I used to lie awake on Sunday nights, lamenting the fact that my weekend was over. I knew I would be heading to a job I didn't love the next morning. Doing a job you don't love requires some "frog in the pot" action. The frog stays in the pot even as the water temperature increases to boiling. In the same way, it's easier to keeping going to a job you despise if you don't take breaks. Just keep going, day after day, and it won't feel so bad. Get a taste of freedom on the weekend, though, and you're screwed. Now you have to get accustomed to it all over again.
My Sunday night panic is different now. The dread is gone, but it's been replaced with something else...the big fear of the unknown...
I should look for a job......What if I don't like it.....Where is my life heading....Will I be good at it?...How will I know if it's right?...I'm in so much debt...
After letting my mind circle around for a few minutes, my body is in full fight/flight. My heart pounds and I feel adrenaline rushing to my extremities. Maybe I even get a little sweaty and have to kick the blanket off. Sleep feels like it's 100 miles away.
So what now? In this moment, I'd rather run laps around the block than sleep. Yet I know if I don't fall asleep soon, my tomorrow self will be a bit crusty.
Can you relate? What crazy thoughts are keeping you up on Sunday nights?
Here's how to make it less uncomfortable:
1. Allow it.
I know this one is hard, but the more you push this feeling away, the stronger it will get. Also, even if you distract yourself from it by watching TV or reading, it will keep coming back. Maybe not tonight, but in the morning or next Sunday.
2. Feel what's going on in your body.
Check in and see what you're feeling and follow it around. Where is it? How big is it? Notice how powerful it is.
3. Notice where your body is tense.
Are you contracting muscles anywhere? Try breathing in to those areas and see if you can release the tension.
4. Stay present.
Try to keep your awareness in your body. If that's difficult, try to follow your breath. When your thoughts take over, and they will, just come back to your body. Repeat. Eventually, you'll feel yourself drifting away.