting the folded laundry away)
Call me crazy, but I even check the weather for the week and pick outfits based on that. Plus, if we have any kind of event or church, I pick out a certain outfit for that day.
I do this for myself and my kids. It makes mornings so easy. Sometimes I still do this in the summer.
3. Get my Classroom Ready for Monday Before I Leave Friday
I set a routine with my last hour class on Friday’s. In the last 5 minutes, they happily wipe down the desks with disinfectant, fight over who gets to vacuum my little rugs, plug in all the computers, and tidy up the room.
Before I leave, I change my dry erase calendar, make sure I have supplies/the white board ready for Monday’s lesson, and sanitize my desk.
When I walk in Monday morning, I have no prep other than turning on my computer. My room is freshened up and clean. Ready for a new week.
4. Pack the Bags & Prep the Food
I don’t really have much to pack. Maybe 15 minutes. I stuff clean blankets back in my kids’ backpacks. Put clean utensils in my lunch box. Stack my tupperware lunch in the fridge. Fill up 5 baggies of cereal for my breakfast for the week. Set the coffee timer.
I really try to do these things before Sunday night, usually Sunday morning or afternoon.
As far as lunches, I usually take leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.
5. Do Something Fun on Sunday Night
Now that the weather is colder, we will rent a movie and make some popcorn for a lazy Sunday night.
I’ll make brownies or we’ll lay down sleeping bags and pillows in the living room.
Play a family game. Bake something. Go on a walk. Go out for an ice cream treat.
Whatever is fun for you, get all those not-so-fun-chores done so you can look forward to relaxing on Sunday night.
If you aren’t enjoying your Sunday nights, think about what you do… or don’t do that can help make it feel like a reward.