Why is it that some people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) find Sundays to be especially difficult? Perhaps you’ve even heard the term “Sunday Scaries.”
Even as a person in recovery from BPD, I remain an emotionally sensitive person, and there are some things that make Sundays a bit difficult for me, too. The good news is, there is hope! There are some Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills that we can apply to the Sunday blues and boredom, but let’s talk about why this may be happening in the first place.
One of the main reasons why people with BPD or emotional sensitivity may find Sundays challenging is if you don’t have a job or a regular weekday routine and your significant other, family member, or person you spend the most time with on the weekend does. You may find yourself dreading them heading off to work or school, because this usually leaves you feeling alone, lost, or empty without their companionship and support. This was a really difficult one for me early on. I didn’t have a real sense of self, so it was very difficult for me to be alone, even for short amounts of time. Being alone would lead to feeling empty and would sometimes escalate to feeling as if I didn’t exist and getting caught up in dissociation.
So, what DBT skills did I call upon when Sunday evenings and Monday mornings brought out some of the worst in my symptoms? It varied. Grounding myself through Wise Mind, cheerleading self-talk about how I survived many other Sundays, and I could survive this one, too, helped to comfort me a bit. Self-Soothing was and is another skill set that I find very effective. It is categorized under the module of Distress Tolerance, sometimes referred to as “Crisis Survival Skills.” The idea behind these skills is that you use them when you can’t use problem solving, i.e. there is nothing you can do in the moment to resolve the issue, and you’re wanting to tolerate the situation without making matters worse by sabotaging or engaging in behaviors you’re trying to reduce (i.e. drinking, drugs, self-harm, being impulsive, overspending, being around toxic people, etc.).
Self-Soothing means to soothe yourself through one or more of your five senses. Here are some examples of self-soothing kits that some of my students in my online DBT class have presented. After click on each one, click the “back” button to return to this post.
The very act of putting your own self-soothing kit together can be a great distraction from the distress that Sundays can sometimes bring. If you find the activity helpful, you may also want to search Pinterest for ideas on crafts and projects that you can plan to do each Sunday as a way to take your mind off of the pain, even if just for a little while.
I hope this post was helpful to you in some way. Let me know if you experience something similar on Sundays. Why do you think this is, in your situation? Is there anything you are doing to skillfully and effectively cope?
Thanks for reading.
Learn how implementing DBT Skills into my daily life helped me OVERCOME Borderline Personality Disorder and THRIVE as an emotionally sensitive person. Click HERE to learn more and to sign up for my online, worldwide, live, weekly DBT psychoeducational class, where I teach you everything I learned. Class is co-facilitated by a therapist who is also in recovery from BPD.