Pa knows best: Improve your weekend

Weekends can be the perfect way to relax after a long week at work or accomplish a lot from your “to-do” list.  They can also be a complete waste, leaving you with the “Sunday Blues” and dreading Monday morning.  Here’s how to make your weekend better.

1950s man shoveling snow

Your grandpa didn’t waste his weekends.  He used the time to complete projects, run errands, socialize and relax.  Your grandpa’s weekends were better than yours because he:

Maintained routine.  Pa didn’t use Saturdays to sleep in until 11:30.  He still got up, got dressed, had breakfast. You don’t have to set the alarm for the same day as your workweek.  But maybe only allow yourself an extra half hour or hour in bed.  You might just be amazed at how much you can accomplish on a weekend when you don’t sleep through half of it.

Got dressed.  No full weekends spent in pajamas or boxers and t-shirts for your grandpa.  He got up and got dressed everyday.  You can improve every weekend by doing this one thing.  Even if you don’t plan to leave your house you should still change out of your pajamas.  It will make you feel like a grownup instead of a college kid.  You might be surprised by how much your motivation level can change just by throwing on jeans and a sweater instead of hanging out in your sweatpants all day.

Ate meals.  Pa never ate Cap’n Crunch for lunch.  If he didn’t cook a meal, he made a sandwich or ate leftovers.  Maybe he even went out to the diner or drive-in.  But he didn’t eat a bag of chips, a container of cookies or a box of cereal in lieu of meals.  Just because it’s the weekend doesn’t mean you should eat only things you could find in a convenience store.  Try making eggs and toast for breakfast.  Have a quick stir-fry or toss together a salad for lunch.  If the weather is nice, grill out even if you just make hotdogs.  Putting together a meal with intention changes the way you feel about yourself.  Instead of going into a processed food induced coma, you will have energy and motivation from the mere act of preparing a meal, not to mention most cooked meals are much healthier than their processed counterparts.

Got out.  Pa didn’t spend all day watching Mad Men reruns and playing on the internet.  He didn’t spend all day cooped up inside.  Maybe he only went out to shovel the driveway or mow the grass.  Maybe he went out to his workshop or refilled the bird feeders or brought in more firewood.  Maybe he only left to go get a cup of coffee for breakfast and shoot the breeze with his pals.  Maybe he hung out with his friends playing basketball or tennis.  Maybe he worked on the car.  Maybe he went fishing.  The point is that he didn’t spend all day on his ass watching TV.  Even if you just walk out to get the mail, that’s better than never stepping foot out the door seeing what the world holds in store.

Follow your grandpa’s example and use your weekends for more than escaping the reality of the workweek.  A few simple changes might surprise you with a change in how you feel about yourself and how you are using your free time on the weekends.  Get up, get dressed, eat real meals and pop your head out the door.  These changes are easy to try out and if you feel they don’t improve your life, you can always go back to the way things were next weekend.  But I doubt you’ll want to.