Why Introverts Might Get the ‘Weekend Blues’ — And How to Cope

An introvert with the weekend blues sits on a bench, forlorn

Introverts might get the weekend blues when they don’t get a chance to unwind. 

Do introverts get the “weekend blues”? I do, and apparently I’m not the only one, because this topic has become a viral sensation thanks to a TikToker who has put it in the spotlight. Her videos talk about how she feels sad and lonely on the weekends, and they’ve become a massive trend with others sharing their stories, too. 

The weekend blues are when you should be enjoying your weekend, but instead, you feel guilty, lonely, or anxious. They often happen when your weekend gets away from you and you don’t really get to recharge

Other times, they happen when you feel like you’re wasting a weekend that you “should” be using to do something fun or important instead of just introverting. For introverts, the weekend blues often leave us feeling lonely, or full of regret that we didn’t make time for the meaningful activities we value most. It’s almost like a form of depression.

So how do you take back your weekends and start enjoying them? The answer starts with understanding why the weekend blues happen in the first place.

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Why Introverts Might Get the Weekend Blues

1. You might feel guilty saying no to friends, even though you decided not to go.

In order to protect our energy, we introverts often turn down social invitations — sometimes over and over again. And, even though we’re (usually) doing it for the sake of our own well-being, we can easily start to feel guilty about it. We worry we’re letting our friends down, or that if we do it too much, they’ll start to think we don’t like them. It might sound silly, but the sense of guilt is real. 

It can also lead to regret. If you’re anything like me, once you’re finally at home relaxing, you might second-guess your choice. I often end up with a serious case of Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)… even though I was the one who chose not to go!

2. Your weekends quickly fill up with other obligations.

It’s important for introverts to set good boundaries around our time, but even so, weekends fill up fast. And not just with social invites, either — with many people working more hours than ever before, many routine household chores get shunted to the weekend. (My plants are practically screaming for water by the time Sunday rolls around.) 

The same is often true for meaningful time with your family or your partner. When else are you going to plan fun activities together? On a Wednesday night after staying two hours late at work, with Slack notifications still blowing up your phone? No thanks. I can barely stay awake for Netflix. 

3. Sometimes “alone time” becomes “lonely time.”

Look, here’s a secret that you may never have heard about introverts: We get lonely. Sure, we choose to be alone, at least sometimes. And yes, I love the memes about “I’d rather be reading” and “There were people, zero stars, do not recommend.” 

But really? Sometimes I feel lonely. I worry that my introverted ways mean I don’t have enough meaningful relationships in my life. Or that I would be happier if I was sharing my quiet, low-key little activities with others. 

I think this is one of the hardest things about our temperament: As introverts, we need alone time to be happy. But as human beings, we need people in order to be happy. Sometimes, just as your battery starts to charge, you feel that keenly. 

4. The weekend isn’t enough time to recharge your social battery. 

Although anyone might get the weekend blues, whether they’re an introvert or extrovert, introverts have to deal with a simple law of nature: Two days of quiet time (at best) isn’t always enough to recharge from five days of people time — and most jobs involve a lot of people time, even if they’re remote. 

The simple fact is, as introverts, we’re trying to do an extra thing with our weekends that extroverts don’t have to do. Yes, we’d like to have fun. Yes, we’d like to sleep in. But we also need to restore our social energy after it has been drained away all week. That means we often have to make a difficult choice between doing a fun activity with friends — which will leave us even more peopled-out — or getting the alone time we need. We can’t always do both. 

5. Sunday night anxiety creeps in.

For me, probably the worst weekend blues hit home on Sunday around 4 p.m. That’s when I’ve wrapped up any remaining fun stuff I had planned — or run out of time to do it — and have to confront the awful truth that the weekend is almost over. After two days and nights of being “off,” suddenly my work brain turns on and reminds me about all the tasks I have waiting for me at work the next day. 

