It's Sunday night. It's getting dark. Maybe you're slowly realizing how unprepared you are for your morning meeting, or maybe you're just bummed that you accomplished nothing more than binge-watching Westworld for the second time. Whatever's fueling your real-world anxiety, you're in good company: Roughly three-fourths of Americans in a 2015 poll said they regularly experience "really bad" Sunday night blues. It's largely an American phenomenon, too—only 42 percent of European respondents said they feel the same way. So what are just a quarter of Americans doing right? We asked them.
Claire, 32, Writer, Portland, OR
"A Good, Hard Fuck"
In my experience, the best remedy for Sunday Scaries is a good, hard fuck. My ritual is to take a hot bath and shave my legs and tidy up before my partner comes over. I like to put on my leather collar, which is a signal that I'm ready—I consent to being spanked or paddled. I have always liked my partner to come over with a toolbox—clothespins, a wooden paddle, a Wartenberg pinwheel, a gag, and handcuffs.
The anticipation erases my anxiety. I love pain play because it takes me out of my head instead of worrying about tomorrow. Afterwards, it's common practice to snuggle or take a bath together, or do something soothing, which completely banishes any "scaries" for a little longer.
Elizabeth, 28, Public Relations, New York, NY
"Work Out, No Matter What"
I do three things religiously. As the evening rolls around, I will get myself to the gym, no matter what the day was like, drunk brunch sessions included. It's the only way I can turn my mind off. I'm so crazy about making the gym on Sunday night that once, when my gym closed early, I found and convinced a 24-hour gym to give me a trial session for the night. After the gym, I scribble out a tiny list around 8:30 pm. Because the lists are so illegible and seemingly chaotic, people lovingly refer to them as my ransom notes.
Sometime later, I will make a point of snacking on a bowl of popcorn with chocolate chips—lots of chocolate chips—it's basically a bowl of chocolate chips—while doing a crossword puzzle.
Thomas, 27, Marketing, Austin, TX
I go to yoga every Sunday night even if I miss the rest of the week because it teaches me to be present regardless of what's going on around me. It's a candlelight yoga class, and the mood in the room is really quiet. I think everyone's there for the same reason at that time.
My yoga teacher says his favorite classes are Sunday classes because everyone is so dedicated to "being in the now."
Jason, 25, Publicist, Astoria, NY
"Incense, Dim Lights, and My Couch"
I get my lunch packed and meals prepped early, so that I can engage hyper-relaxation mode for as long as possible until bedtime. This entails incense, dim lights, my couch, a huge blanket and chill music. It's a form of meditation and mental preparation that, if skipped, leads to heightened Sunday Scariness. It helps quite a lot, but that anxiety can never be entirely quelled. I think it's part of the human condition.
Chris Demarais, 29, Writer, Austin, TX
"Turn Sunday into Saturday"
I'll start drinking during brunch with friends and turn Sunday into a Saturday. Or when my friends are busy, I'll drink at home with my Roomba. Sometimes I'll take the opposite approach and turn my Sunday into a Monday and attempt to get a head start on the week. Generally this entails sitting on my laptop, staring blankly at my screen, trying to force myself to work.
And I still soothe my nerves by watching fail videos of people on the Internet, like I did in college. There's something comforting in the knowledge that even though I'm not the best at life, I'm at least doing better than the guy on YouTube who thought lighting a firework attached to his dick was a good idea.
Candice, 29, Writer, Brooklyn, New York
"I Thank Baby Jesus for BRAVO"
I thank Baby Jesus for BRAVO. The Real Housewives are all my besties. I indulge in all of their drama. The New York City and ultra-delusional Atlanta wives are my favorites. Sipping a cocktail or glass of wine is surprisingly my last resort. My job requires me to be surrounded by food and drinks often, so I try not to make it a crutch, but a delicious CRUMBS cupcake and wine has been a great Band-Aid in the past. I also try singing the Beatles. My go-to tune is "Yellow Submarine." It's light, whimsical, and makes no sense. Perfect for a mental vacation.