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Tackling the Sunday Scaries: Psychologist offers tips for easing anxiety about returning to work

If Sunday evening serves as a reminder that you are headed back to work the next day, you may have something called the ‘Sunday Scaries’, and a Winnipeg Psychologist has some tips on combatting the anxiety.

Dr. Toby Rutner says the feeling is common in people who are anxious about the work-week ahead. Rutner advises people who dread the future to make an effort to focus more on the present.

“All that is emotionally gratifying happens in the moment, in the present. We want to be here now, we don’t want to be fantasizing about something in the future that hasn’t happened yet,” he said.

Rutner advised people to use a day timer or calendar and plan when to begin thinking of certain tasks instead of constantly worrying about a million things.

“If there’s something positive happening in the future, make a note and when we get to the future it’ll be now,” he said.

Rutner says away from the office people should focus on relaxing and try to focus on the positives when they are in the office.

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“There are disgruntled people at coffee breaks and lunch who complain about what a terrible place it is and that can really bring us down,” he said.

“I think it’s important to look at what we like out of the job and to kind of prevent ourselves from falling into a trap of complaining with other people, then work becomes even more tedious.”

Rutner says Sunday Scaries tend to happen when people don’t particularly like their job.

“What we want to do is focus on why we are doing what we are doing.” he said “If I don’t like my job because it’s not emotionally fulfilling or doesn’t pay enough money I can remind myself in a logical, rational way that I am marking time attempting to extract as much positive feelings out of the situation until I am someplace else.”

Rutner says very few people have a job they enjoy so much they would do it for nothing so it is important to keep one’s priorities straight.

Sunday is still a day off, so Rutner advises people to enjoy the day and not focus on the coming work-week.


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