Here at SELF, we believe Sunday should be a designated reset day, dedicated solely to 18-step skin-care routines, color-coded planning that accounts for our every waking move, and, generally, the pursuit of becoming our best, truest, most exfoliated selves. Just kidding—while we admire #sundayreset TikTokers for their ambitious and entertaining self-care goals, frankly, time is a luxury we often can’t afford.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t try to do our best to ward off the Sunday scaries with some end-of-week recalibration. The fact is, six days of fulfilling seemingly never-ending adult responsibilities is a lot, and small acts of self-preservation can go a long way toward making adult life feel a little more manageable.
What defines a Sunday “reset,” exactly? Not a thing! It’s a totally made-up term which means it can mean whatever you want it to mean. If productivity makes you feel calmer and more prepared to tackle the week ahead, do your thing! Get more juice from ignoring your chore list than completing it? We fully support you (unless you, like, have to pick up your grandmother’s meds; you should definitely do that).
With that live-and-let-live mentality in mind, we asked SELF staffers to share how they get it together on Sundays, with one guideline: It doesn’t have to be cute; it just has to be true. Consider these tips inspiration for creating your own Sunday reset routine. Or don’t—like we said, to each their own.
1. Cook a large-batch, low-maintenance meal.
“I try to make a slow cooker meal on Sundays. That not only takes care of dinner for that night but for the next day or two as well, so feeding myself is one less thing I have to worry about during the early part of the week. Yes, it’s practical, but the hidden bonus is that there’s something quite cozy about the scent of comfort foods simmering away all day.” —Christa Sgobba, associate director of fitness and food
2. Do… whatever you want.
“I like to sleep in on Sundays. Even if I wake up early, I try to quiet my mind and body, lie in bed, and soak up the morning sunshine (if the forecast is on my side). Sometimes I’ll pull out my iPad and watch an episode of whatever show I’m making my way through (I just finished The O.C. for the second time). While I eat breakfast and drink my coffee, I like to work on one of my jigsaw puzzles because I rarely have the brainpower to tackle them on weeknights. If I feel like getting sweaty, I’ll do a Barre3 workout, but if it’s an especially sunny day in Brooklyn, I’ll usually meet up with a friend or my boyfriend to go for a walk. If I don’t leave the apartment in the afternoon, I’ll clean or spend extra time loving on my 67 plants. In the evening, I fill out my planner for the week, using plenty of stickers, so I know what I have coming down the pipeline work-wise, workout-wise, and socially. I also FaceTime my parents every Sunday because they’re the coolest people I know. Before bed, I have my usual cup of spearmint tea, slather on layers of skin-care products that may or may not be doing anything, and read for a bit before I turn out the lights and masturbate one last time before libido gets squashed by mounting work deadlines.” —Sarah Madaus, commerce writer
3. Prep for working-mom life.
“Since becoming a mom, Sunday resets look a little (a lot) different. We almost always go to brunch with our toddler—an attempt to start the day more leisurely compared to the usual hustled weekday mornings. That sets the tone for the day: No schedules on Sundays. I also create an Instacart order to arrive in the late afternoon, then do meal prep for the week after our daughter’s in bed for the evening. At the same time, I’m usually doing everyone’s laundry. The week always ends up being hectic in unexpected ways, so having clean clothes and good food prepared are two small ways that I try to harness some level of stability and calm.” —Amy Eisinger, digital director
4. Be anti-social.
“I avoid people. Sunday is the one day of the week when I don’t have to put energy toward keeping up with humans. Monday through Friday, I’m Zooming and Slacking people constantly; Saturday, I’m catching up with friends IRL. Before the entire cycle begins again, I need Sunday to be with my own thoughts—while lounging in my robe.” —Kenny Thapoung, associate director of audience development
5. Make a meal list.
“Something I try to do on Sundays is, for lack of a better term, ‘shop’ my kitchen—meaning I take stock of everything currently present in my fridge, freezer, and pantry, and plan as many meals for the week as I can using those items. While I usually do end up buying groceries at some point in the week, forcing myself to use what I already have is a good exercise in creativity (and avoiding food waste). Also, my Capricorn-sun/Virgo-moon self loves a list, so making any kind of plan is cosmically satisfying.” —Sara Coughlin, senior commerce writer
6. Do a collective meditation.
“I recently started doing a group meditation on Sunday mornings with a small group of people I met during a virtual retreat. I love the collective energy of people from all over the world and all walks of life coming together for a common purpose: to get our minds right! Afterward, we chitchat about whatever’s going on in our lives. It’s a really nice way to put my daily stressors in perspective, connect with other people, feel more centered and grounded, and hold myself accountable to a practice that’s important to me.” —Carolyn Todd, health editor
7. Schedule alone time.
“I’ve been staying with my mom since the pandemic started, and while I love her the most you can love a person, I noticed that I was getting irritable and, fine, a little bratty on Sundays. We were spending almost the whole day together, so I never had a chance to refill my bone-dry cup. My therapist helped me realize that I probably just needed space and a sense of autonomy, so we started instituting “solo Sundays,” during which we go to our respective corners of the apartment for some alone time. It usually ends up being only a couple of hours, but having that time to read, stream shows that are just for me (Hacks and Succession have been queued up lately, but I reverted to my adolescent self when I moved home so The O.C. is up next), scroll Instagram for chunky puppies and chewy baked goods, watch comedy podcasts on YouTube, and/or text with my friends recharges my batteries and helps me feel like adult me vs. teenage me—in other words, I’m a better human and daughter for it.” –—Cathryne Keller, associate wellness director
8. Slug your mug and enforce a curfew.
“Yes, I love TikTok, and yes, I recently got on the slugging train. Slugging—which we’ve written about before—involves slathering a heavy occlusive moisturizer (think Vaseline or CeraVe Protective Jelly) onto your face, usually at night before bed. I like the idea of starting out the week with a fresh, hydrated face, and I also tend to think that if I start a habit on Sunday, then I’m more likely to keep up with it throughout the rest of the week. I also try to be home by 5:30 on Sundays. If I get home any later than that, I tend to feel less prepared to take on my week—even just emotionally and mentally—so it’s nice to make sure I create a wind-down buffer for a few hours before bed.” —Hannah Pasternak, associate director of special projects