What seems like forever ago, I remember talking to a sweet ex-coworker about the Sunday Scaries.
"Sunday Scaries? What does that even mean?"
When I started describing my specific experience she understood almost immediately. It was a universal feeling but she commented she hadn't heard that term before. Anecdotally, it also seemed to impact my minority & other LBGTQ+ colleagues in corporate more prominently. When I described the feeling, it was a whirlwind of positive affirmations of similar overwhelming emotions about the thought of returning to the office. "It's like being stuck on the same hammered on topic for hours with no mental reprieve." Others described the despair of being in an environment lacking real power or control but constantly feeding the illusion of diversity and inclusion. One person mentioned lack of mobility and growth for their family but expected to smile through regular unfriendly and hostile social situations daily. "Why don't you leave?" "I need the money for my student loans and bills. We're barely scrapping but I heard the Directors got a bonus." He needed to remain in place and complaint for a staple paycheck that barely covered all of his expenses but his executive received a raise for burning out an entire team (high turnover) with no thought about his subordinates. We learned accountability was only reserved for those on the bottom of the totem pole and excuses littered the top along with our morale. You never knew when someone was going to throw you under the bus and back up with a smile.
Taking all of that into account, I describe it now as residual stress from the anticipation of the work week to come and the microaggressions that accompany it. How many of us have felt that twinge in the stomach when the lack of trust, compassion, or the flood of unrealistic expectations becomes overwhelming and apparent. Waiting for you to make a mistake so as to swoop in and highlight that error to feed their ego trips or steal credit.
That anxious feeling in your gut before you have to trot on back to the office and deal with passive aggressive niceties and Monday Funday Memes. As someone dealing with trauma, it can be difficult to get into the necessary character when the body and mind are overwhelmed and frustrated.
Take care to practice self care by doing things that bring you pleasure and joy.
What are you doing to beat the Sunday Scaries today? What are your goals for this week?