The Dreaded, Awful Sunday Scaries

Every Sunday evening around 9 PM — after I’ve eaten, showered and eaten again — it hits. My heart rate rises, my eyes sort of bug out of my face, then I get all twitchy and nervous and paranoid and worried. Scientists have studied this end-of-the-weekend phenomenon in great detail across various demographics*, and all have come to a single diagnosis: The Terrors.

To avoid any confusion, let’s first explore the different colloquial variations on this name. “Sunday Scaries,” for example, has permeated much of New England and the surrounding New York City suburbs. “Sunday Blues” can be found on the anxiety ridden tongues of those in the Midwest. I’ve heard West Coast adoptions of “The Sunday Shakes,” and come to think of it there’s a band named The Alabama Shakes — I wonder if they have a chronic case of Terrors and sing to soothe their restless beings.

I had a Finnish friend who called this feeling “morkkis.” I may be butchering the spelling of that word** and if anyone can correct me please do, because no ones description of the horrible Terrors has come quite as close as her foreign word. What does it translate to?

“Fuck,” essentially.

It’s said that this feeling of nervousness is often exasperated by weekend consumption of alcohol — sort of the hangover’s hangover, if you will. While that extra hair of the dog you decided to pluck at Sunday’s brunch probably didn’t help your case, I know first hand that The Terrors affect even the most sober of Sandras. The looming work week is enough to set anyone off into a fit of convulsions and nacho consumption. E-mails! Is there anything worse than an inbox of unreads? If you’re in school you might have a test you didn’t study for, or a presentation on some sort of solar system for which you forgot to make a diorama. All fodder for Sunday’s stress-a-thon.

But it’s not just the imminent Monday that freaks us out, it’s the weird shit we did Friday and Saturday: the evil call logs, the ominous ghosts of texts-past that we know we sent and then deleted (no evidence, never happened) and then remembered the next day but can’t quite remember exactly what we said. Was it “I hate you,” or worse, “I miss you,” or a misdirected “Where are you I just bought shots,” to whom you thought was your friend Caroline but is actually your boss named Carla? Oh good lord, get me out of my own brain.

The important thing to remember while rocking back and forth in fetal position after Homeland‘s credits begin to roll is that come Monday morning, things are usually okay. Life carries on. Tuesday happens. Then Wednesday, then Thursday, and I mean you once wore calendar undies so you know what comes next: Friday. And there’s no remedy for a scary Sunday quite like the beginning of a new weekend.

If you ever need a little help to get to get you through The Terrors, just remember that we’re here, probably biting our hair and avoiding something and wishing you’d hang out with us in the comments.

Last thing: what do you call The Sunday Terrors? And how do you cope with them? Please tell me, because laying upside down on the couch until all the blood rushes to my eyeballs just isn’t cutting it.

*No they have not.

**Thank you to our fluent-in-Finnish commenters who provided the proper spelling of morkkis and who let me know that it translates to a “moral hangover, literally.”

  • Laura Mitchell

    The Fear.

  • Roz Canady

    Fluffy cats with tiny guitars would probably distract me from what I call “Monday Dreads.” Where can I get a couple?

  • Sunday Scaries is my term of choice, but I usually communicate the deepest levels of my Sunday night despair through a million weighty sighs as I drag myself around my apartment. To cope, I spend as much time with friends and family as possible on Sunday and then force myself to go to bed early instead of watching reruns of The West Wing until my eyes bleed. Because the only thing that makes the Sunday Scaries worse is a Netflix hangover on Monday.

  • Beatriz

    sunday, bloody sunday

    • Katie

      Sunday dreads

  • Charlotte Fassler

    TV holds me close and comforts me when no one else will.

  • Karen Sternberg

    I love your writing and I love your topics. Well done.

  • Vera

    THIS makes me happy – I’m not the only one freaking out on Sundays..

  • James Dandrige

    Haha! To me, it’s always been the Sunday blues. I’ve never heard it called anything else. I am from Chicago.

  • Great article. I have the same feeling like you and so many people do. That’s why most people just hate Mondays.

  • Laura

    self deprecating Sundays, or self hate Sundays

  • LaRaeRae

    HAHA! Oh gosh. Glad everyone else feels this way, too.

  • Jenni

    *morkkis 😉

    • Amelia Diamond

      Is it?! Oh you made my day. Ok and it does mean that, correct?

      • Pauliina

        morkkis means moral hangover, literally 😀

        • Amelia Diamond

          oh that’s just fantastic

  • mediamarmalade

    The Fear (i’m a londoner, to add to your global survey) 😉 Fab post, so true, and very eloquently told!

    Mel x

  • brunetteletters

    How do you come up with all these topics!! great bloggers Amelia and Leandra…
    I’m weird and I kinda like Mondays. They’re like a fresh start always. That’s when I start my diets, and when I say I will be a committed blogger haha..

  • heather nicole

    I deplore Sunday evenings… we call them the Sunday Spirals. Luckily after about 4 shots of espresso Monday morning I feel (somewhat) better.

  • Dr Von G

    In Ireland, it’s called “the fear.”

  • Leah M

    The Fear! Also, the booze blues or just “the anxiety”. Typical Sunday quote… “the fear has set in”.

