Inside: If you do these nine things on Sunday to prepare for the week ahead, you’ll be more focused and productive.

Whether we like it or not, Mondays are inevitable and pre-week Sunday evening stress (also known as the ‘Sunday scaries’) can be a problem.

With that said, though, the way we spend our weekend can have a huge impact on how we’ll be able to tackle the week ahead, so it’s incredibly important to make the most out of them!

More often than not, the reason we dread Mondays is that they signify the end of our free time and the start of a chaotic next five days, but if we learn how to do Sundays right, it doesn’t have to be that way at all!

Instead of dreading Mondays, here are a few things to do on Sunday to prepare to have an amazing and productive week ahead!

things to do on Sunday to prepare

Things to Do on Sunday to Prepare for the Week Ahead

Hopefully, on Sundays, you can spend some time relaxing and slowing down. It can also be helpful to spend just a bit of time with some of these things to do on Sunday to prepare for the week ahead.

If Sundays aren’t an option for you, set aside another day where you can regularly do a few of these activities to help prepare you for the upcoming week.

This is a list of ideas. You don’t have to do all of the things. Simply pick and choose the things that will work for you.

1. Reflect on the previous week

Sundays are the days that mark the end of every week, which makes them an ideal time to indulge in some serious self-reflection. In order to do this, you can start by asking yourself a few of the following questions:

What was your favorite part of the week? 

What did you not enjoy doing much? 

Did you experience any negative emotions throughout the week? If so, what caused them? 

Is there something you wanted to achieve during the week that you didn’t quite get around to? If so, what was that? 

Could you have done anything differently and how? 

Was this week better or worse than the last one and why?

By asking yourself a few (or all) of these questions, you’ll be better able to pinpoint what to take from the week and what lessons to learn.

For instance, if one of your aims was to have free time in the evenings to practice a hobby, join the gym, or socialize a bit more but you ended up not having enough time for it, figure out why. The reason could have simply been circumstantial (i.e. it was an unusually busy week) or something that stemmed from a deeper problem (i.e. procrastination or spending too much time on social media).

things to do on Sunday to prepare

2. Organize the following week

On Sunday evening (or whenever it feels right for you), take a few minutes to organize the week ahead. This can look like creating a thorough to-do list, writing down a few goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them, meal-prepping, or organizing your space.

Not only will organizing the week save you tons of time but knowing exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it will ensure you stay productive as you’ll have a very clear “map” of your tasks.

As a tip, make sure your to-do list also includes personal goals as well as leisure activities. Schedule time for physical exercise, hobbies, and rest!

3. Practice self-care

Throughout our ever-hectic week, we may forget to make self-care part of our to-do list amid the never-ending hustle, which makes Sundays the perfect day to indulge in some serious (and totally guilt-free) self-care.

After all, self-care has been linked to reduced stress and anxiety levels, higher productivity, and increased focus, which means that allowing yourself to take care of yourself is actually essential to make sure you’re feeling your best the following week!

things to do on Sunday to prepare

4. Indulge in your favorite activities

You’re meant to take Sundays off, so do so unapologetically! Spend the day doing things you love that you know will lift up your spirits. 

This can look different for everybody depending on their interests and personalities, but a few ideas can include seeing your best friends, organizing an outing with the family, getting creative, practicing your favorite sport, reading a book, or just about anything you can think of!

Doing activities you enjoy will help you reset your brain and feel ready to take on the week ahead.

5. Get out of your comfort zone

Getting out of your comfort zone by trying out something new is such a great way to re-charge your brain as well as make you feel incredibly achieved. Plus, it’s a splendid way to get yourself out of the usual “routine” and provides an instant change in mentality which you can bring over to the upcoming week.

We tend to think of “out of comfort zone” activities as skydiving, bungee jumping, super extreme sports, or even worse, public speaking. But in reality, getting out of your comfort zone can look like pretty much anything you don’t usually do.

Think calling up an old friend to catch up, going to that exhibition you’ve been dying to check out, saying yes to that outing you don’t really feel like attending, or joining a dance class!

meditate

6. Meditate or Pray

I know how intimidating meditating can seem, especially if it’s your first time trying it out.

