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Sunday, The Catch-All Day

Updated: May 28, 2023

by Bonny O'Neill, LPC-MHSP

Nearly everyone I know has a "catch-all"... you know a drawer or closet that has batteries, tape, post-its, loose tools, old phone chargers, and other random items. These spaces are like the Wild West. Totally disorganized and unpredictable. My catch-all drawer is in my office desk and it drives me NUTS. Every time I open it, I tell myself that one of these days I will get around to organizing it. And today I finally did... YAH, GO ME!!

I got rid of useless things, put in a little organizer, and now I actually stand a chance at finding my spare car keys when I need them. It is a glorious feeling. I've been putting it off for ages and then it took me less than 15-minutes to take care of it. So why did I finally tackle this little project?

Earlier in the week, I was challenged by a colleague to identify a small thing that she called an "energy leak" and to fix it.

My catch-all was my energy leak.

However, once organized is not always organized. Beyond doubt, this drawer will be a hot mess again. That’s life. And it’s okay. In fact, if you remember back to middle school science there's a term for this... entropy.

Even knowing that my drawer will fall into some state of disarray down the road, it is still worth the few weeks of sanity that this organization lasts. And then I'll do it all over again to get back to sanity.

What does this have to do with Sundays?

Sundays have become like a catch-all drawer. It’s the day we put all our activities and responsibilities that we don’t have space for during the week. Family activities. Sports. Laundry. Leftover work. Grocery shopping. Cleaning. Last minute errands. It’s a random, disorganized day and ends up leaking our energy.

No wonder most people dread work on Mondays. We go from working at our jobs to working at our homes and back to work at work again. It's a vicious cycle.

So now what?

It's unrealistic to suggest a total reimagining of Sundays as they will always have a random assortment of responsibilities.

This will always be the case until culturally we learn to prioritize rest over productivity, and normalize saying "no" to some things or restructuring what we think we need in order to flourish. But that topic is for another day, another post.

For now, let's look at a simple Spring Cleaning of Sundays.

Start with ridding yourself of phrases starting with “I should/have to/must…”. Those are punishing phrases that guilt us into doing more than is healthy or necessary. Instead, open a dialogue with yourself about the decision at hand and see if you have other options.

From there, create space for rest by cutting activities that aren’t absolutely necessary. And do it without apology, explanation, or guilt. Normalize being kind to yourself and how you think about the decisions you make. You cannot please everyone. You cannot be everything to everyone. It's not possible. I've tried and it always ends in some form of burnout.

Be intentional with your Sundays.

They will get “messy” again but it’s worth a few weeks of sanity here and there revisit how you're spending your time on Sundays. It doesn't need to be a catch-all day. It can be an important day with the sole purpose of rest and recuperation. Without rest and time for play we burnout, lose productivity during other times, and also live our only life feeling tired and overwhelmed.

May you all find rest, joy, and/or play on this Sunday :)

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