Each week we go into the weekend with so much excitement and anticipation, but then it seems like that fades and the time gets wasted leaving you sitting on Sunday frustrated at the misspent time and dreading Monday after not decompressing. There has to be a better way, right? Today we’re talking about the best way to enjoy your weekend to ensure you’re all ready for the week ahead.
In any given weekend there are 60 hours, from 6pm Friday evening to 6am Monday morning. Even if you slept for 24 hours of that you are still left with 36 to enjoy and decompress from the week’s stresses. However most of us, being the busy people that we are, end up spending those hours focused on catching up on all the things we didn’t finish during the week (I’m looking at you, 8 loads of laundry & Backyard Jungle), still working, or just doing nothing in the face of the frustratingly endless To-Do’s. It’s something that we all experience and there’s no shame in admitting those times either.
But what if there were 6 simple things you could do this weekend to make those priceless days of relaxation serve their full potential of rejuvenation? What if you could enjoy your weekend so much that when Monday comes you’re totally back and ready to get into those To-Do’s with gusto? You can! And here’s how:
1. Stop Working
This seems like a no brainer. You aren’t in the office so you aren’t working. But think about that statement a little more closely. Do you find yourself checking (and inevitably responding) to random emails at night or over the weekend when it could in all honesty just wait until Monday? Do you take calls from co-workers at all hours just in case it’s an emergency? For those of you with social media accounts for your business, are you spending hours styling photos and writing posts so you don’t miss the weekend crowd? Newsflash: You’re working on the weekend!
In the age of always-open social media and keeping our email accounts on our phones, it’s so easy to find yourself on the clock 24/7. That isn’t healthy and it’s definitely not sustainable. You have to carve out and claim those weekends for yourself and your family.
Silence notifications on your email (or totally remove it from your phone each Friday if you have to!). Don’t take those random phone calls – work issues can wait for work hours. Make your weekend social media posts in advance with apps like Latergramme , Hootsuite, or Tailwind – blog posts can be scheduled in advance as well so you aren’t getting things ready for Monday while you should be enjoying your Saturday. Establish a social media blackout day (for instance, I announced Blessed Bookworm’s No Post on Sundays just under a month ago and it’s been a great decision with no regrets). To keep yourself engaged and motivated during the week you have to enforce weekend breaks. Which brings me to the next point…
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope, YouTube,…the list goes on and on. All of these apps are wonderful and serve wonderful purposes. I live 2,000 miles from my family and most all of my friends. Without Facebook and Instagram, I’d be completely cut off from them in most ways and they wouldn’t get to know my sons nearly as well as they do. It’s how we stay involved in one another’s lives. Heck, I snapchat with my sisters daily. There are six of us – daily phone calls just isn’t in the cards. But there are times when I have to step away from all of that because I find myself spending the entire day refreshing the feed over and over to make sure I don’t miss anything instead of making my life the priority and others’ lives just something fun to know. Let me put more emphasis on that for you: Others’ lives are not your first priority.
Like I mentioned before with ways to make sure you aren’t working, establish times where you aren’t using any apps. But let’s go further than that. For at least a few hours a weekend you need to turn off the tv, put down your phone and shut down the computer. Step away from all the technology. There’s so much negativity in the world (especially on Facebook!) and you need to make sure you have a break from all that on a regular basis. Give people a heads up about what you’re going to start doing if need be so that they bother you less. Leave the outside world alone for a bit and focus in on your world. It’s usually a pretty fantastic place to be, guys.
3. Go Outside / Workout
I can’t stress this point enough! Ladies and gents, we are animals that need the outdoors and exercise. It’s good for your brain development – literally! Even if it’s just a walk, get outside and do it. It’s raining, you say? Grab an umbrella or a rain coat and remember why you used to love playing in the rain as a kid. It’s cold or snowing? Same deal. Dress warmly and get outside. I’m a runner and my friends and I are always saying about our runs or gym time: You never feel regret after getting your run in, but it’s guaranteed if you skip out. Working out is a natural high (I think we’ve all heard this) and I think everyone needs to have a hobby of some kind that keeps them physically fit. For me it’s running, lifting weights, and rowing all in training for the regular races I do. I’m a slow runner but I go and it always makes me feel better. Every day is more enjoyable on the whole if I got a workout in. You can’t beat that clarity.
