4 Buddhist Ways to Beat the Sunday Scaries

(Photo above by Holly Stratton / Unsplash)

You spend all week looking forward to the weekend but you’re hit with dread when you wake up Sunday morning. Maybe you’re sad about a lonely weekend, feeling unprepared for an upcoming group project or dreading a 1:1 with your manager. If the Sunday scaries are familiar to you, you’re not alone.

A LinkedIn study found that 90% of young people worry every Sunday about the coming week. The good news is that we can use Buddhism to overcome whatever we may be worrying about.

1. Win in the morning for a satisfying Sunday

Have you ever reached Sunday evening and felt like you’ve wasted the day away? There was laundry to do, meals to prep and a suitcase you’ve been meaning to unpack all week. To have a fulfilling Sunday, we have to first start by winning over ourselves in the morning. Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda writes about how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo each day sets us up for success:

Reciting the sutra is a daily activity in which we purify and prime our hearts and minds. In the morning, it is starting the engine for our day, like grooming ourselves before we set out for the day. Some people have powerful engines, and some have weak engines. The strength of the engine dramatically affects what we accomplish throughout the course of our lives. The difference can be enormous. Diligently applying ourselves in our daily practice of the sutra recitation boosts the power of our engine.

Discussions on Youth, p. 215

If you have a growing to-do list, start your day with chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The stronger your engine, the more you can check off your list!

2. Envision a fulfilling week by setting goals

If your Sundays are filled with anxieties about the coming week, you can turn them into goals to chant about and work toward. Buddhism teaches us that our attitude determines the outcome. Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda says:

When your determination changes, everything else will begin to move in the direction you desire. The moment you resolve to be victorious, every nerve and fiber in your being will immediately orient itself toward your success. On the other hand, if you think, “This is never going to work out,” then, at that instant, every cell in your being will be deflated and give up the fight, and everything then really will move in the direction of failure.

July 11, 1997, World Tribune, p. 14

3. Enjoy Sundays with your local Buddhist community

Whether it’s a local discussion meeting or getting coffee with a Buddhist friend, you can reenergize by connecting with others. Speaking of local Buddhist community gatherings, Daisaku Ikeda says:

They are grassroots forums for infusing society with wisdom and vitality. At meetings, we hear others’ experiences of gaining benefit through practicing Nichiren Buddhism; we are inspired with fresh determination: “They fought and won; I can transform my karma, too. I’ll do it!” We also applaud the efforts of those who are striving hard: “Let’s follow their example and develop our lives like they have!”

The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, Part 3: Kosen-Rufu

When we dedicate time to connecting with people who inspire and encourage us, our lives are refreshed. We can get out of our head and simply enjoy our Sunday.

4. Reflect on your weekend with appreciation

It’s easy to feel like the weekend went by too quickly or maybe you didn’t use your time well. As you sit down to chant on Sunday evening, challenge yourself to bring out appreciation. Ikeda writes about the power of gratitude:

The spirit of gratitude imparts immeasurable joy and vitality to our hearts, and as long as we have a keen sense of it, it serves as a wellspring that enables us to overcome every form of adversity and welcome true happiness into our lives. Gratitude enriches our lives to an incomparable degree.

The New Human Revolution, vol. 22, pp. 79–80

Even if the weekend is over, feeling appreciation for it enriches our lives and can help us battle whatever is causing our Sunday scaries.

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