Sunday Night Blues

Sunday Night Blues | Judy Klipin

Written by Judy Klipin

You’ve had a wonderful holiday. Resting, relaxing and being in the moment. No worrying about the report that is due, the presentation you need to make at the next meeting, the conversation with your hated boss/client/colleague that you have to have. No work worries at all.

But, now, the party is over and you need to put on your work armour and return to the fray. All over the world, people are going through the Sunday-night-back-to-school-blues. Even those of us who love our work experience it. The resistance to having to get up at a certain time, be in a certain place, wear a certain kind of clothing, be a certain kind of persona.

And for those of us who do not love our work, the anticipation of returning there can be really anxiety-filled and upsetting.

Sometimes, the thing that is making us unhappy is obvious: we have a horrible boss, we hate our colleagues, the work is too hard/too easy/too meaningless. But more often, unhappiness at or with work is generalized; we know that we are not enjoying being there but we are not entirely sure why. We feel depressed at the thought of going back there but we can’t quite put our finger on what is making us feel so pulled down.

Some things are just plain insurmountable – for example when your personal values and ethics are at odds with the ethos of the place you work. If you are a vegan who is committed to animal rights and beauty without cruelty, you are never going to be happy working in a lab that experiments on mice. But there are other things that you can address by either improving them or removing them. Things like how well you are able to play to your strengths, how comfortable you are in the physical space, where your work ecosystem is out of balance, how to feel better seen and appreciated….all of these are important and often overlooked elements of a happy work life.

To help you get clearer on what is and isn’t supporting you at work, it may be helpful to ask yourself the following questions at the end of every day:

  • What did I hate at or about my work today?
  • What did I enjoy at or about my work today?
  • When and where were the moments that I felt most happy and fulfilled?
  • Where and when were the moments that I felt most anxious and sad or angry?
  • If I could change any one thing about what happened at work today, what would it be?
  • What am I most proud of myself for doing (or not doing) at work today?

Thinking about these questions – either on your own or in discussion with a friend or family member – will help you to start to identify the things that aren’t working for you at work (and those that are). And then you will be able to take steps to improve – or remove – them. Because it is only when you know what you need to change that you can start to make those changes.

“Is Work Working for You? is a 5 week ecoaching programme that takes you on a journey of exploration of your world of work. This programme will help you to think through a range of aspects of work – some obvious, some less so. From physical (your work space) to figurative (identifying your super power), individual (values and meaning) to collective (building a healthy ecosystem), and lots else in between. By the end of it, you should have a greater appreciation for what is working for you at work, and what you need to make work better. Sign up now!

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