If you’re going to go for a walk, have it do some good using the CharityMiles app which will pay 25¢ for every mile you go to a charity of your choice (this works for running, cycling, and even treadmills – heck I turn it on when I go to buy groceries!). Want to go for a hike but don’t know where to go? Check out AllTrails to explore your area. Sign up for a local 5k or 10k and then begin to train for it. Join CrossFit or try out a fitness class. Do Yoga. If you’re a mom and don’t have a lot of kid-free time, look up your local Fit4Mom chapter for a group of women in the same boat who do workouts together with kids in tow. There are endless options, just go outside and break a sweat! You’ll thank yourself later.
4. Plan Your Weekend
I don’t mean to the minute or even to the hour, don’t stress, but hear me out. If you make plans with friends or your family, you have something to look forward to. A great study found that the anticipation of a vacation or holiday actually increases our happiness more than the holiday itself. Looking forward to your adventures and dates is as important as the event itself! So send out a text to your friends, and invite them out for something fun. Shoot for 3-5 anchor events each weekend. Try something new on a regular basis, explore your area… Go on an adventure.
Start a standing dinner date with your spouse, or a group viewing of a favorite TV show with some friends (Any GoT fans out there?). Claim a few hours each weekend for you to spend on your own doing a favorite solo activity. Reading, cross-stitch, adult coloring books, trying out new DIY projects you’ve been saving on Pinterest for three years to do “one day.” Establish a weekly “Family Night Dinner” with the family you have nearby. My family back in Florida has been having Monday night dinners for over 6 years and it’s always one of my favorite parts of a trip home. – Did I mention I start planning our trips and vacations 3-6 months in advance? Talk about revving up that anticipation factor.
5. Limit Housework
I know, I know – there’s laundry, the floors don’t vacuum themselves, ‘Have you seen my sink full of dishes?’ We all have a million chores to do as adults and they’re daunting just to think about. Which is why you shouldn’t be spending your entire weekend trying to knock them all out. Chores aren’t going anywhere, y’all. Don’t let them control your weekend! When you’re scheduling your weekend plans, decide on a few things you can get done in the span of 2-3 hours. The rest you can cycle through in future weekends or in small doses throughout the week. I loathe doing laundry, but I’d rather do a load here or there Monday through Friday than spend an entire weekend doing 8 loads all together (Don’t judge me. Between us, three boys, and a lot of time spent outside – we get a lot of dirty clothes). I do my dishes every morning as part of my routine while the coffee brews. Figure out your system and make it work for you. Saturday mornings we pick up the house a little and either do some yard work or a project that we’ve been waiting on. Once lunch time hits we call it for the day and move on to family activities or our other plans.
Write out your chore list and start assigning projects to various weekends on your calendar. Think about how you would best enjoy your standard chores throughout the week and write them down for accountability. Set goals for yourself and see how quickly you can meet them. Use your housework hours to decompress and then let them go in favor of more fun and quality time.
6. Embrace Your Sunday
Too often we allow ourselves to waste Sunday just by dreading the close at hand return of Monday. It’s got to stop. Even at 5pm on Sunday afternoon you still have 13 hours before that 6am alarm on Monday morning! You’re shortchanging yourself and it’s the quickest way to ruin a great weekend. If you’re sitting on the couch Sunday evening and all of your plans are done for the weekend, start planning out your coming week. What are your goals? What do you want to try next weekend? Do your meal prep for the week to save on cooking time after a long work day. Maybe try picking out each day’s outfits in advance to get in an extra 10 minutes of sleep each morning.
One of the best ways to change your mindset on Sundays is to work on loving Mondays! I’ve got blogs each Monday morning to put you in the right place mentally for your week, so that’s a win right there. Plus, if you subscribe to emails below you’ll also get an exclusive Mentality Monday Moodboard which comes with all kinds of extras to get you in that rejuvenated spot to look forward to Mondays and a new week instead of feeling trepidation about it. Make Monday your new favorite day of the week to start getting all of your goals met after a great weekend spent in the best refresh mode possible.
Now that you know how to set up your best weekend ever as well as how you’ll start next week with an excellent Monday, here is the first monthly free wallpaper for your laptop and phone!
Much love, darlings. Enjoy your weekend!