On Mondays, do you find yourself wondering where the weekend went? Do you find it hard to have a relaxing weekend? In fact, you often think to yourself “it feels like I didn’t even have time to relax!”
Most people view Saturday and Sunday as a time to catch up on all the things they didn’t have time to do during the week: have fun, see loved ones, and and do it all over again just five days later.
This routine can leave you just as drained and exhausted on Monday morning as you felt on Friday afternoon.
So how can you really relax and recharge on the weekend without feeling exhausted on Monday? Here’s how to have a relaxing weekend.
How To Make Sure Your Weekend is Relaxing
1. Stop sleeping late.
Although you may be tempted to do so, sleeping the morning away will rob you of valuable time to get out there and make the most of your weekend. This is especially pronounced during the winter when daylight hours are shorter. Sleeping in could make the difference between getting outdoors for an adventure and sitting inside watching Friends reruns.
In fact, it will end up interfering with your sleep schedule during the rest of the week, making you even more exhausted. If you’re really tired, just take a short power nap during the day instead.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t go out for drinks on a Friday night with your pals. Simply avoid the urge to bing-watch Netflix or spend hours in the rabbit hole of staring at your phone screen going through Instagram feeds.
2. Stop working!
That’s right, actually give work a rest. In order to have a relaxing weekend, you need to make a conscious decision at 5:00pm on Friday to stop working and start relaxing. Of course, there may be emergencies that come up but don’t let that become a habit. Create boundaries at work and stick to them. Otherwise you risk burn out.
Imagine you’re transforming from the “work version” of yourself into the happy-go-lucky, relaxing “weekend version.” Relax, guilt-free!
3. Unplug from social media and smartphones.
Being constantly connected spreads your attention thin, draining you of valuable energy at a time when you’re trying to relax and—pardon the pun—recharge.
4. Plan ahead—but also go with the flow.
Strike a good balance. You can look forward to future activities and have plans in place, but also let yourself be flexible without packing the weekend too tightly.
5. Get out of your comfort zone.
Monotony can make even the most relaxing weekend feel boring, and what else is more exhausting than that?
Challenge yourself with new physical or intellectual activities. Make your weekends different every week.
Consider a weekend “staycation”: pretend you’re a tourist in your own city or town. Perhaps there are some interesting places you’ve never checked out that are just minutes away from you!
6. Schedule some “nothing” time.
For years, I’ve scheduled out a morning or afternoon every weekend to be entirely without plans.
This may seem boring, but it’s a healthy way for me to recharge and hit the “reset” button. I know I don’t have to be anywhere, do anything, or be accountable to anyone, and that’s so satisfying.
Carve out at least an hour to be entirely selfish and self-indulgent.
7. Don’t postpone all your chores or errands for the weekend.
It may feel tempting to save your chores for Sunday, but resist the urge. Doing this will just stress you out when you are trying to decompress. Knock off some of your chores during the week so you can really relax during the weekend. And if you still have a lot piled on, try and spread them out a bit and then reward the accomplishment with something fun.
8. Fight the “Sunday blues.”
Is it hard for you to enjoy the weekend because you’re dreading the work week that lies ahead?
Remember, you’re wasting an entire day of your life every single time you do this. Allow your Sunday to be chill and enriching.
And above all, know that these days are yours. Make them different and special and allow yourself to have a relaxing weekend.
Jonathan Alpert, author of BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days, holds an advanced degree in psychology and is licensed in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. as a Professional Counselor. His direct and no-nonsense approach has helped countless clients overcome a wide range of issues and go on to achieve success in their careers and relationships. Jonathan has appeared on every major national news show and is a special contributor to the Huffington Post.
Photo by moorebig50