“The city takes a breath on Sunday. Of all that’s lost with the pursuit of what’s next, I hope we don’t lose that…” – Hawksley Workman
Sunday: the start of a new week or the end of an old one, depending on how you look at it.
I love Sunday – I’d even go so far as to say it’s my favourite day of the week – but it hasn’t always been. Sundays used to be filled with dread. That heavy, gnawing dread that clings to the bottom of your stomach all day. You try to forget about it but it’s always there, simmering away in the background as you try to get on with your day. For me it was the dread of a new week, a long, boundless stretch of uncertainty and misery until the two short days escape at the end. The dread of school, the dread of starting something new, the dread of soul-crushing jobs. The most relaxing day of the week was always tainted.
And if it wasn’t tainted with fear of the coming week, it was full of tears and arguments and self-loathing. Since becoming an adult I have spent the majority of my Sundays feeling like a burden, feeling unwelcome in my tiny family, feeling as small and feeble as a child. I spent so much of my, often only one day off, putting in effort with people who have never really liked me. I have spent long drives to and from my adult home to my childhood one crying and full of rage. I have spent Sundays longing for things to be different, for them to be full of love and bliss. Maybe one day I’ll go into this in a bit more detail, but for now I’ll leave it at that.
A Sunday for me now, since I’ve shelved the negativity and told myself I won’t go back to it, are like a little oasis at the end of a hectic week. The light at the end of the tunnel.
I often spend mornings languishing in bed, drinking coffee snuggled beneath the sheets, my nose in a book. It starts the day off right. I try to have no screens so I can fully be in the moment. I love going out for breakfast if we have no other plans for the day. Or, I often indulge in big hearty (or sometimes naughty – sometimes all you need is a chocolate pastry to start the day right) cooked breakfast that I would never have time to make in the week.
I love an active Sunday these days. My best friend and I have bought walking books so we can explore the midlands and get fit doing it. We often go on 10km walks off the beaten track, and stop off for a pub lunch on the way. We went to the Peak District last week, but sometimes we stay a bit closer to home. If we don’t go walking I start the day off with a swim so I don’t feel guilty about slipping back under the duvet for the afternoon.
A Sunday well spent is good for the soul. Like, really good. It sets you up well and puts you in the right frame of mind for the week ahead.
I have always wished I was one of those people who loves whiling away the hours in a bath, but I just haven’t been – until today. A chilly, rainy Sunday would has been the perfect day to indulge. Often, I wake up with a fleeting thought of I’m going to have a hot bath later, do a face mask, drink tea and watch Netflix and it will definitely be a weekly ritual.
Recently Mondays have been a bit of a struggle for me. Most days now I wake up and have to fight to hold in tears and Monday seems to be the day it feels the worst. That’s why I’m taking extra care over my relaxing Sundays right now; I’m hopeful they’ll help me move away from this headspace. And even if they don’t, self-care and relaxation is so important and Sunday is the best day of the week to focus on it.
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