The Sunday night blues are a real thing.
A 2015 Monster survey found that 76% of people get bummed out on Sunday night.
However, Sunday can still be a fun day (not to mention a productive one). You’ve just got to have the right mindset and commit to something, whether it be getting tasks done, relaxing, or spending time with your loved ones.
Here are 15 things successful people do to capitalize on their Sunday evenings:
They spend quality time with their families, friends, and significant others
Successful people know their weeks will be jammed and that they are likely to be unavailable, says Roy Cohen, a career coach and author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.” So they make the most of their Sunday nights by spending time with their loved ones.
They plan something fun
“This idea may be the most important tip,” Laura Vanderkam writes in her book “What The Most Successful People Do On The Weekend.” “This extends the weekend and keeps you focused on the fun to come, rather than on Monday morning.”
Vanderkam quotes Caitlin Andrews, a librarian, who says her extended family gets together for dinner almost every Sunday, alternating houses. “It takes my mind off any Sunday night blues that might be coming on,” Andrews says.
You might also make Sunday a movie or spa night, or you could join a Sunday-night bowling league.
They organize and plan for the week ahead
Some successful people like to look at their calendars on Sunday night and set goals and deadlines for the coming week, career coach Marsha Egan says. The trick is to do this without stressing yourself out.
Take a walk, play a game of tennis, or go to a class at the gym, Egan suggests.
Vanderkam writes in her book that reality-TV producer Aliza Rosen does hot yoga at 6 p.m. on Sundays. “It’s a great way for me to sweat out the toxins of the week and center myself for Monday,” Rosen told Vanderkam.
They eat something healthy
It might be tempting to wind down with a couple of glasses of your favorite Cabernet, but as licensed counselor and Urban Balance CEO Joyce Marter points out in an article for PsychCentral, alcohol is a depressant that will leave you feeling less energized in the morning.
“Instead, make a healthy meal and enjoy with some herbal tea or some seltzer water with lemon,” she writes.
Most successful people read every night before bed, so Sunday-night reading is part of their routines.
They also use this time to catch up on reading that has been neglected.
They return calls, emails, and texts
Sunday nights often allow us the undivided time to return phone calls from friends or family and to respond to texts or personal emails we didn’t have time to get to during the week.
After you finish responding to emails and texts, or returning calls, unplug for a few hours.
Truly successful people do anything but work right before bed, especially on Sunday night, career expert Michael Kerr says. They don’t obsessively check their email, and they try not to dwell on work-related issues.
Take some time Sunday evening to sit back and relax. You need time to recharge your mind and body.
Cohen says when you know that the week ahead will be full, a good night’s sleep and a healthy meal are essential. “Fuel for the body and mind.”
“[Another] great way to end the weekend is to volunteer,” Vanderkam writes in her book. Nothing will take your mind off any stresses in your life like serving people who are less fortunate, she says. “It’s a way to connect with humanity before everyone goes their separate ways for the week.”
They plan out their sleep
“Much has been written around the dangers busy people face running chronic sleep deficits, so one habit I know several highly successful people do is to simply make it a priority to get enough sleep — which can be a challenge for workaholics or entrepreneurs,” Kerr says.
One way to do that is to go to bed at a consistent time each evening, which is a key habit all sleep experts recommend to help ensure a healthy night’s sleep.
This is especially important on Sunday if you want to start the workweek off feeling well-rested and ready to go.
Vanderkam further suggests that you plan out when you’re going to wake up, count back however many hours you need to sleep, and then consider setting an alarm to remind yourself to get ready for bed.
“The worst thing you can do is stay up late then hit snooze in the morning,” she says. “Humans have a limited amount of willpower. Why waste that willpower arguing with yourself over when to get up, and sleeping in miserable nine-minute increments?”
The dying embers of the weekend can be a good time to take a step back and catalog your feelings, especially if you’re dreading Monday. Writing down your thoughts on a piece of paper can help you get to the bottom of what’s bugging you, or give you the perspective that things aren’t so bad after all.
Either way, the process will provide you with valuable emotional release, University of Texas at Arlington organizational behavior professor James Campbell Quick told The Huffington Post.
“It’s a catharsis to get it out on paper … It’s like flushing a toilet: You get it out on paper and you have flushed your system out,” Quick says.
They get cultured
As Business Insider previously reported, former “Project Runway” cohost and mentor Tim Gunn visits the Metropolitan Museum every Sunday to get his art fix for the week.
Sundays provide a great opportunity to pursue some kind of cultural activity solo or with your loved ones, whether it be seeing a play, visiting an art museum, or swinging by some local historical sites.
Networking doesn’t have to mean “awkwardly standing in the corner of a room, surrounded by people you don’t know.” It’s as simple as reaching out to a former colleague to congratulate them on their new gig, or taking the time to catch up with your college room mate (whose job you secretly want).
Since you might be busy the rest of the week, Sunday night might be a good time to maintain those connections.
They end Sunday on a high note
“Monday will come regardless of how you feel, so try to engage in positive thinking and reflect on positive experiences before ending your weekend,” says Michael Woodward, Ph.D., organizational psychologist and author of “The YOU Plan.”
Jacquelyn Smith contributed to a previous version of this article.