Is this your week? Your Monday through Friday draaaags on while the weekend is over before you know it.
But the time you have between end-of-day Friday and wake-up time on Monday is actually about 60 hours. And those 60 hours are yours.
If 60 hours seem too unwieldy to manage, try breaking it down into chunks. Time management expert Julie Morgenstern’s strategy is perfect here:
And when you’re ready to plan your chunks of time, choose from this list. Those 60 hours will feel like a much-needed break from your busy week!
Okay, this one can be a bit elusive when you’re a parent — particularly if you’ve got young kids who bounce out of bed early on a Saturday! But, if you can, get some of those precious extra zzz’s over the weekend.
Experts say that adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. And missing out can have some surprisingly serious consequences, says the CDC: “Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress.”
So schedule in some snooze time!
2. Get moving.
During the week, plenty of us don’t get to move our bodies much during the day. So, especially if you’re typically parked in at a desk from Monday to Friday, it’s important to move those muscles on the weekend.
Head outdoors, hit the gym, or do a high-energy activity like swing dancing or roller skating!
3. Transport your mind somewhere different.
Julie Morgenstern encourages people to take “escapes” — “hobbies and activities that instantly transport us to a place of joy provide one of the most efficient ways to recharge our batteries.”
So what are yours? Identify at least one activity that gives your mind that feeling of relaxation and peace. And squeeze that activity into your next weekend.
4. Get out.
After working all week, I am itching to get out of the house when Saturday rolls around. If the weather is good, take a day trip or visit a local attraction — your famer’s market, nearby park, or school carnival.
Bad weather? Try a museum, a movie, or even just a drive to explore your area.
5. Do something completely different.
What part of your brain is normally doing all the heavy lifting? Give that part a break and do something that’s nothing like your day job.
Crunching numbers all day at work? Do a paint-and-sip painting class on the weekend. Engaging in a lot of face-to-face client meetings or teaching a roomful of students? Grab some alone time with nature or a good book.
6. Spend time with people who refresh you.
Remember playing The Sims back in the day? If you left your Sim alone for long enough, the poor thing would start to gesticulate, wail, and conjure up an image of Sim-to-Sim connection in a thought bubble.
We’re not all that different! Sometimes some human contact can refresh the soul in ways that nothing else can. Find the people who inspire that feeling in you, and prioritize time with them this weekend. Maybe that’s your spouse, your kids, extended family, or dear friends.
7. Make a spiritual connection.
Speaking of refreshing your soul, taking time for prayer or meditation can truly enliven your spirit. How you do that’s up to you. Attend a Bible study, read a spiritual book, spend time with your rosary — whatever speaks most to you.
8. Skip the screens.
We already get a lot of screen time. In fact, it’s estimated that adults spend 11 hours in front of screens every single day. That’s work, E-mail, social media, T.V. time, Internet surfing, online buying, and everything else we do with our devices.
So, this weekend, see about separating from your screens a little more.
9. Slow down for a meal.
Weeknights can be crazy hectic. But weekends offer a unique opportunity — a slower, more relaxed pace and maybe even more time for prep.
Take advantage of the extra time if you have it. Savor a family meal. Cook something a little more involved if you like to whip up meals. Bake something as a family. Or go out together for a special meal on the town.
10. Give yourself a fun weekend project.
Instead of simply chilling, maybe you want to use your weekend to get something done! And a one-weekend project is perfect.
Choose something you can accomplish in those two days while still having a positive impact on your life. That might be decluttering a room, organizing your donations, painting a piece of furniture, or printing a photo album.
11. Engage in some self-care.
One of the best ways to refresh yourself in a short amount of time? A little bit of self-care.
What does that mean for you? A bubble bath? A DIY manicure? A walk around the block? Even just 15 minutes of alone time? Choose at least one self-care activity and schedule it into your next Saturday or Sunday.
There is always some movie ready to stream on T.V. or link to click on your phone. But what about a good, old-fashioned book?
Revisit a favorite, borrow a new one from the library, or search the shelves at your local bookstore. Flip through the pages to take a journey right there in your home.
13. Plan something fun for Sunday night.
I get it. On Monday morning, you’re off to the races again. And Sunday night can mean a lot of unfun prep work for the busy week ahead. So give yourself something to look forward to on Sunday nights.
Make it family movie night, date night after the kids go to bed, or time to Skype with your best friend!
14. Tackle some of the un-fun stuff before the weekend.
Here’s what won’t get you recharged this weekend — filling your Saturday and Sunday with chores and errands.
Whenever possible, use time during the week to tackle some of the need-to-do’s on your list. That way, you can enjoy time for the want-to-do’s on the weekend.
15. Schedule downtime.
It can be tempting to squeeze all the things into your Saturday and Sunday — kids’ activities, family get-togethers, time with friends, errands, you name it! But running yourself ragged won’t give you that Zen feeling.
The solution? Make time for downtime. Actually schedule do-nothing (or do-little) time! Let yourself catch a breath, so you’re ready to tackle Monday when it does come back around.
What’s your best advice for recharging on the weekend?