Back in the days when I was working the 9-5 grind, I used to hate Sundays. My Sunday habits consisted of wallowing in my feelings of discontent and anxiety over how I’d make it through the long and monotonous work week ahead of me.
I used to expend so much energy dreading the arrival of Monday morning, but doing little to set myself up for a good week. Instead, I chose to give up my Sundays to trudging about, being all gloom and doom about the weekend coming to an end.
What a waste of a day!
I see now that even if you don’t like your job or the responsibilities you must take care of during the week, you can make it easier for yourself with some purposeful Sunday habits. In this post, I’d like to offer some ideas and encourage you to create your own constructive Sunday habits that will foster more calm, productivity, and enjoyment in your week ahead.
What we do on Sunday can be the difference between a week in which you’re thriving or one you’re just surviving.
How can I set myself up for a good week?
I like to look at Sundays as a day to reset for the new week ahead. It’s the perfect day for tidying up the house, meal planning and prep, getting my weekly to-do list in order, laundry, and other practical tasks that must be upkept in my life.
But Sundays are also ideal for some relaxation, family time, and self-care activities that help you recharge and feel rejuvenated going into a new week.
Sundays really can be whatever you want them to be, but I’d suggest you have some idea of how you’d like to use the day to your advantage. Don’t hold yourself to a strict schedule, but certainly be purposeful with your time and develop Sunday habits that are a healthy mix of productivity and things that you enjoy doing.
Below you’ll find my ideas for some Sunday habits to promote organization, calm, and connection. Try selecting 1-2 from each group to build into your routine and ease into the upcoming week in a way that feels more manageable.
Maybe it will even surprise you come Friday evening when you’re able to look back on your week and feel like it was actually pretty great.
Sunday Habits for Organization
Have there been weeks where Monday starts and you already feel like you’re behind? Maybe you’re not sure what to focus on first because everything seems equally pressing?
This leaves you playing a game of catch up all week long, feeling frazzled and scrambling to get everything done. You’ll likely go through the week constantly feeling like there is never enough time in the day and maybe there really isn’t enough time to do everything you need and want to do on a daily basis.
However, in order to reduce your overwhelm, it’s important to maximize the time that you do have so you can feel more in control. You can certainly benefit from a little Sunday planning and organization.
Try adding some of the below Sunday habits for organization to your routine:
1: Review your weekly calendar
When a new week approaches, you don’t want to feel stressed out because you don’t have a plan in place. This leads to a lot of unnecessary anxiety.
Take some time on Sunday to review your calendar and plan accordingly for any appointments, due dates, weekly activities, etc.
2: Make a weekly to-do list & plan
Do a brain dump of everything on your mental to-do list. Then, combine it with all the tasks that are already in your calendar to create one big weekly to-do list.
Next, organize your to-do list in order of importance and add any new tasks into your weekly calendar as necessary. You will feel much less stressed going into the new week, knowing that you have a plan in place.
3: Grocery shop and plan meals for the week
Personally, I don’t like to do my grocery shopping on a Sunday if I can avoid it because the grocery store is always super crowded. But, I will make it a point to at least organize a grocery list of items I need for the week and plan out my family’s meals.
I’ll often order groceries online on Sunday or plan to hit the store first thing Monday morning.
4: Clean out your work bag and/or the kids backpacks
If I don’t do this right after the kids get home from school on Friday, then on Sunday afternoon, I will always make sure to clear out their backpacks of clutter from the prior week.
There is nothing worse than leaving all their classwork papers, artwork, and communication from their teachers to pile up.
The same can be said for your work bag (or gym bag). Clean it out as one of your Sunday habits and start the week fresh.
5: Clear clutter and tidy up around the house
When I feel like my house is a mess, it makes me anxious. My kids and my husband know that I hate “stuff” everywhere.
Doing a little tidying up of your house and/or workspace is an important habit to do on a Sunday because when your physical space is clear of clutter, you feel better organized to go into a new week with a clear mind as well.
6: Do the laundry
One of my kids has some type of sports practice or game almost every day during the week and I hate last minute scrambling to find that their required uniform is sitting in the dirty laundry hamper.
Or the dreaded “Mom, I have no more clean underwear” as one of my boys gets changed for bed.
