We all know this transition struggle all too well. We have our weekly routine. Weekdays are fine. We go to work or school, we come home do our routine and then go back to work the next day. But then the weekend comes and we panic. So many empty unstructured hours. By the time Sunday rolls around we are agitated and not feeling good at all.
Adult life is daunting because unlike our school years where our weekends had more structure due to homework and school activities, work life means empty weekends. For myself, after more than one day of completely unstructured time I’m having huge anxiety that I find hard to control. But we don’t want to be slaves to a routine to the point where we can’t ever break away. So what should we do?
I have found some general things that help me on weekends and I hope these ideas will help you too!
- Find what makes your soul happy.
Whether it is going for a walk, reading a book, or exercise do something that fills your soul early in the day. Ideally, I have found that some kind of physical outlet is best. I’m not saying we all need to be fitness people BUT if you move your body every day whether that is the gym, a walk outside, or yoga, I promise you will feel an incredible difference. For me, yoga is what fills my soul, It is not only a great form of exercise but it also provides the opportunity for mediation and centering. The movements of yoga are based around anatomy and so it also has wonderful positive effects on your digestion and overall health. If yoga interests you please visit the new yoga page on this site to learn more! If you do something to fill your soul early in the day you will be more at peace for the remaining parts of the day.
2. Plan your weekends ahead of time.
My friends sometimes poke fun at me because I am such a busy bee and they have to schedule weekends with me pretty far in advance because I almost always have plans. There’s a reason. If you go into the weekend with no game plan at all it is overwhelming. I personally have no idea what to do with my time, especially living alone. But, if you make point to plan ahead of time you will feel more secure going into the weekend. This also allows you to have a routine without being a slave to the exact same routine every weekend. For example, yoga in the morning (so there’s the consistent routine) then a different social plan for the afternoon or evening (this allows you to see different friends each weekend), followed by alone time for video games, a movie, whatever helps you recharge. This gives a structure to the weekend so I know what to expect without having so much going on that I’m completely burned out and also without trapping myself into a routine that does not allow me to ever do something different.
3. Embrace your hobbies.
The weekend is the perfect time to use those empty hours for a project or a hobby. Maybe you have always wanted to learn photography. Maybe you like to take day trips. Or maybe you like to cook. Plan some fun meals to try cooking or baking over the weekend! I have also found volunteering to be a great way to spend empty hours. It is social, structured, and allows you to give back and feel good. Doing a critical thinking activity such as a puzzle or reading keeps the mind occupied also helps you to relax later in the evening and not feel as agitated.
4. Beginning and an end time.
Remember to always balance in life. Fill time with what makes you happy and also leave a planned amount of empty time to refuel. If the empty time has a beginning and an end, I have found I am able to better enjoy it because I do not have the anxiety of not knowing what I will fill my hours with next. For example, I will say that between yoga and meeting a friend for a movie I will have 2 hours to myself. That way, I know what to expect and have created a flexible routine while still having the comfort of routine. The next weekend I may do yoga followed by a lunch with a different friend. This allows you to replace your weekend time with different activities each week while still having the same basic routine.
Remember that weekends is a transition everyone struggles with especially if you live alone. We especially struggle being out of routine, but even typical people have these struggles to a degree. I hope that this can help you develop a weekend routine that also allows you to have some flexibility. Let me know your thoughts!