There’s only one thing worse than the Sunday blues… the Monday blues, of course! So often we dread the end of our weekend, thinking, “Where did the time go?” or “What have I actually done all weekend?”. According to a recent study by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, nearly 7 in 10 people put in a full workday at least one weekend a month. With many people dragging their work into the weekend, it’s no wonder that there’s a constant build up of exhaustion, panic and worry upon us – because before we know it, it’s back to the office. This has a profound impact on a person’s wellbeing, mental health and relationships. Therefore, this is the reason I have partnered with Enterprise Rent-A-Car on a campaign to help stop the disappearance of the weekend.
The first step to reclaiming your weekend (and begin to feel human again!) is to recognise why you’re not putting the laptop away on your two days out of office. Is it self-imposed rather than out of necessity? Realistically, if you do have to carry on working throughout your weekend, be mindful to know how to cultivate some personal time to unwind, relax, re-energise and switch off from work. However, if you’re taking on more than you really need to, it might be time to prioritise your needs so you don't panic.
The important thing to realise is that weekends in general can be exhausting – we try to pack in everything we missed out on in the 5 working days into two, like exercise, seeing friends and family, running errands or simply mundane chores like cleaning the house or doing laundry. This cramped schedule can leave you feeling just as exhausted on a Monday morning as after a full day’s work. There are however mindful ways you can have a more awesome and productive weekend.
How to make the weekend seem longer
1. Take a break from work
Make a conscious decision that you will be off the clock come Friday at 5pm. Imagine that you're simultaneously turning off the ‘work’ version of you just as you turn off your laptop or walk out of the office building. At the same time, turn on the social weekend version of yourself.
2. Be reasonable in your thinking
Focusing on negative thoughts like, “The weekend is too short” is sure to keep you feeling overwhelmed and prevent you from enjoying your free time. Shift your thinking to see that you can actually make good use of your time. Also, be reasonable with yourself – don’t think you have to get all 50 things on your To-Do list checked off, it simply defeats the purpose of relaxing and recharging over the weekend. Everything in moderation!
3. Balance yourself between plans and going with the flow
Again, the key is to find a balance with how you’ll be spending your weekend as a whole. If the idea of attending every event you were invited to stresses you out, choose the one you’re interested in the most and decline the rest. On the other hand, saying ‘no’ to everything will probably bring up feelings of boredom or loneliness. Simply, do what you want.
4. Don’t think all you need to do is sleep to re-energise
Although catching up on Zzz’s is tempting, sleeping in and napping all day will rob you of energy rather than replenish you. It can also interrupt your sleep patterns at night and could lead to the development of insomnia issues. If you’re exhausted, you can of course have a little nap, just make sure that you’re not sleeping the entire day away. Instead, try to pick up your energy and discover new opportunities waiting for you.
5. Step out of your comfort zone
Try to challenge yourself with something new each weekend. Whether it’s an exercise class you’ve been meaning to try or a visit to a museum, try new activities to make your weekends stand out from each other rather than all blend into the same thing over and over again – that's a great way to reclaim your weekend.
6. Do a digital detox
Being constantly connected to devices and social media really depletes you of energy. It’s important to make sure you take a break from being connected 24/7 and switch off from work at home – after all, you yourself need to be recharged once in a while.
7. Tackle the Sunday night blues
Don’t be wrapped up in the panic of the work week ahead during your days off. Make sure you’re leaving your ‘work self’ prepared for the next week before you leave the office. This will help you feel organised and settled enough to actually enjoy your relaxation time.
Test out these tips to help you have a productive and awesome break and stop thinking about work on weekends. Try to relax, recharge and rest. Spending time with close friends and family is a great way to get out of the house and strike a healthy balance between your work self and your weekend self.
Read next: Say Goodbye to Sunday Blues!
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