That’s why doing laundry (and putting it away for extra bonus points) on a Sunday is an easy way to be better prepared for the week ahead.
7: Go through your email inboxes
A good thing to do on a Sunday is to take a few minutes to go through your email inboxes to make sure you didn’t miss any pertinent communication from the prior week or anything that might have come in over the weekend.
This is usually the time I go over the school emails and make sure I’ve got any events, activities, or notices covered and accounted for in my weekly to-do list and calendar.
You might also want to catch up on any quick work emails so you can go to bed on Sunday evening feeling calm and ready to start Monday morning in control.
8: Clean out the fridge
When making your grocery list and meal plan for the week, it’s the perfect opportunity to take stock of what you already have and to also get rid of any old food that has gone bad.
You might even find some leftovers that you can repurpose for another meal or throw into someone’s lunchbox.
9: Meal prep and make ahead meals
In addition to grocery shopping and meal planning, a useful Sunday habit to start is actually getting ahead of the game and prepping ingredients for meals to make during the week or even preparing some meals in advance.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a couple of weeknight dinners ready to go or lunches prepared ahead of time?
I’ve even heard of people who make all of the sandwiches for their kids’ lunches on Sunday afternoon and freeze them for the week. Each day they just pop a frozen sandwich into their kid’s lunchbox and it’s thawed and ready to eat by lunchtime.
10: Review your bank account and pay bills
Sundays are a perfect time to check your bank accounts and pay any bills that are coming up. It’s also a good opportunity to review your budget each week and determine if money may need to be moved around to pay for any upcoming expenses.
Adding this to your Sunday habits can help alleviate money stress that might come from worrying about finances during the week.
Sunday Habits for Calm
It’s essential to take time on Sunday for those activities that help you feel centered, calm, and rejuvenated.
I strongly believe that we should always strive to infuse every day with moments of self-care by prioritizing ourselves and doing the things that bring us joy and calm. However, I realize that this isn’t always possible to do as often as we’d like during the busyness of our weeks.
Therefore, try creating some Sunday habits for calm and incorporate intentional activities that promote feelings of restoration and peace.
1: Set weekly intentions
I am a big proponent of setting daily intentions and I also believe that creating a Sunday habit of setting some weekly intentions is a meaningful way to draw your focus to how you’d like to show up and feel during that particular week.
Perhaps you know it will be a busy and stressful week and you’re striving to remain calm and centered. When you set your intentions ahead of time, you are much more likely to get what you want out of your week.
2: Do a guided meditation
Meditation is a highly effective method for creating balance within yourself, which is a key element when seeking to add some calm and restoration to your Sunday.
There are lots of wonderful apps you can download for guided meditations if it’s something you’ve yet to try.
3: Spend time journaling
Journaling is a powerful tool you can use to process your thoughts and feelings in a productive way.
Spending some time journaling as a Sunday habit gives you the opportunity to reflect on what’s happening in your life, process emotions and experiences from the prior week, and go calmly and gently into the new week ahead.
4: Do yoga or mindful stretching
A little bit of stretching or yoga feels extremely therapeutic, especially if you work out hard during the week.
Add some yoga and/or mindful stretching to your Sunday habits and both your body and mind will thank you.
5: Take a nature walk or hike
I always find spending time outdoors to be restorative and calming. Even better is to combine physical movement with fresh air, so a nature walk or hike sounds like the perfect Sunday activity.
6: Read for pleasure
Doesn’t curling up on the couch with a great book and a cup of tea sound like the perfect activity to relax on a Sunday afternoon?
For added relaxation, try lighting some scented candles or diffusing essential oils as you dive into a new novel.
7: Luxuriate in a long shower or bath
Now that I’m not working outside my home anymore, I rarely wash my hair more than once per week! It’s usually in a ponytail and a nice showerless shampoo helps keep my hair fresh between workouts.
8: Sleep in or take an afternoon nap
While it might be tempting to wake up early in order to get as much out of the weekend as possible, you’ll feel so much better allowing yourself to sleep in a little later and getting good restful sleep.
If you can’t sleep in, how lovely does a Sunday afternoon nap sound?
9: Watch a movie
I don’t know about you, but I rarely have time to watch movies anymore, especially if they aren’t family-friendly movies that I’m watching with my kids.
