I love this term, “Sunday-night blues.” How many of you know exactly what I’m talking about? It’s that sense of dread, anxiety, and fatigue that tends to show up every Sunday afternoon as you begin to think about your upcoming workweek.
I was reading an article by Martha C. White in Money Magazine where she quoted Katrina Onstad, author of The Weekend Effect: The Life-Changing Benefits of Taking Time Off and Challenging the Cult of Overwork. Onstad says, “the failure to take a break is bad for your body, mental health, family, and even career.” And the fact that we spend most of our weekends checking email, working, or thinking about the office makes taking that needed break impossible.
Luckily, Onstad and other experts say there are solutions. Here are four ways to turn your weekends into recharging opportunities.
- Turn off your phone
This is kind of a ‘duh’ statement but you can’t fully unwind if you don’t unplug. Unless you are in a profession where lives are at stake, no one will die on the table if you don’t respond to email or phone calls on the weekend. A lot of successful people are setting this boundary and sticking to it. You cannot be productive if you are burnt out so set the expectation at work that you will respond to emails received during the weekend on Monday.
- Go outside
Studies have shown that all people, regardless of age, gender, and social class are happier and more energized when they spend time outside. Being outside improves your mood and concentration – making it all that much easier to spend your upcoming workweek inside.
- Hang with friends
Research has also shown that friendships are key to our well-being. Hanging out with friends not only increases your mood, it contributes to your sense of belonging, and decreases stress. This works even if you are an introvert and generally recharge by being alone. Spending even a small amount of time with friends will get you pumped to tackle Monday.
- Do good deeds
Volunteering regularly enhances one’s well-being as well. Everyone wants to do things they feel good about. Again, it increases mood and contributes to your sense of belonging. Finding ways to volunteer over the weekend makes you feel productive, accomplished, and that you have made a valuable contribution to something bigger than yourself. All things that give you a high that you can ride into the week.
While it’s hard to consider a regular weekend as a mini-vacation, using these techniques can truly make you feel like you’ve had one. Not only will you have less dread going into the week, you may also find an increase in good ideas and creativity – which will give you another good reason to look forward to Monday.