Being self-employed, for years I didn't really respect the boundaries between the work week and the weekend. Work found its way into all the nooks and crannies of time in my week; evenings and late nights, during meals, and, of course, on weekends. A year or so ago I felt myself approaching burnout, and one of the first things I did was to reclaim my weekends. Yes, I had to retrain myself (and my clients!) and I felt guilty, and it was challenging. But sooooo worthwhile. Now, I look forward to my weekends as times of pure relaxation, recreation, and fun. I protect them, even when I have lots of work and tight deadlines. It's essential to my well being.
And... the big surprise? I am much more productive, better at meeting deadlines, and more creative in my work than I was when I ignored weekends and worked all hours. You should try it.
If you're like I was, nearing burnout, you may have forgotten some of the simple joys of free time, and the art of weekend activities. To get your imagination started, here are some simple things I love to do on the winter weekends:
- Stay in bed in the morning, with coffee, my pug, fluffy pillows, a scented candle burning, my laptop (for fun only of course - Pinterest for example!), my journal, and piles of magazines.
- Go for a long, leisurely walk, bringing my camera and leaving my heart rate monitor at home.
- Thrift store shopping. Lately I've been scooping up old pressed glass to display candles, floral china plates and saucers for holding everything, and vintage sewing notions for crafty fun.
- Tackle household projects. This month, it's organizing, and giving my study a makeover.
- Enjoy leisurely, non-work-or-household-related conversations with my sweetie.
- Try new yoga practices from magazines or podcasts.
- Spend an afternoon in the kitchen. I putter, make complex meals, or prepare and plan the food for the week.
- Putter in my house and make little area of beauty and order - clean out a drawer, make a gorgeous tablescape, or arrange a bowl of flowers.
- I'm one of those people who loves to plan*, so it is actually fun for me to plan my week in my planner, or work in my Life Binder (more on that later!) Of course, this happens in a cozy chair in front of the fire, with a cup of Sumatran coffee or Coconut Chai.
- The best thing about our crazy new giant TV is using Apple TV to catch up on TED Talks, watch last year's episodes of Downton Abbey, or, as I am today, watching hours of talks with the Dalai Lama.
*My dear friend K, a very spontaneous lady, sometimes reminds me of the time she said to me "We should do something spontaneous!' and I replied "Oooh! Fun! Let's plan for it!"