  • phyllis

    Sunday Spooks

  • Liz Caruso

    I had no idea there was an actual term and research based around this. How fascinating. I definitely experience this every Sunday night.

    xo, Liz

  • Cass

    I’m more susceptible to the “morning after cringes”. Half a xanax usually does the trick. :/

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    The Siamese cats with the ukuleles are pretty f*cking awesome.

  • KatO

    Sunday angst. Mine usually starts at about 3 in the afternoon but can be averted by cooking something nice for a few hours. Avoid the DVD box at all costs. And also, I think it is not really to do with the stresses of a specific job but a more existential mini life crisis, as in “what is my purpose” and “is this week in, week out business really what life should be about?”

  • Beth

    Sunday Unfunday

  • shaw

    I call it a moral hangover.

    • Lex

      That’s what I call a shameover. When combined with the Sunday Blues (Chicago), it can be debilitating!

  • Rebeca

    In Mexico we call it vacío dominguero, which translates to sunday emptiness

  • Levtorp

    Love you my terrors partner in crime!!!

    • Amelia Diamond


  • I don’t call it anything…but I do get it.

    No matter how prepared I think I am for my Monday 8:00am class, I find myself every Sunday morning going back through the graded papers, piles of neatly stacked handouts, and making sure I have my shit together.

    I also leave a post-it note on my bag that says “Lunch!” out of sheer fear of forgetting it at home the next morning. I don’t trust myself at all on Monday mornings.

    Thankfully, this week I had Monday off. So now I’ll get the Sunday Scaries tomorrow night. I’ll be ready, though – my post-it notes are at the ready!

  • Jeff Daly

    The problem, quote: “Fuck,” essentially.

    My answer: “Fuck It”

    Yes, I get it too, as a kid it was school, as an adult, it was work. As life rolls on, the answer appears, Monday will get here soon enough so do what feels good or go to bed early. Or turn off your fucking phone, TV, broadband, social media etc. Distract yourself with something analog like a printed book, a walk outside, or scrubbing down your bathtub.

    And don’t drink so damn much on Friday / Saturday / Sunday. Try going out on a “school night.”

  • chris

    sunday demons.

  • The Healthy Collective

    It makes me feel so good, knowing that this is a real and serious thing! I always thought it was just me. Anxious, nervous, worrying me.

    Hilary x

  • SJ

    I started experiencing this phenomenon as a small child (I was advanced for my age, what can I say?), and my dad coined the term “The Sunday Night Whammies.” I’ve never gotten over that feeling, but having a name for it and knowing I’m not alone is enough to get me through it!

  • Sunday Scaries

    I write about them at And correct me if I’m wrong, but I think we’re vibing right now.

  • Megan Schaefer

    We call them the “Sunday Blues” or “The Guilties”.

  • Megan Schaefer

    We call them the “Sunday Blues” or “The Guilties”

  • theresabetterone
  • Lucy

    Spastic colon sunday! (thanks hoops and yoyo)

  • Cat

    I did not know that there were so many people experiencing this on sunday evenings that they even are multiple names for it! Personally I just used to think “…and here it goes again.” when I started realizing what I should’ve been doing over the weekend but then ended up not doing like every time. The Terrors pretty much says it all.

    Question: Do you guys have any strategies to survive The Terrors? I’m thankful for any advice really…

  • Maggie

    I’ve had this malady since I was in Catholic school as a little kid. I thought once I left the nuns, it would get better, and it did, but it never went away entirely.

    PS: I think you meant to say “exacerbated,” not “exasperated.”

  • sam_the_cat

    I’ve always thought of them as the Mean Reds.

  • Mary Beth


  • TD

    So on point – demons have been real on a Sunday night since the third grade. Sunday night demons!

  • lemon

    a creepy feeling

  • Anna

    I ALWAYS call it “The Mean Reds” like in Breakfast at Tiffany’s…”The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of”. Perfect description for my Sunday slumps.

  • Hollabackgirl?

    Sunday Blues. Reading books usually calms me down the most. Surfing the web and FB stalking makes it worse :-/ I feel like I wasted the last precious hours of freedom on nothing.

    I then try to reason with myself – “I like my job”! “Why am I anxious?” “Calm down, this happens every week.” etc etc.

    Thanks for this article! Love knowing I’m not the only one.

  • susieq

    In Washington, D.C. we call it the Sunday Weirds. It’s predictably a little more p.c. and less alienating than the Scaries.

  • Madeleine

    In my family we’ve always called this “Disneyland Syndrome”. When my dad was a kid they used to watch some disneyland show on Sunday nights, and as the credits would roll that feeling of dread would start to creep up on them – weekend officially over.

  • Carmen R

    Haha this is just too real. My anxiety starts around 6, but let’s make it 4:30 since that is when the sun sets now. It’s the worst.

  • Mark Walsh

    Brilliant! Glad to see that this is a global problem. I’m from Zimbabwe and my friends and I refer to it as the Sunday Night Demons.

  • jess

    I generally call it The Fear and after years of it, here’s some smug advice (eyerolls at the ready): Doing most of Monday’s deadlines on Friday/Saturday so that I may have as stress-free a Sunday is possible. This is surprisingly doable even with a zesty social life