It feels like a physical blow to the stomach, and then a creeping sense of anxiety sets in. It’s like my body knows it’s not fully rested yet but has no choice other than to head back into the grinder for another week. The term for this is the “Sunday Scaries,” as the phenomenon seems to affect a lot of people.

Of course, not everyone works Monday to Friday, and not everyone has weekends off. My dad used to work a rotating schedule at a power plant and got several days off after every 10-day stretch, regardless of what day of the week it was. But whenever his last day off was almost over, I remember him sitting quietly in the kitchen not wanting to be bothered. He was an introvert, too, and I bet he was dreading the start of his work week just like I do today.  

Do you ever struggle to know what to say?

As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.

4 Ways to Deal With the Weekend Blues as an Introvert

Just because you experience the weekend blues doesn’t mean you’re stuck with them. Here are some of the strategies I’ve used to evict the blues and enjoy my weekends instead.

1. Empower yourself to go out on your own.

People tell me there’s a stigma about going out by yourself, but the truth is, I’ve almost never experienced that. Even if I walk into a popular restaurant at peak dinner time and ask for a table for one, I don’t get the stink eye or the cold shoulder. Nobody has looked at me funny. To the contrary, most people were engrossed in their own conversations, and if I looked around, I’d often spot another person or two doing the exact same thing. It felt, honestly, pretty normal. 

Not only that, it made me somewhat more social. I would find myself (occasionally) striking up conversations with strangers — the least introverted thing you can possibly do! I also found myself having fun… but on my own terms. I’d often bring something to read if I was eating out, or a notepad to write in, but as often as not, I’d go deep into my daydreaming imagination, thinking up the backstories of all the interesting people around me. I wasn’t really “peopling,” but I was people-adjacent.

I strongly recommend this option for introverts who get the weekend blues. Avoid the loudest places and activities that are specifically aimed at couples, and I promise you, you can have a lot of fun on your own. And you probably won’t get so worn out.

2. Set a regular, recurring schedule with a favorite friend.

We all have that friend. Every introvert has that friend, the one who just gets you. They’re the friend who doesn’t drain you, who you could spend a weirdly long amount of time with and still be fine… as long as you’re one-on-one. If you’re lucky, you might have a few friends like that. 

But it’s all too easy to go weeks without seeing each other, especially as your weekends fill up with whatever random obligations come knocking. The solution? Make a standing, recurring plan to get together on weekends. (I recommend every other week — that gives you a week off to decompress or plan other things.) 

I do this with a close friend of mine: Sometimes we go out and get a beer, sometimes we grill or go for a hike, but we always end up having a good heart-to-heart that’s meaningful for both of us. 

Your recurring plan might be brunch, wine night, board games, or whatever strikes your fancy on the scheduled day. Either way, the result is the same: You have at least one truly meaningful weekend activity on a regular rhythm that doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

3. Fence off at least one part of the weekend for meaningful, introvert-friendly activities.

Remember that book you planned to read? That video game you meant to start? That chapter of your novel you expected to write? Oops! It’s Sunday night and you never got to it! 

Sound familiar? Meaningful solo activities, like introvert-friendly ones such as reading, take some amount of mental energy — which means they easily get postponed in favor of social media scrolling or binge-watching a show. But if you let your weekend slip by without getting to them, you feel unsatisfied, like all you ate was fast food. 

It took me a long time to realize this, but when I did, I started scheduling reading time or creative time the same way I put plans with friends on my calendar — so it’s a firm commitment. I also try to schedule it earlier in the day, like Saturday morning, so that it gets done before I’m out of mental energy. This has helped make my weekends more meaningful and, therefore, happier.

4. Stop feeling guilty if you do let the weekend blues get to you.

Above all, do your best to let go of guilt, shame, or regret about weekends. We are in an overworked, over-connected world — oftentimes, you will feel burned out by the weekend. And if you need to just veg out with Netflix, that’s okay. 

Work on habits slowly, gradually, to make your weekends more fulfilling — but don’t beat yourself up when you miss the mark. We all do. And the good news? You can try again next weekend.

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