Despite this, meditating is actually a whole lot easier than it’s often made out to look, and the effects it can have on your overall physical and mental wellbeing are unraveled!

Nope, you don’t need to join a group or spend an entire hour in silence. In fact, sometimes taking just a few minutes to picture a peaceful setting or trying out new breathing techniques is a great way to meditate.

If you’re new to it, I recommend downloading apps like Calm, listening to meditation podcasts, or watching Youtube videos to guide you through the process. 

If meditating isn’t your thing, prayer is also a great option for getting your week off to a great start. Taking the time to slow down and quiet your mind and focus your thoughts is very beneficial.

7. Aromatherapy

Turn your room into an improvised aromatherapy session by burning candles and diffusing essential oils with a purpose in mind.

For instance, if you’ve been feeling low on energy lately, scents like rosemary or citrus can help, or if you’re having a hard time sleeping, then chamomile, ylang-ylang, lavender, or cedarwood may just do the trick!

Do some research on what types of scents would best suit your current needs. Get ready to begin your week while feeling clear headed and calm.

things to do on Sunday to prepare

8. Write down your goals for the following week

Give yourself a dose of inspiration by putting aside a few minutes in the evening to create a list of absolutely everything you want to achieve the next week.

As a tip, make sure your goals are realistic so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Moreover, try making a balanced list of goals, meaning there should be a few work-related ones in there but also personal ones!

9. Prepare your clothes

The last thing you need on Monday is to find out the clothes you planned to wear aren’t clean. Use Sundays to get your laundry done to kick that worry right to the curb.

If you want to go the extra step, you may also want to take the time to plan out your outfits for the following week.

Not only will this save you lots of stress every morning, but not having to worry about finding matching socks or just the right shirt for that skirt can actually give you a few extra minutes of sleep time every day, so it’s a win-win situation.

What things do you do on Sundays to prepare for the week ahead? Share it in the comments section.

I hope this list of things to do on Sunday to prepare for the week ahead inspired you to close off the week in a more conscious way.

Not only will doing all of these things help you make the most out of your Sunday, but it will also prepare you for an amazing week ahead!

What are other things you enjoy doing on Sunday in order to prepare yourself for the next week? I’d love to know if you have any other ideas, so feel free to drop them in the comment section below!

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28 Comments

  1. Typically I meal prep for the following week. I have a much more successful week if I have meals planned, all the food needed, and prep according to our after work activity schedule.

  2. Great post Julianna, I liked all of your tips! I think the most important things for me on Sunday are to rest and enjoy ppl I love, know what I’m cooking for the week which usually actually happens before Sunday when I grocery shop, ame have clothes clean. I usually lay out my planner Monday morning as a kickstart for the week 🙂

  3. I find if I give time on a Sunday to plan the week it keeps me focused for the week and feel I’ve actually achieved when I look back and reflect before I start planning the next week

  4. Very useful post. Reading it gave me so many ideas to spend my Sunday more productively. This was the first time I came across your blog and i loved it. keep it up

    1. I lay out my week in my digital calendar (Outlook) to ensure I’ve given myself ample uninterrupted time for my goals. Of course this isn’t foolproof, but if I get diverted, I can easily shift my tasks around accordingly. I also create a more detailed daily list, because I love the feeling of checking off those boxes!

  5. Thank You
    Really enjoyed all of these tips, esp the questions at the very beginning to reflect on the previous week.

  6. I take a few minutes with a cuppa to check my calendar for any important appointments, meetings, birthdays to post cards for, or events. This way I’m able to organise in advance and keep one step ahead, reducing any last minute stress, and staying in control!

  7. We go to church and then have a family lunch or lunch with friends from church. We also love to watch live streamed church services from other favorite churches we have attended in years past.

    I love resting and napping and relaxing.

    Lisa Dupree 🙂🌻

  8. Sunday is the Lord’s Day! As such, I give to God all praise, honor and glory. I offer to Him sincere thanks for His abundant grace, and all of His blessings. I attend church to worship God in community with other believers.

