How to Use Your Weekends to Your Advantage
Do you spend your Sunday nights dreading the coming work week? Find yourself needing a drink or a sleeping pill to get settled in for the night?
I hear you. I used to spend most of Sunday evening stressed about work, tossing and turning until the wee hours.
Worrying about the future is an exercise in futility.
You don’t need to let work anxiety ruin the end of your weekend. Instead, consider some simple strategies to set yourself up for success and save your Sunday.
Prepare Ahead of Time for Your Monday
Spend a little time after dinner on Sunday getting things ready for the next morning so you’re not rushing around at bedtime, or off to a bad start on Monday.
Get organized to make your morning smooth. Pick out your clothes. Set your alarm. Make sure your commute bag, keys, ID badge etc. are all where you will expect them to be in the morning.
Save time and money by packing yourself a nutritious lunch — maybe a little mezza made of leftovers from the weekend. And most importantly (to me, anyway) prep and program your coffee maker.
Focus on Self Care
Use the early part of Sunday evening to recover from your weekend activities and hit the refresh button for the workweek.
Instead of binge watching Netflix, take a long stroll with your dog, or your significant other (other both). Enjoy a glass of wine and a luxurious bubble bath. Give yourself a facial or a manicure. Read something fluffy like a magazine or the kind of novel you’d read on vacation. Listen to some music. Drink some camomile tea. Watch the sunset.
Choose an activity that is slow paced and makes you feel like you’re taking care of you.
Carve Out Time for Relaxation
Do some gentle or restorative yoga, moving slowly between poses. Incorporate relaxation breathing. Practice mindfulness. Find a quiet place and do some meditation. Youtube is a great resource for finding some guided practices if you aren’t sure where to start.
When you get into bed, try a progressive relaxation. Slowly move through your body parts — feet, legs, hips, back, stomach, arms, shoulder, neck and face — and consciously tighten the muscles in that area as you inhale. Hold them tight for a few seconds, then slowly release the hold and relax the muscles on your exhale.
Your job might not be perfect, but take a few minutes to offer gratitude to the universe for your job.
Think of things at work you’re grateful for….benefits, interesting assignments, fun coworkers, a short commute. Create a gratitude journal and list at least 3 things that make you grateful for or like about your job. Commit to finding new things to appreciate each Sunday.
Enforce an Electronics Blackout
Make Sunday night your media-free night .Don’t watch the news. Stay off Facebook or twitter. Avoid watching tv shows. Staring at screens will interfere with your sleep, and may lead you to lose track of time and go to bed later than you intended. We’ve all been down the google rabbit hole — you start off searching for the name of Grandpa Joe’s wife and three hours later you’re watching a youtube video of elephants dancing.
Don’t give into the temptation to check your work email “just in case”. And hearing or reading the ills of the world will stress you out and increase your anxiety. Don’t worry, you can catch up on everything tomorrow.
Daydream About Vacation
If all else fails, daydream about what you’ll do on your next holiday weekend or vacation. Make outrageous plans — daydreaming costs nothing. Having something to look forward to, even if it’s just a fantasy right now, will help you put work into perspective.
Think About Next Weekend
Still stressed? Remember there’s another weekend coming up in five more days.