It’s weird to think about weekends being more stressful than week days, but a number of studies have shown that this is actually the case. The primary contributor is the lack of rules, roles, and rewards on the weekend, compared to the buttoned-up work environment of Monday-Friday. (Darn you buttoned-up work environment.)
One suggested fix is to make Monday-Friday more flexible. With more Millennials working their way up the ladder, this will indeed need to be the case some day. They have a different set of priorities. Unlike Generation X, who made success synonymous with corner office, Millennials put quality of life first. Imagine that!
So, until corporate culture can catch up to this more flexible notion, what can one do to find peace and happiness on their days off? Well, according to Cassie Mogilner, PhD, and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who specializes in happiness research, it depends on your age, “…younger people who view their future as extensive gain more happiness from extraordinary experiences. As people get older, and more aware that their time on earth is finite, ordinary experiences become increasingly associated with happiness.”
Here are 3 things you can do to relieve stress and add happiness to your weekend (you can make them as extraordinary or ordinary as you’d like):
- #1 – Connect: Feeling connected and loved is one of the biggest predictors of happiness and one of the most important ingredients for well-being. Date night, girls night, concert, theater, shopping, tennis, fishing, poetry, church, whatever it is, just don’t do it alone. You get the idea.
- #2 – Chore Time: Carve out a 2-3 hour block of time to get your chores and errands done. Anything not finished in this time window can wait until next week. This way, you don’t have to-dos hanging over your head for two days, and you don’t have the guilt of unmarked check boxes. Who needs that?
- #3 – Pump it up: Breaking a sweat helps you release feel-good endorphins – and bonus if it’s outdoors (added Vitamin D!) No matter what you’re anxious about a good ride, run, game can help you put whatever it is into perspective.