Weekend Worry: Americans Begin Feeling Workweek Anxiety Just Before 4 P.M. On Sundays

NEW YORK — In comparison to the seemingly endless trek from Monday to Friday, the weekend often feels like it’s over in a flash. Staring down another Monday morning, many report feeling anxious about the coming work week by the time Sunday night comes around. Now, a new survey of 2,000 Americans finds, on average, people start feeling workweek anxiety at 3:58 P.M. on Sunday afternoons.

Overall, 88% of respondents say they regularly feel anxiety on Sunday regarding what will happen Monday morning. The research, commissioned by Charisma, also discovered that many adults can’t seem to let go of their work worries and obligations during the weekend. On average, it takes respondents about two hours to completely unwind upon arriving home from work on Friday.

Unbelievably, the average respondent usually performs an additional three hours of unpaid work for their job over the weekend. Examples of typical work performed over the weekend include checking emails (45%), looking over presentations (38%), and making a business phone call (31%). As if all that wasn’t enough, Americans also let their jobs creep back into their thoughts around six times each weekend.

Of course, we all have additional obligations and tasks to get done that aren’t at all connected to our jobs. Respondents report spending an average of three and a half hours each weekend taking care of other mundane tasks such as household chores (48%), grocery shopping and other errands (46%), and budgeting (46%).

So, if we add up time spent on work with other obligations that’s a whopping nine hours each weekend spent on various commitments. Suddenly, it makes a whole lot of sense that 72% of respondents say there never seems to be enough time during weekends to get everything done.

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When respondents were asked how they combat their Sunday woes, the top response was carving out some time for themselves each weekend (44%). On average, respondents report getting about four hours of “me time” each weekend. During these getaways, many binge their favorite show (50%), read a book (40%), or unwind with a nice bath (37%). Meanwhile, another 27% catch up on sleep with their free time over the weekend.

All in all, it’s clear from the survey’s results that finding some alone time can go a long way towards relieving workweek stress. A significant portion (67%) of respondents say they feel better about the coming week after some quiet time.

Sleep can be especially hard to come by during the workweek, so it makes sense that 42% of respondents report trying to catch up on sleep each weekend. However, that doesn’t mean it always works out that way; 68% say they almost always stay up too late on Sunday nights, and 71% admit their sleeping patterns are usually out of wack by the end of the weekend.

Additional strategies for fighting Sunday anxiety listed by respondents were: using the end of the workday on Friday to get ready for Monday (35%), getting a jump start on next week’s work over the weekend (34%), and taking a “digital detox” over the weekend (21%).

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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