Ways to recharge over the weekend

For many people, weekends feel like hallowed time. It’s only a few short days, but when you’re off the clock with no work-related responsibilities, it can feel like a mini-vacation.

Of course, it’s easy to argue that the weekend goes by too quickly when you have other responsibilities to take care of. Whether you’ve got housework to do, laundry to get done, or social obligations to take part in, the weekend can fly by in an instant. Plus, let’s be honest, you’re putting in at least a couple of late nights, which can make for lazy mornings that make you feel as though you’ve “lost” part of your day.

Sometimes, it might even feel like the weekend is more draining than the workweek.

So, what can you do to recharge? How can you feel refreshed and ready for Monday morning when you have things you need/want to do over the weekend?

man lying in a red hammock Photo by Nakie Hammock on Unsplash

1. Get Enough Sleep

It’s estimated that 70% of adults in the U.S. don’t get enough sleep. When was the last time you crawled into bed at a decent hour on a Saturday night, especially when your favorite bar had that killer drink special? While it can be tempting to stay out and have fun on the weekends, sleep should be a priority.

Even if you can’t get a good night’s rest every night, make sure to get enough sleep as you start the weekend. If you get home from work Friday evening, choose to have a low-key night and aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep. You can improve your sleep hygiene by trying things like:

  • Restorative yoga before bed
  • Limiting electronic use
  • Taking a warm bath
  • Creating a calming environment in your bedroom

You can make it easier to fall asleep by establishing healthy sleep habits during the week. Try to go to sleep and wake up around the same time each night and day, and stick to that routine as much as possible during the weekend. While a few hours of extra fun won’t hurt things too much, you’ll feel much better when Sunday morning rolls around if you’ve taken your sleep schedule seriously.

woman running upstair in room Photo by Ev on Unsplash

2. Stay Active

Whether going out is your thing or not, we’ve all spent the occasional weekend planted on the couch, binging the latest Netflix series everyone else is watching.

While a little rest and relaxation can definitely recharge your batteries, too much of it is never a good thing. That’s especially true when you involve a lot of takeout and your favorite pint of ice cream.

Instead, limit your bingeing to a few episodes, and make staying physically active an important part of your weekend routine. Because you don’t have to worry about getting ready for work, weekends are a perfect time to squeeze in longer workouts without feeling rushed. It’s also a good opportunity to switch up your workout to something fun and different. Play a pick-up game of basketball with friends, or go for a long run in your favorite park. If it’s a hot day, head to the local pool for a few laps.

There’s no reason physical activity can’t be fun. It’ll also give you more energy, improve your mood, and fight off fatigue as you get ready to head “back to reality” on Monday. Just remember to take care of yourself while exercising, especially when you take your workouts outdoors. That includes staying properly hydrated with water and electrolytes. Your mind and body will both thank you!

cabin in forestcabin in forest Photo by Taylor Simpson on Unsplash

3. Disconnect

When your proverbial battery gets low, one of the best ways to recharge it is, ironically, disconnecting from digital devices. Many people spend their weekends attached to their phones, connecting with friends, browsing social media, and feeling like they need to stay connected so they don’t miss out on anything. However, staying glued to your digital devices can end up causing a lot of physical and mental health issues, including:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in brain activity
  • Changes to your reaction times
  • Increased stress

Instead of keeping your phone around 24/7 over the weekend, schedule smaller “chunks” of time to look at it. For example, spend a few minutes checking emails or responding to texts Friday after work, then put it away until the next chunk of time on Saturday afternoon. By scheduling specific times, you’re less likely to absently grab your device. Check it one more time on Sunday evening to make sure you’re ready for the week ahead, and you might be surprised by how much better you feel (and how much more you can get done over the weekend).

There are plenty of ways to recharge over the weekend that don’t have to involve lounging around or giving up the fun things you want to do. Keep these ideas in mind to make the most of those precious hours, so the “Sunday Scaries” won’t seem as overwhelming.

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