by Emily Roberts
I’ve learned to love Sundays, in fact they’re my favorite day of the week. Now. It’s the day when most of the world is offline, the expectations and commitments are few and far between, and it gives me the opportunity to focus on what fuels me.
Sundays used to scare the hell out of me. Not because I was anticipating the week ahead. I am all about new beginnings but Sundays were The Universe’s way of making life slow down and for someone who is used to going a mile-a-minute, I found it uncomfortable and full of dread. All week long I would be hustling and burning the candle at both ends, making it almost impossible to be present with my emotions (defense mechanism much?).
When Sunday morning arrived with it’s energetic ease, my mind wasn’t ready to slow down. At this point in my life, I associated working hard with success and happiness. Taking on too much was a way that I could avoid sitting with myself and learning about what it is I truly needed and wanted. Sundays got me good. They made me sad, mad and yet helped me heal from this cycle of burnout.
Slowing down doesn’t have to mean wasting your Sunday. It gives your brain an opportunity to reconnect with your spirit, and as new age-y as that sounds, holy shit it worked. I was able to identify how I really felt about everything. Maybe my expectations in my work life were not measuring up or my FOMO was kicking in, but I had to learn how to keep going. The negative and truly heavy emotions were not hurting me, they were helping me see where I needed to heal.
So, naturally, during my Saturn Return I moved to New York City with some major baggage of an ex and the great need to figure out who exactly I was. We’ve all been there but this was all so strange to me. I never had the opportunity to be alone. The distractions that made it so easy when I didn’t want to face myself (family to run home to, the ex, my friends) were no longer that easy to access. It was me and my dog Milo, who helped me get out of the apartment when I wanted to avoid the world because he needed to go out! I had a real bout of the Sunday Scaries. Instead of suppressing or running away from my emotions, I found myself trying to figure out how to heal and deal with them- the anxiety and loneliness I was feeling was an opportunity to seek ways to feel better. Sunday turned out to be a perfect day for this.
Image: @guidancegirlem via Instagram
That meant leaving behind the discomfort of overthinking things in my apartment and going to workshops, bookstores and going out to eat at restaurants (yes, I took myself on dates). I was beginning to show myself the love and respect that I so wanted from others. I started to look at Sundays as a happy day of the week with so many possibilities. I took time to write and blog, and create more and this is how I learned to love Sundays. Dealing frankly with my feelings, allowed me to create the life I live now.
“I was beginning to show myself the love and respect that I so wanted from others. I started to look at Sundays as a happy day of the week with so many possibilities.”
Sundays have since become a day of magic. Slowing down has now become a delightful opportunity to get real with myself, cope with what I want to create in the week ahead, and get my mind focused on how I want to feel. This is now a time where I can truly realign myself with the rituals that helped me heal and gave me the power to create the life that makes me happy and fulfilled. Sundays are all about cultivating the intentions and energy I want to take into the week. If I do a little work or organization on Sunday its because it makes me more excited for Monday
Here’s How I Sunday:
I set an alarm for 10, 10:30 depending on how exhausted I am. If I sleep in too late, it screws up my schedule so I just try to give myself a little extra sleep rather than OD’ing on the shuteye. I make a list of things I’d like to accomplish that day in order to make tomorrow easier—not a typical to-do list, more along the lines of things I don’t want to forget, “order dog food, meditate, make sample Moonstone, email bag supplier, organize closet for 10-15 minutes.” That might sound counter-productive, but it gets my mind more focused on doing the things my future self will thank me for (AKA Emily on Monday).
I don’t like lingering around the house on Sunday morning. There are too many amazing breakfasts being served on Sundays, so I either go to a coffee shop and finish up some work or out to a late breakfast with my fiancé. These days we do a little wedding planning and talk about what we want to create in the week ahead (Our May wedding is in Italy). I rarely, if ever, make major commitments or plans on Sunday. It’s my day to clean up my life, get creative and do some self-care in preparation for the week.
Self-Care is a funny concept these days. Let me be real, self-care isn’t always pleasurable or pretty, its doing things that are going to make my week a little easier and my mind a bit clearer. This isn’t anything too exhausting: laundry, a little cleaning, cleaning, going to the store (or placing that Amazon Prime order) while watching a show or listening to a podcast feels good. But here’s the kicker, I try to do things in a short amount of time, I will only do that laundry for 15 minutes or less, otherwise it is not enjoyable. For me self-care is also tapping into my creative energy, I spend time playing with crystals, beading, writing, working on projects that make me excited. I really try to bring this energy into the week ahead so doing something inspiring is a must. When I was writing my book, Sunday was my most productive day because I didn’t feel the pressure to respond to people or make plans and I could create with ease.
I generally do some type of exercise to get my body ready for the week ahead, plus I feel like a badass going into the week with one workout down. But let’s be real, Sundays are a day of ease, so I generally go to the gym for 30 minutes or try to go to a relaxed yoga class. In the spring or summer it may be a jog around my neighborhood, something to get my energy up and nothing too intense.
I do a short meditation everyday, but on Sunday evenings I try to sit a little longer. I find that before I create anything new, I have to meditate, visualize and write down my ideas.
I go to the store and get food for the week ahead. Having a variety of healthy options and snacks makes me feel so good. I see clients and run groups at a therapy practice, I started a new business (Rock Your Worth), I write and speak and I’m planning a wedding. My schedule is crazy and each week it is different so if there is nothing good to snack on in the house, I am grabbing food on the go and it never feels as satisfying.
Going to sleep on Sunday nights still is a little stressful. I look forward to Mondays and sometimes I’m really excited, not always in a good way. Listening to a guided meditation on YouTube helps me turn down the volume on the thoughts running through my mind. I try to do this often but on Sundays it a must.
Sundays are special, they are the days where I can focus on the hustle I want to cultivate in the week ahead, while being in flow. They are days filled with charmed opportunities if we slow down and start listening to what our bodies and our minds are trying to tell us.
Emily Roberts, MA, LPC is a psychotherapist, also known as The Guidance Girl (www.theguidancegirl.com), along with being the author of Express Yourself, a guide to empowering young women. Emily is focused on women’s mental health issues, and mental health tips, motivation, coping mechanisms and inspiration for all. Her message of better mental health has resonated especially with younger people looking for guidance. Emily has also recently created Rock Your Worth, healing tools to reinforce positive thoughts and actions, while creating an ability to instill confidence and enrich clarity. Follow her journey @guidancegirlem