36% of DC-area workers suffer from ‘Sunday Scaries’

The World Health Organization has labeled burnout as an “occupational phenomenon.” (Getty Images)

Does the thought of Monday ruin your Sunday?

A survey by staffing firm Robert Half found 36% of workers in the D.C. area report having the “Sunday Scaries,” regularly worrying about the workweek ahead, before their weekend is even over.

And for many it is more than just dread. Sunday Scaries can manifest itself as outright anxiety or panic.

“Absolutely. And it is not healthy or good for you,” Robert Half’s Beth Sears told WTOP.

Any one of a number of things can bring on Sunday work anxiety.

“A heavy workload, having challenging relationships with their boss, sometimes it’s not liking their job duties or having conflicts with co-workers. And also, having to work on the weekends to try to catch up on their workload,” Sears said.

Sears encourages anyone suffering from Sunday evening work anxiety to learn how to manage stress, to go into work early a day or two during the week if that is what it takes to stay caught up on work and, above all, to unplug from work as much as possible during weekends and make as much of that break from work as you can.

“And if all of those things aren’t working, you have to speak up. You have to talk to your manager. If you have too much on your plate, you have to delegate accordingly,” Sears said.

The effects of job creep are detailed in a recent Wall Street Journal article that noted that it is one of the biggest causes of work burnout.

The World Health Organization has labeled burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” in its most recent revision of the International Classification of Diseases.

Though not officially classified as a disease or medical condition, WHO defines burnout as chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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