A majority of Americans have the ‘Sunday Night Blues’

If you work a normal weekday schedule, you know the feeling that comes with Sunday night—Monday is almost here and you can’t stop thinking about the fact that you have to head to work in the morning.

That feeling, dubbed by Monster as “Sunday Night Blues” and defined as “depression or fretting over the fact that one night’s sleep stand between you and a new work week,” is real and shared by many of your fellow Americans. Not only that, but this feeling is enough to make the majority of us look for new jobs.

A recent survey by Monster asked the question, “Are your ‘Sunday Night Blues’ bad enough to make you want a new job?” The answer was overwhelmingly “yes.” A whopping 76.26 percent said it does make them want a new job, while only 23.74 percent said “no.” Monster career expert Vicki Salemi finds these results disheartening.

“Many people I encounter seem unhappy in their jobs and it’s never a good sign when they get a pit in their stomach on Sunday nights and seriously dread the start of a new week,” she said. “If you’re getting the Sunday Night Blues, that’s a sure sign it’s definitely time to land a new job. That’s certainly a way to zap the blues and regain your weekends! And your life along with your career.”

working photo
Getty Images | Carl Court

Monster did this same survey in the past, but 2017 had the highest percentage of “yes” answers to date. In 2015, 61 percent said they had the Sunday Night Blues “really bad,” while only 59 percent said the same thing in 2013.

So why this increase? There are likely multiple factors, but another survey, also by Monster, shows that one cause may be that a shockingly high number of employees don’t feel their professional growth is being supported at their jobs. Only 28 percent said they feel their manager/supervisor cares about their job growth, meaning a majority (72 percent) do not feel their manager/supervisor cares about their career potential.

boss photo
Getty Images | John Moore

“If your toxic boss is clearly not changing (they rarely do) and you’re constantly being micromanaged, undermined, insert negative behavior here,” says Salemi, “then look sooner rather than later. It will only get worse.”

She urges an immediate change when it comes to workplaces that seem unethical or disrespectful, or situations where the work gets so boring or unmanageable that one’s health is affected. “The key to remember is you don’t need to let it get to the breaking point,” she says. “Watch for signs and start looking for a job.”

While it may seem like dreading Mondays is just what comes with having a job, Salemi says that just having the Sunday Night Blues is actually enough for you to consider a new job. “The Sunday Night Blues means you’re dreading going back to the office,” she says. “The Monday morning commute isn’t much better. During the entire week, you’re probably counting down the days until Friday, then Friday afternoon arrives and you feel ‘free.’ Then Saturday is your only liberating day and, just like that, the dark cloud overhead, Sunday, approaches and you’re back in the cycle.”

“Considering we spend a significant portion of our lives at work,” he continues, “it’s important to enjoy our jobs! They should bring us joy, satisfaction, growth … not just a paycheck.”

job interview photo
Flickr | Alan Cleaver

If you decide it’s time to look for a new job, there are a few things Salemi says you can do to make it easier. First, signing up for job alerts on Monster is free, and the alerts go right into your inbox. You should also update your resume and start applying for jobs.

On top of that, network by reaching out to mentors or former bosses and colleagues. “They’ll be able to potentially open doors for you and, in addition, may be able to shed light on what you’re worth, so you have a ballpark idea of the salary you should negotiate,” says Salemi.

But we know packing up and leaving isn’t an option for everyone. If that’s the case for you, what can you do to help your Sunday night sadness?

Psychology Today suggests it’s as simple as revisiting your daydreams. They say our brains seem to be hardwired to produce these “mind wanderings” because they’re necessary for healthy psychological functioning. These mini trips away from work can be as simple as what you’ll wear tomorrow or your weekend plans, or as elaborate as planning a trip to another country, or maybe to a new job?

You can also try “unplugging” (put down that iPhone, people!), writing out your feelings and thoughts, exercising or trying something like yoga or meditation.

meditation photo
Flickr | Kashirin Nickolai

“I also would like to see more people who get a case of those Sunday Night Blues immediately go into action mode, while recognizing the blues as a call to action, instead of becoming numb to it or assuming that’s just life—everyone deals with it,” says Salemi. “Everyone deserve a job that brings them joy—not misery.”

Whatever you choose to do, realize you’re not alone and, although they may seem unbeatable, you’re in charge of your feelings.