Another Saturday and another weekend upon us. We look towards the weekends but then it comes and goes and we do not feel well-rested or recharged for another work week. I have certainly been guilty of this in the past so I went about trying to figure out what kind of things I could do to have a more relaxing weekend – I experimented, tried out different things and here are the things that have worked for me:
Seems like a strange thing but one of the first things that falls away when you are a busy professional is the time for exercise. Hopefully you don’t have to work (or work much) on the weekends and while it won’t make you super healthy, it is much better going to exercise at least once a week than nothing at all. If you schedule exercise early in the morning, it has another benefit in that you cannot sleep in (and you go about tackling your day / weekend early on).
I don’t just mean writing on the blog although that is one part of it but I also mean journaling. I have a daily journal but I find that sometimes with the work that I do, I don’t have a lot of time to reflect on everything that has happened that week, how happy I felt, and what I can do next week to help further my goals (either personal or professional). One of the great things about writing is how much clarity it can provide you that self-reflection in your thoughts cannot.
Do almost nothing
Since I’m so busy at work, I recognize that it is often important to do a whole lot of nothing when you have free time. Although I am quite ambitious and I never like to just sit and do nothing, if you are in a go-go-go mindset, you can easily burn out as you might feel that you never had time to ‘relax’ on the weekend. Something else that I learned is that people like to relax in different ways so if you like to relax by hanging out with friends every single minute on the weekend then go for it! I like to sit for a moment listening to music / audiobook and drinking tea.
It’s no secret that I’m an avid reader – I am even now starting to get into more and more fiction books. I apparently have a penchant for sci-fi novels now as a lot of what I am reading recently is sci-fi: Six Wakes, Artemis, The Three Body Problem, to name a few. I’m also working on a book where I stole the idea from Derek Sivers – he reads a ton of books and out of the books, he comes up with ‘directives’. That is, instead of reading the whole book to understand a concept, he summarizes the book down into a rule of thumb. For example, one of his directives for getting rich is to learn the multiplying skills (writing, speaking, design, persuasion, programming and a few other skills). As I read more and more non-fiction books, I come up with ‘directives’ that I change into habits – I then take on these habits to see how they work for me and then if I see a positive benefit from it then I’ll save it. As I collect more and more of these, I then write about those in my upcoming book.
Cook extra food for the week
I’ll have to write about my different perspective on food one of these days but for the longest time, I saw food as a way to survive rather than an enjoyable experience. On the weekends, I would grill about 10 chicken breasts, steam a whole bunch of vegetables, cook a pot of rice and then pack lunch and dinner for the rest of the week. I don’t do this anymore but given that it is the weekend, you have the time to cook a bit more food than you would eat for a meal and pack the rest for a meal during the work week. It will help save you time. It will help keep you healthy.
Spend time with your loved ones
How often do you talk to your Mom, Dad or your siblings? Probably not as much as you’d like. Call them this weekend and catch up on things. What are they doing lately? What vacation / trips do they have planned? More importantly, tell them how much you love them. Apologize if you’ve done something to get on their bad side. Forgive them if they did something to wrong you.
Clean and organize
Again, if you are a busy professional, you probably don’t spend as much time during the work week to clean and organize your home. Throw out that garbage you have lying around. Clean those dishes in the sink that have been piling up. Dust the floors. Vacuum your bedrooms. Disinfect your bathrooms. It’s tough work but you are going to feel much better in a clean home. Do this regularly every week and you won’t have to do big spurts of cleaning before big events such as relatives coming over or having friends over for meals.
Similar to exercising but this is really about getting out of your home for at least 10 minutes to take in the fresh (or smoky) air and exposing yourself to nature outside (trees, plants, etc.) Walking is a great way to help you generate ideas, be creative and to help relax you and ground you when your work seems to be taking over your life. It’s also one of the ways that I try to relieve stress at work – I take a walk outside or at least to somewhere for 10 minutes and when I get back, things are never as bad as I feel that they were before my walk.