Take the opportunity on a Sunday to hide away and watch a movie (alone) in your bedroom or sneak out to the movie theater by yourself or with a friend if at all possible.
10: Exercise in a joyful way
I’ve learned that I must listen to my body and mind and workout in a way that feels good and enjoyable to me. This helps me stick to a regular exercise routine without feeling guilty when I skip a workout or take it easy.
A healthy Sunday habit to unwind from the week is to exercise in a way that is joyful for you. Take a bike ride, dance class, hike with the kids, or any other type of movement that makes you feel good.
Sunday Habits for Connection
Do you sometimes feel like you and your partner are ships passing in the night during the craziness of your work week?
Maybe you’d love to find some time to see your friends, but you barely have time to return a text, let alone catch up with a phone conversation or actually meet up in person.
Perhaps your kids are heavily involved in sports or other activities and although you’re driving carpool like an Uber Monday-Friday, stress levels and lack of patience leave little room for meaningful conversation and differing schedules don’t exactly allow for regular family meal times.
1: Cook breakfast together with your partner and/or kids
I cook breakfast every morning for my kids during the week, so something that breaks up the monotony is to actually let them join in on a Sunday morning when we have some extra time.
They love to get involved and it’s a simple way to connect with my kids on a morning when we’re not rushing to get out the door for school. And it’s even better when my husband joins in (or takes over!)
2: Call a friend or relative to catch up
Use a few minutes of your Sunday to connect with someone who matters to you. Maybe a friend or relative that you haven’t spoken to in awhile.
This meaningful connection can bring joy to both you and the other person.
3: Do a family outing
Making Sunday a family day is a great habit to start. Try planning a family outing like a picnic, hike, movie date, or playing at a local park.
4: Make family dinner a weekly Sunday ritual
My family has a crazy schedule with sports during the week and as such, we rarely sit down together for dinner during the week.
Making family dinner a weekly Sunday ritual is an important way to connect before the busyness of a new week begins.
5: Meet up with a friend
I can remember back to my pre-kids days when I’d meet up with friends for a boozy brunch on a Sunday morning that would last most of the day.
Although this isn’t how I’d like to spend a Sunday at this point in my life (well, maybe once every so often), I can still take the opportunity to connect with a friend over a walk, lunch, or coffee.
6: Screen-free Sundays
Something that often distracts us from being present and connecting with our loved ones is our attachment to our phones and other smart devices.
Even if you don’t want to devote the entire day to being screen-free, try it for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon and see how it feels to be truly present with your family or in however you choose to spend your time.
7: Have a lazy morning with your partner
This might not be possible if you have young kids, but if given the chance, try lazing in bed a little longer with your partner. Or, drink your morning coffee together as your talk, read the news, or listen to a relaxing playlist.
I’ve been loving this Mellow Morning playlist on Spotify. It definitely has Sunday morning vibes…
8: Watch a sports game on a Sunday afternoon
My family isn’t that into watching sports, but every now and then it’s fun to put on a Sunday afternoon football game (or more likely soccer around my house).
Some yummy game day snacks make it that much better!
9: Have family brunch with friends
As I mentioned earlier, a long boozy brunch isn’t exactly something I want or can do on the regular anymore. However, a brunch with another family that involves the kids is a fun Sunday habit to add to the list.
You can rotate who hosts each time, let the kids play while the parents get to relax and catch up.
10: Dig into a hobby with your partner and/or kids
Sunday is a perfect day to dig into a hobby with your partner and/or kids. Think of something you might all enjoy and that all ages can do together like gardening, baking, painting, etc.
A hobby that the whole family enjoys together is a worthy way to connect as part of your Sunday habits.
There you have 30 purposeful Sunday habits for a great week.
Sundays can be tinged with anxiety and gloom over the thought of Monday and the busy week ahead. With this list of 30 purposeful Sunday habits, hopefully you’ve gotten some useful ideas for a few you’d like to try in order to make your week a little easier.
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Carly is a wife, mom, and former fashion industry executive turned blogger, who is on a journey to live life as the best version of herself. Through her website, littlevoicebigmatter.com, she shares practical advice and heartfelt insights to inspire and support women in motherhood, relationships, wellness, and life.