How to Make the Weekend Actually Feel Like a Weekend

Without looking at a calendar, could you confidently say what day it is? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. When we’re staying at home as much as possible and there’s not a lot of variation in our routines, it’s easy to feel like we’re living out Groundhog Day. In fact, sometimes the weekends begin to feel like weekdays. Eek.

If that’s the case, it’s time to reclaim your days off! We all need a break to disconnect and recharge. Here are 13 ways to make Saturday and Sunday feel different from the rest of the week:

Hide your laptop. If you have another computer you use for leisurely web browsing and following online workouts, then when Friday evening comes, put your work laptop in a drawer or other space where there’s no way you’ll see it until you need it again come Monday morning. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ can truly work!

Turn off notifications. If you get work emails to your phone, turn those settings off too—unless, of course, there’s the possibility of a true emergency that you would need to handle immediately.

Bring back Fridays. “How did you formerly act on a Friday afternoon?” asks leadership and empowerment coach Benjamin Ritter. “Did you close work? Ask your friends what they were up to? Pick out clothes for a fun night out?” Whatever you used to do, do it now so you give your mind that same, ‘Hey, it’s Friday’ cue.

Commute. Do something on Friday afternoon that takes the same amount of time as your commute home, suggests digital wellness coach Liana Pavane, founder of TTYL, a tech-free community dedicated to human connection. “It’s important that we physically and mentally trigger the feeling of ‘leaving’ for a weekend, even if we’re staying home,” she explains. Maybe you take a bike ride with your kids, meditate, or prepare a nice breakfast you can heat up the next morning.

Sleep in. A regular wake-up time is good, however, sleeping in a little bit—up to an hour so, according to the National Sleep Foundation—is totally okay if you feel you need it. Turn off your alarm and see when your body (or kids or dog) decides to wake up.

Cook brunch. If you typically go out to eat on Saturday mornings, make your usual order at home. Maybe that’s healthy pancakes or eggs with chicken sausage.

Get outside. “Find a place to walk that you don’t visit during the week,” suggests family therapist Katie Rom Hisel, LMFT. “If parks and trails are open in your area, find a new one.” If not, venture outdoors to play a game in the yard or do some gardening. The fresh air and activity will reinvigorate your body.

Make time for your hobbies. During the week, we often don’t have time for some of the things we love—so much so that many of us have hobbies we’ve long neglected. Now’s the time to get back to playing guitar, painting, reading, or knitting, or learn something new.

Get creative with socialization. Virtually meet up with friends and family as often as you typically would on weekends. Have happy hours, coffees, or dinners over video calls using Zoom, FaceTime, or other platforms. If you typically sweat together on the weekends, try finding an online workout to do at your usual time. You could even do karaoke, trivia, or other games together. “Try a scavenger hunt. Everybody grabs items in their house based on prompts such as, ‘something you got on your last vacation,’” Pavane suggests.

Put on your Saturday best. Order takeout from a nice restaurant (or cook a meal you never would during the week due to the time it takes), set the table with candles and other decorations, and get dressed up. It’ll make dinner feel special compared to the quicker, easier suppers that dominate weeknights.

Bring outdoor activities indoors. If you don’t have a yard or the weather is dreary, bring Mother Nature inside. Consider pitching a tent to sleep in, having a picnic lunch on a blanket, or sleeping in front of the fireplace. And if you can do these things outdoors, all the better.

Plan a virtual visit to a museum. Search online, and you can find virtual tours of amazing museums such as the Smithsonian, Musee d’Orsay, and Vatican Museum. If animals are more your thing, there are lots of zoos and aquariums doing the same.

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