If Mondays Make You Anxious …

I don’t normally read Reader’s Digest, but I was recently given a copy of this month’s issue. It’s Health section had an article on how to “sooth the Sunday Scaries.”

The Sunday Scaries? I didn’t know that was a thing, but apparently, I’m in the minority. According to the article, 75 to 80% of people experience this existential dread knowing that Monday will soon be here.

“The Sunday scaries is an overwhelming feeling of dread and anxiety about going to work or school the next day.”

If you can identify with this, I’m truly sorry. I occasionally experienced this in high school only because … oh, I don’t know, maybe it was because I PUT OFF STUDYING UNTIL 10:00 ON SUNDAY NIGHT.

I’ve gotten better.

So back to the article. In typical Reader’s Digest fashion, the article gives a short list of five things you can do to lessen any anxiety.

  1. Structure your Sunday. Plan the day. Do something enjoyable.
  2. Don’t forget to relax. That seems obvious, like telling someone having a hard time breathing, “Just breathe.” But these experts on relaxation are telling us not to fill Sunday with a lot of errands and chores. (Of course, if you enjoy chores, see #1).
  3. Identify your anxiety source.
  4. Create some excitement for the week ahead. Instead of focusing on what you dread in the upcoming week, get excited about something you look forward to in the coming week: Coffee with a friend … Tuesday movie night … reading this blog every Monday and Thursday …
  5. End your Sunday with the right energy. This could be favorite foods, a movie with the family, some form of self-care, or reading a book.

These ideas are fine, but they fall short. God intended one day a week to be a day of worship and rest. For most of us, that day happens to be Sunday. So, what should we do on Sunday?

  1. Worship
  2. Rest

It’s that simple. The Reader’s Digest article has some good ideas for the “rest” part of God’s equation. However, we need to go beyond just relaxing and doing things we enjoy. We need to rest. Literally rest. Slow down. Slooow dooown.

The article completely missed it with the most important part: worship. By slowing down, we should intentionally focus on God. Seek Him. Worship Him. That right there can drive away any Sunday Scaries. I need to see my life and my circumstances from God’s perspective. Without His viewpoint, life can feel scary. I need Him. You need Him. And taking time for worship on Sunday is the best way to get life re-centered on Him.

I’m no legalist on this, but I can’t stress enough the value of worship and rest. I’ve learned from experience the incredible boost my week has because I now slow way down on Sunday. God gave this command to us for our benefit, and you’re missing out on an incredible perk if you treat this day like any other day.

For many of us, attending church is a part of our worship. So far, so good, but we’ve also let our Sunday involvement at church be another day of activities. If you lead in some way at your church, thank you—but many of us get over-involved. We mean well, but church has just become another task (or several tasks) on our to-do list and we’re not slowing down to rest.

Please slow down. Rest. Worship. And let God reenergize your soul and spirit. There’s nothing scary about that.

““My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Ex. 33:14).

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