Sunday afternoon syndrome, when melancholy…
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Sunday afternoon syndrome, when melancholy assails us and we don't know why

December 11, 2021 • By Alison Forde

If we asked you what your favorite day of the week is, you would no doubt answer Saturday, or perhaps, Friday night. Yet, according to the calendar that we all use, Sunday is the day dedicated to absolute rest for most people; yet we are firmly convinced that few of you would answer the question we posed above with Sunday. Have you ever wondered why this holiday is so loved and hated at the same time? In fact, there is an absolutely perfect psychological explanation.

image: Piqsels

There is a very specific reason why many of us would never choose Sunday as their favorite day of the week: has it happened to you too that you feel sad, apathetic, melancholy and anxious at the same time during Sunday afternoon or at the turn of the evening? Well don't worry, it's a perfectly normal psychological reaction also called "Sunday Afternoon Syndrome."

Usually, when Sunday is about to end, our brain begins to travel, loading itself with expectations and responsibilities which have to be dealt with starting from Monday, or the next day; as evening falls and the weekend ends, happiness ends and a general feeling of sadness, apathy and fear begins to emerge, as if something particularly beautiful was about to end and something horrible is about to happen. In reality, it's only the product of the many responsibilities that you have during the week that clash with the nostalgia of the recent past, made up of a free weekend, no work, no alarm clock or set time and a lot of lightheartedness.


In this struggle between a recent past full of nostalgia and an imminent future full of expected duties, fears and anxieties, the best thing to do to remove the typical Sunday afternoon feeling is to try to fill this holiday with commitments and things to do, so that we are always distracted, with no time to stop and reflect. If you want to escape this melancholy feeling, organize lunches with friends or relatives outside the home, trips to discover nature, or cultural visits to a museum, theater, or even the cinema.

Make sure you fill your Sunday so as not to experience the eternal inner conflict of nostalgia for the past and anxiety for the future; furthermore, you should examine yourself and understand why, at the root, you often experience these sad feelings at the end of each week: are you really so sure that the problems you will have to face during the weekdays are really so insurmountable?



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