Avoid Weekend Burnout: 6 Ways to Not Be Exhausted on Monday

published Feb 1, 2014
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(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

I can get a little ambitious when the weekend comes around sometimes (all the time). It’s easy to say yes to events and parties (or dream about hosting my own), create DIY project lists a mile long, think I’ll finally have time to deep clean every corner of my house and plan on organizing my closet to boot. What I do to avoid weekend burnout? Try and use my home, as it is, as a recharging retreat, so that when Monday rolls around I’m more energized than exhausted.

I love that accomplished feeling when you cross stuff off your weekend to-do-list. What I don’t love is feeling like I’m on that old game show Supermarket Sweep, rushing around my apartment trying to throw as many accomplishments into my basket as I can before the weekend buzzer runs out.

And you know what? Some Saturdays and Sundays are crazy, go-until-you-stop weekends when you’re trying to finish a big home renovation project (we imagine that this month might sport a few). But too many weekends like that strung in a row and if you’re anything like me, your weekdays start suffering because you’re not as rested when Monday comes around. So how to strike that perfect balance between getting stuff done and resting?

1. Sleep in (but just a bit)
Go ahead, give yourself a little extra time before you start slapping that snooze button. But don’t — and look only you know this answer — don’t sleep so long that you wake up feeling like you’ve wasted half the day. Not sleeping in too long means I won’t feel panicked, rushing to finish a bunch of projects to chase that accomplished feeling.

2. Physically and psychologically detach from work
Preferably you can start this step on Friday night, but Saturday morning will do just fine. Hide your briefcase! Stuff your work folders in a drawer. Hey it’s 2014, no one’s going to tell you to lock up your laptop (this is a post on an online website, after all), but sign out of your work email. Begin building those boundaries between work and life this year, if you haven’t already. The days off I’ve managed to resist checking into work just for a minute, just in case, have been some of the most rewarding work weeks of my life. And trying to fit checking in at work plus getting things accomplished around the house is a recipe for burnout.

3. Plan it out (sort of)
Not in a super strict to-do list way. More of a casual list of items jotted breezily on a slip of paper. Why? Because when you write it all out (instead of letting it jumble around in your head), you have the opportunity to really look at everything you want to do, assign how long each task might take, and then realistically start slashing items off the list. Don’t set yourself up to feel like you didn’t finish anything; set realistic, reachable DIY goals.

4. Keep cleaning around the house to a few finish-able, physical tasks
So does this happen to anyone else: You start to clean say, your bathroom sink. And then you notice that the cabinets are kind of dirty? So you start taking a sponge to those. Then, cut to five hours later and you’re scrubbing the grout with an old toothbrush. (Is it just me?) Sure you end up with a cleaner than usual bathroom, but all those hours are gone gone gone. Sticking to one or two cleaning tasks a weekend (not trying to tackle the whole house at once) that can be completed quickly is the fastest way to a cleaner home and that pride of a job well done. Plus, plenty of time left over to relax. And making it a little physical is an added bonus to get moving on the weekends.

5. Sneak in a nap
Most weekdays I daydream about curling back into bed to catch a few more Z’s. On the weekends I indulge. Not both days and not for very long (Naps are a personal thing and you know your perfect nap time amount). But man it feels indulgent, leading to that rested feeling when the weekend’s over.

5. Carve out or visit your quiet space at least once
We keep going on about being more mindful and taking a few minutes to set intentions every day. But when your week was too busy to do that, it’s doubly important to attempt it on your days off (if only to perhaps establish a habit that might one day jump to busy weekdays). We’ve given you tips to carve out a quiet space (and shown you resources like mediation pillows and candles), invest some time to do it this weekend.

6. Learn how to say no to yourself and practice appreciating that what you did accomplish is enough
Sometimes I just have to say “no” to myself when I want to tackle something that will take too much time. Or if I get too enthusiastic and want to start a big project at 6pm on a Sunday night. If or when I start feeling like I didn’t get enough accomplished, “no” is the right answer. And one of the best ways to not feel exhausted on Monday morning? Not kick yourself about how much more you could have done, but rather pat yourself on the back for the things you did accomplish.

So does anyone else suffer from weekend burnout from trying to tackle too many projects around the house sometimes? What do you do to combat it so you wake up renewed and refreshed on the weekend, and not pooped?