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

  9. I consider Sundays as being the first day of the week and divide my time between extended self-care, extra attention to my husband since he works long hours during the week, spending time with family and friends, doing things I love…..true day of relaxing and enjoyment. I need to add 7. Aromatherapy. Meditation and prayer are already solid in my morning routine. The “mundane” for me-grocery shopping, errands, etc. happen throughout the week due to not having to work; my husband is an excellent provider, so I consider myself the CEO of our home, and do everything related.

  10. Regular deep breathing excercises really help with relaxation. I also try to walk for an hour or so, not just Sundays but two or three times a week if I can.

  11. I make simple breakfasts I can take to work all week, do laundry and lay out all my outfits for the week, and look in my planner to see and be ready for what I have to do in the week ahead.

  12. I start every Sunday with my calendar and I plan meals, make a grocery list for Monday if need be.
    We do laundry. I add all my activities.

  13. My husband travels by plane almost every week and usually leaves on Sunday nights or Monday mornings. So our day is spent at church in the mornings and laundry all afternoon to make sure he has everything he needs. I do try to make a nice meal that will last several days for me and my son while my hubby is traveling. I always use aromatherapy to calm my nerves until he makes it to his destination.

  14. Sunday is the Lord’s Day! It belongs to Him. Our family goes to church and then we come home and play/rest for the remainder of the day. Family movie night is every Sunday night. I admit, it takes a lot of pre-planning to set aside an entire day of the week for praise, rest, and play. But it’s so, completely worth it! God knew what He was doing (big surprise) when He set aside a day of rest!

    1. Oh yes. He asks us to rest because He loves and knows us. Jesus is my whole Sabbath, I rest under Grace, no doom ahead.

  15. Our first priority on Sunday is to put God first. I have found through 62 yrs of life, that no matter what I plan and get done, as long as I honor Him and His Word first, He continues to bless the remainder of the week with an abundant life, no matter what I encounter.

  16. I find that setting saturday aside as a “no expectations” rest day that i am so much more capable of serving at church on sunday AND planning for the week in the afternoon! Wish i’d learned it sooner. 💖

  17. On Sunday I use a whiteboard to outline all our activities/appointments and meal plan for the week. We each get a different color of marker assigned to us and we can all check it as we head out the door, and when we need to.

  18. My rest day for Sabbath is Saturday – so Sunday is spent doing starting/preparing tasks for the week. Often washing, gardening, planning roughly what meals and things to do with my husband. I do enjoy the weekend. Thank You for a great and informative post. Enjoyed!

  19. Living on a farm there is no such thing as down time. Animals still need care. I make a large meal that will last several days. Definitely do NOT think about anything to do with work. That is a major stressor during the week so weekends are mine.

  20. Mondays are hard and stressful. I try to keep my hardest days of the week free in the evenings. This helps me so much. I also try to get in bed at a good time so that I can leave early for work. Not Sunday tasks…but these things help my week. I also set aside money to get a coffee or loaded tea on those days I need a pick-me-up ❤ Gives me something yo look forward to during the week

  21. An old friend use to have a saying, “Never let the thoughts about your Mondays ruin your Sundays”. I agree with the premise of preparing. My late Boss felt that Thursday night was the best to prep, for the following week. Firm meeting every Thursday at 5 PM to go over the following week’s schedule and appointments. It allowed the opportunity to address anything urgent on Friday and also allowed us to prep ahead of the weekend. BTW, I agree with above comments that one should add Food Prep to the list….but on Sunday.

  22. I mentally give myself the “day off”….by that I mean I let go of all the “to do’s”, or “didn’t do” thoughts, and give myself credit for how I handled the previous week! I divide the day in 3 parts. Part 1 – fix favorite breakfast..taking time to enjoy no rush! Balance of the morning, focus on how I am balancing my spiritual life, family life, personal life! Generally, this moves me to part 2 – with a list, prioritize the “must do’s” for the coming week that need my special attention, keeping them realistic and time sensitive! Part 3, I call my “wind-down” and “feeling good” period! Simple delicious dinner for family, time out to rest, relax as it works, and be excited about the new coming week! In conclusion, I find that when I make a realistic list for the week (do not overload), and prioritize the most important things that need my attention….I accomplish more in a manner that does not break me down!

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