How to switch off from work and relax on weekends

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Modern life can be incredibly stressful – we’re working overtime and on weekends; we want to be available for our clients and colleagues every second, no matter the time of day and we are keeping up with never-ending deadlines and constantly competing with others and ourselves. To avoid burning out, it’s highly important to switch off and relax, at least on weekends. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:

First of all, analyse the things you usually do over weekends – are they really relaxing and entertaining? Don’t force yourself into doing anything intense over the weekend and let your family and friends know what makes you feel happy and calm. Focus on those things rather than working.

Here’s a more detailed plan to achieve balance and relaxing weekends:

1 Avoid the pressure. Being a team player is cool but there should be limits. Don’t go beyond the point where you’re not paying enough attention to yourself and your plans any more. By the way, we’re not talking about your work colleagues only but about your family members as well. They might expect you to dedicate yourself to them entirely but there is nothing bad in having some ‘me-time’ once in a while. Whether it’s binge-watching your favourite mini-series, finally checking out that new massage salon or walking in the park and listening to relaxing music – you’ve worked hard during the week so you definitely deserve some time off.

2 Enjoy the moment. According to the Cascade Stress Report, people need an average of 10 days to switch off work and relax. If you don’t have that many days leave available, at  least try to make weekends work for you. Turn off your electronic devices, forget about texts and emails, leave those dishes in the sink til’ tomorrow and allow for some free time and enjoy the peaceful environment around you.

3 Don’t try too hard. OK, here you are, finally relaxed and ready to enjoy the weekend. We know you too well, miss perfectionist! If you plan to walk with your dog, go to the gym, spend some time with friends at the beach, go shopping, read a book and get your hair done… and all that before lunch, well, just stop! It’s ridiculous how some hard-working people can pile on the ‘relaxing’ tasks when they should be resting from ‘work-related’ tasks! Identify those things that will have a positive effect on your life and don’t try to accomplish everything at once. There will always be another weekend, after all!

4 Avoid negative people. We all have people around us who only talk about their own problems! They might even be really nice people but, the one thing they all have in common, is the lack of empathy – they don’t really care about you, your feelings and your life. So why spend your precious weekends on them? Don’t waste your time and energy on people that don’t brighten up your day.