I never heard of such a thing until this last weekend. I have also never understood something so deeply.
It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Why would someone have anxiety about the weekend? It’s a chance to relax or catch up on everything.
Or maybe it doesn’t sound crazy, maybe it sounds too familiar. Or maybe you don’t even know what I’m talking about and you’re waiting on me to explain!
Weekend anxiety syndrome is anxiety about the weekend. Instead of getting anxiety on Sunday night (although you might get that, too) you get anxiety on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. There may be different reasons for the anxiety, maybe you feel like you should be going out but you so desperately don’t want to because you have social anxiety or maybe you’re like me and you’ve been looking forward to having a break from work but relaxing isn’t something you enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing games, watching TV, and reading, but I also like having structure and a plan. What’s disappointing is that I am just now putting together that I’m someone who thrives on planning my days out, even on the weekend.
Anyways, I get to the weekend, and have nothing to do. I get bored, I have anxiety because I feel like I’m wasting my life and my weekend away by being anxious, and I spiral. What do I even do with the weekend? Especially now, with COVID.
This may sound RIDICULOUS to you. But it’s real, and it’s another thing that triggers my severe anxiety. It doesn’t help that I have social anxiety so then actually going out also doesn’t appeal to me. I basically stress about wasting time being anxious but then there’s nothing I can think to do that sounds fun.
I’ll give you an example. Saturday I woke up in a good mood but I was anxious because we had no plans for the day. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to go out or lay in the hammock and read. I felt like if I didn’t go out I would regret it because the only time I really can is the weekend and it sounded fun, but then the thought of going in public didn’t sound fun. I finally said lets just do it, and we got in the car, and I drove down the street to Starbucks instead because I got such bad anxiety about the public and mad at myself for reacting that way. Basically, my anxiety stemmed from the fear of wasting my day but not knowing what I wanted to do.
Mind you, I’m not this indecisive every weekend. It’s just that this past weekend was especially difficult.
If you;re like me and you start to panic on Friday or Saturday morning, I have some tips that might help!
1. Make plans ahead of time. It’s important to get out of your comfort zone so if you have social anxiety it’s important to push yourself every once in a while. I wouldn’t say make a whole weekend of social events if you’re someone who struggles with social anxiety because that may drain you, but take a day or a moment of a day. I like Saturday to be social so Sunday is my recoup and rejuvenate day. When you plan to be social, you can prepare yourself ahead of time. It’s planned into your day and then you can plan something else that soothes you.
2. When plans fall through, embrace relaxation. Even if your chest is tight with anxiety, grab a book, lay on the hammock, and read. Reading let’s me dive into a world where my anxiety doesn’t exist. Plans fall through sometimes, that’s life. Your first reaction may be anxiety and that’s okay, just take time to work on training your body to not have that reaction. Instead, find another home activity. Workout, clean, nap, read, listen to music and dance, etc. I know that doesn’t mean your anxiety won’t exists. Even if my plans fall through and I replace them with activities at home, I still have anxiety. But it’s important to not put all of your energy and focus on your lack of plans and how severe your anxiety may be, but instead to try to point your focus on the activity you’re going to do instead.
3. Look at why you might truly have anxiety. I had to really evaluate why I get anxiety and it’s because of the lack of structure on the weekend. I need STRUCTURE. But, sometimes there is something else causing me anxiety but I don’t notice until I get to the weekend and I become anxious because I no longer have a distraction and I feel stuck in my anxiety. It’s important to learn how to feel through the emotions, find possible solutions if it’s a problem that you can face that’s causing you anxiety, if it’s not something you can face head on in the moment, maybe you should write through it. Journal about it, practice breathing work, meditate, run, find something that uses your focus and energy in a positive way!
4. Make a list! List all the ideas you have as you get them, when the weekend is coming up, look at the weather and evaluate whether you’re really in the mood for that activity and why you might or might not be. Sometimes I just feel anxious about an activity and I can’t pin point why. Sometimes I’m anxious until I’m in the moment and doing whatever we planned to do. But if you have a list prepared with ideas, you won’t be scrambling to think of something. You already have a list of ideas to choose from.
I wanted to write about this because I felt so crazy and misunderstood when I would get anxious on the weekend. I grew up in a home where relaxation was desired and I was told I’ll understand when I’m older. I’m older, and I still don’t understand. I understand wanting to relax sometimes, but I can’t relax all day for two days in a row. That’s just who I am and instead of beating myself up for not understanding, I will work on embracing my desire to be active, but also make sure I’m not running myself down!
If you get weekend anxiety, I hope I was able to help you recognize it and maybe you can try some of the tips I offered! Anxiety can be consuming. It’s important to be loving towards yourself. I recently read something that said imagine it was a child having anxiety, what would you say to them to help them? Now, treat yourself with the same love and compassion.
I find that with my weekend anxiety it comes off as dramatic to other people. They think I’m being ridiculous to not just enjoy the weekend, if I don’t want to relax they often think I should just go out. But if you have anxiety, you know it’s not that simple. We won’t always get the compassion and understanding that we need or want from others, so it’s important that we provide that for ourselves.
As always, I hope you all have a wonderful week because you deserve it! I hope you find it within you to have compassion for yourself and others.
You can follow me on Instagram if you need some Monday motivation or midweek pep-talks! The link is below!