Whether it’s a regular two-day weekend or a somehow, still short three-day weekend, they never feel long enough. Sadly, there’s no magical way to actually extend our weekends, but there are things we can do to take advantage of our time off work that will make weekends feel more fulfilling.
Experts suggest ways to make the most of our time off work so the weekends feel longer:
- Plan out some of your time - Alayna L Park, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Oregon recommends scheduling some activities that you enjoy for your days off, that way you have things to look forward to during the workweek and won’t go into Sunday night feeling disappointed with what you did or didn’t do.
- Limit screen time and find a hobby - Scrolling social media or watching TV is fine, but you can’t do that all weekend long. Family physician Dr. Mike Sevilla advises taking a break from the screens to spend time on a hobby you used to do or challenging yourself to try a new one.
- Do things that are different from your day-to-day work - If your job is highly technical, try to spend the weekend doing things that draw on different skills, like playing a musical instrument or playing a sport. And on the flip side, if your job is more creative, try to do something completely different so you’re not reminded of work when you’re trying to enjoy your days off.
- Put work away - Keeping some distance between you and work during the weekend is important. That means turning off your work phone, not checking work email or logging into your work laptop so you’re not reminded about an upcoming deadline. It will all still be waiting for you when you get back to the office.
- Find a balance between resting and going out - You want to relax and unwind on your days off, but not ALL weekend. These experts say you’ll feel more refreshed heading back to work on Monday when you combine that much-needed rest with an activity you find enjoyable and stimulating.
- Stay in the moment - It’s so easy to let your mind wander to a work project or an upcoming meeting, but if you stay in the moment on your days off, you’ll have a more enjoyable weekend. Some studies have even shown that people who practice mindfulness & meditation actually experience time at a slower rate.