Saturday night blues
Hello, and thanks in advance for your help :)
Every week when Shabbat is over, I feel down and start to feel pressure when I think about the coming week.
On Saturday, everything is fine and then at the end of Shabbat - Boom! - I feel apprehensive again.
Can I overcome these feelings? If so, how?
Your question is excellent and I am glad I have the opportunity to answer it. I hope it will help.
First of all, it is so nice to hear that you associate Shabbat with a time of the week where you experience feelings of calm and serenity, because this is part of the gift that Hashem has given us.
I think that a lot of readers will identify with these “Saturday night blues” which you describe, as proven by countless jokes that have been told for years about Saturday night or Sunday morning. I personally feel this way from time to time.
The difference between Shabbat and weekdays is usually due to the fact that our typical day is full of all sorts of things that keep us busy and don’t allow us to rest. On Shabbat, we have some respite from all of this and are in fact commanded to rest and take a break from all the hustle and bustle. Then, in the blink of an eye, as soon as Shabbat goes out, we go back to the reality of everyday life - that was waiting around the corner - and have to start a new week all over again. The question is, should our weekly routine and the thought of returning to it after Shabbat necessarily cause such negative feelings? And the answer is: no, we have the ability to mediate these feelings.
When we experience certain concerns, it is helpful to look around and find someone we love and appreciate, and who we feel comfortable with, to vent and share. Can you sit down with a person of your choice and think about why you feel blue every Motz’ei Shabbat? Maybe something in your weekly routine is weighing heavily on you, is hard to deal with, and there might be some room for change.
When our mind is rushing with thoughts, it can create a whole range of worries that disturb our inner peace. Once we organize these thoughts, things might become more manageable. Therefore, I would recommend that you sit down and methodically write out what you have to do this week. This way, you will start your week in an organized manner and this might have an effect on your “Saturday night blues”.
In addition, just like any concern or stress in our life, we can turn to things that calm us - music, exercising, meditation, among others. These things have a real physiological effect on our ability to be more at peace, and could be really helpful in your case.
One last tip: try to ask yourself whether you use Shabbat and the peace that comes with it as an “escape” from an exhausting every-day reality. If this is the case, you could try to see Shabbat more as a “pit stop” to refuel and regain your strength and energy for the new week, and this might make you experience Shabbat differently.
I hope that Saturday night and the weekdays will become a source of joy for you, like Shabbat.