Even before Lionel Richie immortalized the connotation in his 1992 song, Sunday morning has been a time where things feel totally easy. But for some, that euphoria quickly crashes once the evening rolls in. For Ashli Stockton, the Sunday Scaries hit hard—which is why she eventually ditched her corporate job to start a brand that celebrates all the best things about the earlier part of the day. Thus, Sunday Forever was born.
“My measure of success was that it would be when every day felt like a Sunday, and I didn’t know what day it was,” she says. “It’s so sad that this day that should be so lovely has so much anxiety and suffering around it.”
With a collection of products that includes everything from kimonos to candles, Sunday Forever hinges its brand identity on the idea that small rituals—rituals that hardly take any time at all—can make a major impact on your day. For Stockton, these rituals helped to abate the Sunday Scaries, and now, they make every day feel like the weekend. In fact, her advice can even help make your workweek feel like a breeze.
The Mini Fix: Gather Nice Things
The little things can make a major impact on your day, without requiring you to slate anything in your to-do list. For Stockton, miniature meditations helped her to maintain her focus and banish stress. “Meditation is something that’s helped a lot of people, but I’m not saying I did these hour-long or half hour–long meditations,” she says. “Just five or 10 minutes helps me a lot.”
Even smaller changes can result in a better mood too. When you’re surrounded by a relaxing environment or you create one for yourself, it becomes far easier to combat the Sunday Scaries—after all, “nice things” are a core element of Sunday Forever’s offerings.
“At any given moment, even if you come to our office and our studio, we always have a candle burning. Always,” Stockton says. “I think having your environment in order is appealing to the eye—just making your space super comfy, cozy, and pretty.”
Even the act of putting on something a bit more comfortable can start and end your day on the right note. “The kimonos are the first product that I launched. I put one on every single morning and every single night,” she says. “It’s not just a robe—you don’t just throw it on. You wrap the belt a certain way. It’s a moment of pause to take 30 seconds for yourself.”
The Medium Fix: Indulge in Relaxing Activities
If you have a bit more time allotted to relaxation in your day, Stockton recommends going all-out and having a luxurious evening in, which can include bath time, a nice homemade meal, and whatever longer rituals might make you feel most at ease. While still fighting stress in the corporate world, these rituals prepped her for stressful weeks ahead.
“I would do this whole bath routine—I would draw a bath, light candles, turn off the lights. It would be a whole scene,” she says. “It was a production head-to-toe, getting my nails ready, getting out of the bath, taking a shower, then getting my face on point. That would start around 5 o’clock, and then I would make a nice dinner every Sunday. Wine involved, for sure.”
The Big Fix: Work on Your True Passion
Ultimately, however, Stockton sees these fixes as only temporary solutions to the greater issue of Sunday stress—and her main message is for people to figure out what they love and do it. “I do think this can be like putting a Band-Aid,” she says. “More importantly, my message is to encourage people to take a deeper look. Even if it takes a few years to start following your real passion, it will make you feel better.”
Even if the process seems insurmountable, there are small steps you can take to get where you’d like to be. “Once I realized what the issue was, I started to think about how to fix it,” Stockton says. “I started listening to podcasts, reading books about how to tap into your passion, and listening to other entrepreneurs who left their jobs. When anybody is experiencing what you’re experiencing, you feel less alone, and it also feels like you’re actually taking action.”
When you’re excited about what you do during the week, after all, Sundays feel a lot less scary—so much so that Stockton’s weekend routine now looks totally different than it did in her corporate days.
“On Sundays now, I am typically in the office because no one is there and I love it. I’m able to clear my mind and be creative and do whatever I want,” she says. “I’ll bring the dogs, my husband will bring me brunch. Anytime I want, I can go and leave. I’m able to listen to what I need in my body and my mind and do what I need when I need it—I think that just makes me a better human being and makes me that much more productive.”
More nice things: