Struggling with the Sunday Scaries? Relax and recharge with these easy self-care ideas

Written by Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and women’s issues. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.

Are you feeling frazzled at the end of a long week? Stressed about everything you’ve got to do over the next seven days? Or simply got a case of the ’Sunday Scaries’? Take some time to yourself to relax and unwind this weekend with this list of ‘self-care Sunday’ ideas. 

Whether or not you’re a fan of the term ‘self-care’, setting aside time on a regular basis to destress, unwind and look after your mental health is incredibly important – especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

That’s what makes the concept of ‘self-care Sunday’ so great. Not only does having a weekly schedule allow you to maintain a self-care routine, but doing your self-care on a Sunday can help to alleviate any ‘Sunday Scaries’ and make you feel more on top of things as you head into a new week. 

It’s why the hashtag #SelfCareSunday is so popular online: at the end of the week –  and before you dive straight in to the next one – there truly is nothing better than dedicating some time to yourself. 

So, with this in mind, we’ve put together this guide to the best ‘self-care Sunday’ ideas to help you wind down at the end of the week. From activities to help you prepare for Monday morning to little things that’ll help you switch off, why not give one (or more) of these ideas a go this weekend. Go on, you deserve it! 

1. Change into your comfiest PJs

Changing into comfy clothes at the end of the day isn’t just an easy way to ‘mark’ the transition into relaxation time, it’s a lovely way to treat yourself at the end of a hard week, too. 

2. Look after your skin

Skincare, but make it extra. Whether you fancy giving yourself a facial massage, slathering on a luxurious face mask or simply applying a few extra products, taking some time to really nurture your skin and focus on the process at hand can help to promote mindfulness (because it requires you to turn your attention towards the present moment) and in turn take your mind off of the events of the week.

Getting comfy is a surefire way to feel more relaxed.

3. Write to-do lists for the week ahead

If you find yourself worrying about the week ahead, have a go at writing everything down. 

It may not be the most luxurious form of self-care, but it’s surprisingly effective – having all the stuff you need to remember recorded on paper helps to declutter your mind and leave you feeling more in control. 

4. Ditch your devices

Taking time to switch off at the end of the week is incredibly important if you spend a lot of time looking at screens for work.

Not only does it give your eyes a much-needed rest, but it also gives you space to slow down and process everything you’ve taken in over the last week.

5. Read a travel book

Reading a travel book or watching a documentary or film set in a foreign country is a great way to treat yourself to a dose of escapism – something that we’re all in need of at the moment.

6. Try something new

Trying out a new hobby or skill isn’t just a great way to keep yourself entertained – research has shown that learning new things can improve your mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as giving you a sense of purpose. 

You could even treat yourself to something like a craft kit and make an evening of it.

Trying something new is a great way to challenge yourself while still having fun.

7. Do some light exercise

You may not fancy doing a full-on HIIT workout on a Sunday evening, but making time for some light exercise, such as some stretches or yoga, can help to release any physical tension you’re holding in your body from sitting at a desk all week.

8. Have a tidy

It may not be the most exciting form of self-care, but there’s something incredibly satisfying and relaxing about tidying up your space. Tidying can also help to relieve feelings of anxiety. Set yourself up for a good week ahead by getting things in order and having one less item on your to-do list. 

9. Practise gratitude and reflect

When you’re feeling anxious about the week ahead, it’s all too easy to find your mind consumed by worries about things to come in the future. 

To counteract this, try looking back at the week that’s gone past and reflecting on the good things – both the moments that went right, and the things you were grateful for. 

Not only is it a great way to reframe your thinking to focus on the positive (as humans, we tend to focus on the things that go wrong), but practicing gratitude has been proven to boost mood and help you sleep better, too. 

10. Cook something new

If you struggle to find time to cook complicated or time-consuming meals during the week, Sunday evening is the perfect time to try one of those recipes you’ve had bookmarked on your phone for months.

Not only will you end up with a tasty meal to enjoy (and perhaps some leftovers for the rest of the week), but the methodical, sensory experience of cooking a meal from scratch can be incredibly relaxing. A glass of wine or tasty soft drink on the side is a good idea, too. 

Getting creative in the kitchen can help you to stay present.

11. Watch a film

Instead of sticking on that series you’ve been bingeing all week, use your Sunday evening as a chance to sit down and watch a film in its entirety. You could even make an event out of it and get some snacks to enjoy while you watch, too. 

12. Go for an evening walk

While it’s still light outside, going for a walk before you shut yourself away for the day can be a great way to blow away the cobwebs and start your week feeling refreshed.

It doesn’t have to be strenuous – just a 15 or 20-minute amble is the perfect way to get a breath of fresh air and get your body moving. 

Images: Getty

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