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Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# Goodbye weekend
Here's how to combat the Sunday night fear that's been creeping up on you this evening
73% of Irish people have experienced it.

SO LONG WEEKEND, it’s been nice.

Now for…the Sunday Night Fear.

Most of us have been there – the sun is setting on the weekend and a feeling of dread about the week ahead is creeping in.

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According to a new study by Visit Scotland, 73% of Irish people have felt Sunday night fear at some stage and one in five of us experience it every single weekend.

The fear – which manifests itself in feelings of anxiety and stress - is more likely to be experienced by people in their mid-20s to mid-30s.

“This is a busy time in a lot of people’s lives, when they are working a lot and might also have kids,” psychologist Dr Allison Keating told “I see a lot of people – particularly women – in this age group who are suffering from feelings of anxiety.”


According to Keating, Sunday night fear isn’t entirely associated with hating your job. In fact, she says it’s often related to a feeling of not getting enough out of your weekend.

Maybe you spent too much time catching up on household chores or you were kept going, going, going and never got around to switching off.
By the end of the weekend you feel like you’re still behind on tasks. Then 6pm comes around and you begin to feel like you did nothing good and that feeling of being fearful of the week ahead sets in.

Sunday night fear often stems from childhood, when you felt unprepared for the week ahead or didn’t have all your homework done, Keating says.

(Then the theme tune from Glenroe would start and you just wanted to cry).

Mikosyko / YouTube

The best way to avoid Sunday night fear is to ensure you switch off at the weekend and plan some new experiences, she advises.

“Connect with nature, go for a walk and leave the phone in the car,” she says. “Be present in the moment rather than being constantly distracted by your phone.”

Technology has bled into family life, with people checking work emails throughout the weekend. But you need those two days off to switch off and recharge your batteries for a while.

A “different sensory experience” such as getting away for the weekend can also help combat the feelings of dread.

When you spend time out of your routine, it makes the weekend feel longer as your brain is creating new memories.

Still feeling the fear?

shutterstock_348227885 Shutterstock / fongleon356 Shutterstock / fongleon356 / fongleon356

Try some of these tips this evening to try and combat it:

  • Get a bit of exercise (although don’t work out later than 7 or 8 o’clock)
  • Don’t prepare for the week ahead at the last minute. Instead, take an hour around 4pm to make sure you’re organised.
  • Go for a stroll. After a 20 minute walk, you’ll feel calmer and more relaxed.
  • Write down what you’re scared off. If you can identify what triggers the fear (too much booze last night maybe?) then you might identify an antidote.
  • Think of some nice things to look forward to tomorrow – sign up to a new evening class or plan to have your favourite dinner.
  • Consider going to the cinema or watch some comedy to help distract you.

Read: ALERT! You may be suffering from the Sunday Night Fear

Read: Glenroe had every Irish person panicking about their homework last night

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