I look forward to my weekends all week long. But as soon as Sunday afternoon rolls around, I fall victim to what my friends and I call the "Sunday Sads," this ominous feeling that creeps in just as the weekend comes to a close. I think it stems from the fact that my weekends and weekdays look and feel starkly different. Saturday mornings are spent lazily cuddling in bed, going for walks as a family, and grabbing food with friends. They're simple and sweet and make me feel relaxed and fulfilled. But a typical Wednesday? It's hurried and tense, with back-to-back meetings, a slow commute, and virtually no time to myself. I make a diligent effort to schedule things to look forward to (as I wrote about here), and while that makes me productive by avoiding burnout, it doesn't exactly eliminate the dread of Monday.
It made me realize that even if they're small things, I want to try to capture a bit of that Saturday magic and sprinkle it throughout the week. I'd like to avoid the tension associated with the upcoming work days and instead embrace them in a new way full of hope and excitement, with even a few relaxing moments woven throughout. It goes without saying that weekdays are never going to be quite as fun as your time away from work, but here are seven ways I'm trying to bridge that gap, a little at a time.
Sleeping In —> Getting into Bed Earlier With a Good Book. There's nothing that will replace sleeping in on a weekend morning, but the concept can be applied to the weekdays, albeit in a slightly different way. Instead of staying under the covers until noon, try getting into bed long before you're ready to go to sleep. I did this recently after a particularly trying day and after Sloan was down, I slipped into bed at around 7 p.m. and read for three hours. I usually get into bed after I'm already exhausted and get through approximately nine pages before I fall asleep, so it feels particularly indulgent to have so much time set aside to relax in bed.
Movies Out —> Movies In With Fun Snacks. G and I have to be particularly selective when it comes to going out to the movies these days, simply because we don't have the same kind of time we used to before the baby. But that being said, I'm usually just as happy to stay home and replicate the experience of going to the movies with a few simple touches. After dinner, G will make us popcorn (if you have the space, this will change your life) and we'll pick up classic candies ahead of time (Red Vines for him, Junior Mints for me, and we'll usually share a box of Sour Patch Kids).
Workout + Breakfast —> Sunset Hike + Dinner. I love the idea of taking some sort of a workout class on a weekend morning followed by brunch with friends. It's the ideal scenario and feels particularly productive since it involves exercise, food, and time spent with friends. Since that kind of schedule won't fly on a weekday morning, I like to replicate it as best as possible in the evenings. It stays light much later these days, so after a long fitness hiatus I'm trying to schedule more long walks or hikes with friends followed by dinner after.
Brunch —> Monday Morning Scone + Flat White. Brunch is my all-time favorite meal and the thing I probably miss most about the weekends during the week. Even though there's nothing that compares to a long, leisurely meal with something sweet, savory, and a boozy beverage, I've started kicking off Monday morning with a little treat to ease into the week. I stop by my favorite coffee shop on the way into the office and grab a Flat White and a scone, which I now look forward to each Sunday night.
Spa Day —> Bubble bath + Face Mask. A spa day reaps such wonderful benefits - it leaves you relaxed while looking and feeling your best. Lately I've been dedicating two nights a week to a bit of at-home pampering. I light a candle, put on a face mask, pour myself a glass of wine, and bring a magazine with me into a bubble bath. It's something I now look forward to and despite how hectic things get at work, I know I have something indulgent waiting for me at the end of the day.
TV Marathon —> Early A.M. Episode Watch. Not too long ago, G and I were too tired to watch the most recent 'Game of Thrones' on a Sunday evening. I was bummed that we'd missed it, especially since it's nearly impossible to avoid spoilers the next day. Instead of waiting until Monday night, we got up extraaaa early and watched it in bed that next morning. It felt almost like we were on vacation and by the time we finished, Sloan was just getting up and it was like we'd already enjoyed a whole morning to ourselves.
All Day Class —> Weeknight Crash Course. In the past, I've avoided taking 8-hour courses on the weekends, even if it's a subject about which I'm passionate. It's just such a time commitment, and one that I look forward to even more when broken into an accessible one-hour class on a weeknight. Whether it's cake decorating, ceramics, wood work, or learning a new language, it's fun to find new things you can look forward to learning about each week in a shorter chunk that breaks up the Monday—Friday monotony.