Another Monday has arrived! Are you ready to take on the week ahead of you? Did your weekend leave you feeling energized and rejuvenated?
No? I’m not surprised. Weekends used to mean a break from the chaos of the week before it and a way to replenish your energy and creative juices. These days, however, we rarely give ourselves a chance to take a break. I work a full-time job, so weekends are essential for my mental health as well as the chance for me to get stuff done! If you’re anything like me, then your weekends can fill up pretty quickly. There are chores to do and errands to be run, people to see and to-do list items that need to be checked off. From the time Saturday morning begins, we are on the go, moving from task to task and before we know it, Sunday night has arrived and we’ve barely given ourselves the chance to truly decompress. The result is often a grumpy start to the week. It’s no wonder Mondays have gotten such a bad rap! But, I’m here to tell you that Mondays don’t have to be so bad. In fact, you can actually learn to love Mondays.
How, you ask? By taking back your weekend! After years of starting the week off feeling tired and drained, I have developed some strategies to reclaim my weekend and make it exactly what I need and want it to be. Today, I am sharing some tips that you can use to Take Back Your Weekend!
*Note: I spent years working in retail, so I know that not everyone gets to experience a traditional weekend. If you are someone whose days off rarely fall on a Saturday or Sunday, have no fear. This article could just have easily been called “How to Take Back your Days Off”. No matter when your days off occur, or how many you get, these tips can help you to reclaim your free time and make the most of those days off!
What kind of weekend makes you happy?
Your ideal weekend may look different from my ideal weekend. For some, a great weekend means lounging around the house and doing as little as possible. Others crave the company of friends and wish for get-togethers and social time from Saturday morning to Sunday night. Or, maybe you want the best of both worlds. Whichever sounds right to you, stick to your guns. It’s important to know what you want so that you know what to do (and not to do).
Move weekend chores to a different day
Whenever possible, try to check off your weekly to-do list items from Monday-Friday. This frees up time that you would normally spend cleaning the house or getting groceries for activities that you actually want to do. One strategy that has worked well is picking one task for each weeknight. For example, you could dust the furniture on Monday, vacuum on Tuesday and clean the bathrooms on Wednesday. Thursdays could be used for doing laundry and Friday evenings you can get your groceries. Each task might take an hour or less, but if done on the weekend can eat up a whole day! Now you have more time on Saturday and Sunday for whatever you feel like!
Be aware of fixed plans
Obviously, there are certain events where you need to commit to your availability in advance, like weddings, birthdays and family holidays. But, if it is possible, keep fixed plans to a minimum. You don’t need to be a flake; instead tell your friends that you’re not sure what you have planned, but if you’re available, you’ll try your best to make it. This lets you off the hook from tying yourself down while still being considerate to others.
When you do find yourself in a situation where your part or even mot of your weekend is occupied by fixed plans, make an effort to balance your time between being busy and resting. Find a way to carve out time, even if it is just an hour, to do something for you.
It’s okay to say “no”
Believe it or not, it’s okay to say “no” to people – even if those people are your close friends or family. If they are really close to you, they will understand that your time off is valuable. On the other hand, spending time with others might be just what you need, so you may need to say “no” to a quiet night in to give yourself that social energy you crave.
Schedule “me time”
Your “me time” might be reading a good book, playing video games or binge-watching your favourite TV show. Whatever it is, find a way every weekend to tend to your well-being. Not only will this alleviate stress and guard-off the Monday blues, but it will help you set yourself up for a successful week.
Do at least one thing each weekend that makes you happy
Whether it is going to the movies with your husband or wife, going for dinner with friends or having a low-key night in, make sure that every weekend has at least one activity that is just for fun.
A Sunday well spent brings a week of content
This has been one of my guiding principles that I try to live my life by. For me, Sundays are days for making a delicious breakfast, going to my favourite class at the gym, having family dinners and relaxing with my husband. Preparing for Monday is a lot more manageable when you’ve had an enjoyable day. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to each week.
If this past weekend wasn’t everything you hoped it would be, I hope next weekend is better. What do you do to take back your weekends? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.