Recently I’ve been feeling like I have no weekend whatsoever. The working week seems to have no real beginning or end, I am constantly thinking about my to-do list, emails that need tending to, ideas that need to be put into place and so much more. I can imagine that many people feel like this, the digital age means everything is at our fingertips which sometimes isn’t such a good thing. I feel like my Sunday evenings have now become the new Monday and the weekend is over far too quickly – like clockwork I feel my anxiety set off, thinking about the load of work I have to complete when Monday hits in the morning. Here are some things I have been doing to make the most of my time off and most importantly, reclaim my long lost weekend.
Take a look at your mindset
I think for me, this is one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to reclaiming my weekend. I am the type of person who thinks “If I’m not doing something productive, I’m being lazy” – nuh-uh honey. This is not true and there is nothing wrong with doing absolutely nothing and enjoying every damn second of it. Whether you’ve got a weekend of plans or a weekend of lounging in front of the tv, you shouldn’t feel guilty about not working/thinking about work, you deserve to unwind and most importantly, you need to unwind. If your brain is working over time, you won’t be working to your best ability throughout the rest of the week – you need to relax and refuel so that you can feel refreshed and energised when you return to work.
I find myself thinking how short the weekends are most of the time, I can’t possibly fit everything I need to do in and I need more time – cleaning, organising, working, catching up – so much to do. This mindset ruins my weekend before it even starts and leaves me feeling overwhelmed and overstressed. I have started to realise that I work bloody hard and whatever I do accomplish at the weekend is enough, I’m only human and I can only do so much. Changing your mindset to see your ability and realising that your downtime can increase productivity and happiness throughout the week has been key to reclaiming my weekends.
Overcome your Sunday anxiety
Uch, Sunday evenings are the absolute worst. What emails will be waiting for me tomorrow? how will I complete everything on my to-do list? That deadline is approaching so quickly, I’ll never finish in time! Sound familiar? Most of the time I find that these worries are based on my own insecurities rather than fact, I always meet my deadlines, I give 100% to my work and I always reply to my emails – so what am I worrying about? The stress we put on ourselves often comes from worries that never actually follow through. Assuming someone will be unhappy, underestimating our own ability or worrying about something out of our control means that we end up pulling hair out over the unknown.
Conquering your Sunday blues will allow you to go into work on Monday and kick ass. Go to work feeling ready to tackle whatever comes your way, because you’re more than capable of doing so. I am definitely guilty of stressing on a Sunday and does it help me during the week? 100% no. Rest, recharge and whatever comes your way on a Monday, tackle it with full force after a weekend of doing what you love.
For me, Monday mornings consist of replying to emails, planning for the week and just generally getting things in order. I work in digital marketing and one of my tasks is to schedule social media posts twice a week for 13 clients – that’s 26 unique posts on 3 + platforms in many different industries. Now I love doing this, however, the back and forth between clients is not enjoyable on a Monday morn. I started to spend the last half an hour on a Friday to plan the next week of social media posts which meant on Monday, I felt prepared, almost empowered that I could sit down, log in and go, go, go.
Taking some time on a Friday to reflect on your week and do whatever it be to prepare for the week ahead can really help you to gain peace of mind and relax on the weekend. Tye up any loose ends, make a list, tidy your desk, whatever makes you feel happier over the weekend / on Monday – sometimes it only takes 5 minutes to make you feel like you’re ready for the week ahead.
Ultimately, it’s important to realise that you’re not a machine and you deserve to enjoy yourself! Plan a day out, stay in bed, practise self care, binge Netflix, cook, dance, exercise – whatever you do, make sure you reclaim your weekends and don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the cycle of dedicating every waking minute to your 9 – 5. You’re only human, you’re trying your best and that’s all you can do.
What are your thoughts? Do you find yourself in work mode 24/7? if so, how do you switch off?
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