Why Do The Sunday Scaries Feel So Bad… But Look So Good?

The dread I feel regarding Sunday Scaries hasn’t changed. But the look of it certainly has.

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Sunday afternoons — a time to reset, recover, and attempt to transcend those Sunday Scaries — have always been a private, personal affair. It's something to do by yourself. But then again, I suspect that the solitary nature of Sundays had a lot to do with the fact that it was so goddamn ugly. For years, the aesthetics of my Sundays comprised of rank, oversized T-shirts and half-eaten pizzas, all shrouded in darkness because the curtains were drawn so tightly that the only light making its way into my bedroom dungeon was from the One Tree Hill episode playing on my laptop. Call me crazy but would you want to see a photo of me doing that?
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In the years since, the dread I feel regarding Sunday Scaries hasn’t changed. But the look of it certainly has.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY YUDI ELA.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY YUDI ELA.
Catherine Rising, Pink Moment Palo Santo; Brooklyn Candle Studio, Sunday morning Minimalist Candle; Urban Outfitters, Sid Glass Vase.
Sundays have experienced a real glow-up. Brands like Glossier — the cult-favorite skincare brand behind Milky Jelly Cleanser and Moon Masks — and Sleeper — a sleepwear brand that coincidentally designs pajamas too good for just dozing — have been bringing luxury to your end-of-the-weekend routine. No longer sponsored by Hot Cheetos and Red Bull, Sundays are instead brought to you by lush indoor plants, Palo Santo-scented room diffusers and candles, and loungewear that could easily be confused with black tie attire. Barely there shades of pink, lavender, and soft yellow have replaced the harsh neon tinge of your third Gatorade of the day. There are CBD oils that help you forget the inbox you left unattended all weekend, candles designed to recreate the calm of a carefree morning, and luxe perfumes that look as good on your shelf as they smell on your skin.
These are products that are meant to be photographed and shared, which makes sense. We’re a generation who’s not only unafraid of acknowledging our anxieties, but we’re also open to talking to others about how we manage it — even if it's just wearing fancy pajamas to kick back on the sofa.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY YUDI ELA.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY YUDI ELA.
Standard Dose, Standard Dose Tincture; Hum, Big Chill (capsule).
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While the ills might be the same (a hangover, panic over the workweek, a general malaise at the end of a weekend slump), the remedy is far more beautiful.
"I tell students and clients that clothing can be used to facilitate feeling better," says self-described “fashion psychologist” Dawnn Karen, who was dubbed by The New York Times as "The Dress Doctor." "Oftentimes, we underestimate clothing's effect on our behaviors and moods. In fact, it can actually be used for self care."
PHOTOGRAPHED BY YUDI ELA.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY YUDI ELA.
Sleeper Pajama Top.
"There’s a correlation between attire and attitude,” Karen explains, pointing out that when you feel good about what you’re wearing, whether that means opting for a loose-fitting pair of trousers over too-tight jeans, your overall mood can be improved. Meaning that it’s possible for the hand-dyed granny panties and cashmere socks you bought in the name of self care to actually make a difference in your Sunday-afternoon emotional state.
And as millennials and Gen-Zers alike become more and more open about the way that they're feeling (cue any Euphoria clip), those past stigmas surrounding mental health are starting to crumble, making way for a generation of consumers who understand that being helpful and useful to the world means putting themselves, and their health, first – at least on Sundays.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY YUDI ELA.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY YUDI ELA.
Byredo, Sundazed Eau de Parfum; Skin Gym, Jade Scuplty Heart Gua Sha Tool; Herbivore, Phoenix Facial Oil (shown on gua sha tool); Chillhouse, Good Thing Soap.
It wasn’t too long ago that I was in college, holed up in my bedroom hiding from the last hours of Sunday sunlight. But after an at-home facial, a few CBD drops, and a spritz of nighttime room spray, I feel that I've got a real shot at surviving the long haul to Monday morning. In my experience, these subtle changes to my routine did more than just get rid of a blemish or a headache. They allow me time to appreciate everything that I do have rather than focusing on the stress and strain of what I have yet to do.
So next time 3 p.m. on Sunday rolls around and that oh-so-familiar feeling of gloom starts to set in, instead of hiding behind it, maybe try and do something about it. Throw on a silk pajama set (preferably one with feathers), slather on a face mask in a fun color, burn through every candle in your apartment, and snap a pic to share.
Now that the scene is all set, your mood should follow.

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