Do you ever start to dread the workweek before the weekend is even over? If so, you may be experiencing what’s been termed the “Sunday scaries.”

Probably everyone can relate. While most of you love your dental assistant career, it can be tough to leave free time behind. But never fear! Below, we share top tips for keeping the scaries at bay.

Don’t Think about Work at Home

The most successful dental assistants always strive to maintain a healthy work-life balance. While dedicated to patient care during work hours, they’re also present in their personal life whenever possible. Being fully focused at home — vs. dwelling on the past workweek, or worrying about the upcoming one — can allow you to actually take a break. “When I walk out of my office, I leave my work there,” says dental assistant Stacey U., CDA.

Take a Break with Non-Work Activities

Successful dental assistants also know it’s important for them to make time for non-work activities that bring them personal fulfillment. For instance, Angelica M., CDA, enjoys exploring nature in Alaska when she’s not working there as a dental assistant. “Sometimes, I kayak home,” explains Angelica. “Now, that’s really an enjoyable, decompressing commute! There’s no traffic — just an occasional beaver if I see a nest nearby.” Immersing yourself in your hobbies — especially the outdoors — can help you to feel more refreshed come Monday.

Prepare for the Workweek Ahead

Sometimes avoiding workweek stress can be as simple as making sure you’re prepared to go back to the office. Generally, dental assistants are extremely organized, so this should be no sweat for you! Getting ready can include tidying your living space and planning out your weekly meals and activities — so that your work routine hopefully will feel a bit less scattered. “To have a smooth experience, dental assistants should always be a step ahead,” agrees Diana T., CDA.

Look on the Bright Side

When you’re feeling stressed about work, on Sunday night or otherwise, you might consider identifying your source of stress — and then choosing to look on the bright side. For example, are you having occasional trouble working with difficult patients? You may want to remind yourself that you’re passionate about patient care. Experiencing dental team tension? Try thinking about all you can learn from your co-workers. Challenge yourself to look for the best, rather than expect the worst. Dana H. has found success with reframing her outlook: “Having a positive attitude makes for a great experience in the workplace.”

Find Solutions to Manage Stress

Experts seem to agree that having a slight case of the Sunday scaries now and again is normal. After all, it can be disappointing to see our window of free time close. But if making the transition from Sunday to Monday is starting to feel routinely or increasingly difficult for you, you might want to think about managing your stress with solutions.

For example, could it be that your office doesn’t feel like the right size for you, so it may be time to try a different setting? Or is your career starting to feel stagnant, and perhaps you could benefit from learning something new? Sometimes making a small change can largely impact your day-to-day work experience. As Stacy suggests, “Your career is very important, but don’t put aside your personal well-being.”

How do you avoid the Sunday scaries?
Let us know!