One of the most unexpected challenges to have cropped up during isolation is how to make my weekend routine feel different to any other day. I mean, when your orbit exists (largely) within the same four walls, days can blurrr.
I’ve worked from home for most of my career, so I feel fairly well-equipped when it comes to creating a working routine, but even I’ve felt a bit lost as to ‘what to do’ to mark different days.
See also: evenings.
Without the markers I’m used to – wine time with friends after work, a Saturday morning exercise class, a long Sunday brunch – it’s been harder to distinguish down time.
Furtunately now that we’re into the swing of Week 6 (whoah, how is it week 6?!) of lockdown here in the UK, Oli and I have found a weekday/weekend routine which helps to separate things out. And in turn, helps me to feel focused during the working week. And actually look forward to the weekend routine I’ve mapped out.
Feeling purposeful is important (week days). And being able to relax is vital too (evenings and weekends).
Here’s how I’m navigating the world of lockdown downtime. I’d love to hear how you’re navigating it too!
How I Navigate My Weekend Routine During Isolation
1 – Establish A Weekend Routine
Just because you can’t indulge in the weekend routine you’re used to, doesn’t mean that you can’t still look forward to certain things! Sure, it’s not possible to arrange brunch dates, or to travel distances to see friends. But there are small pick-me-ups that you can save for the weekend to make it feel special.
For me, I’ve got into the habit of picking up a cinammon bun (or two!) on Saturday. I look forward to this treat all week, and the theatre of going to the bakery is a little joy-boost every weekend. If you don’t fancy heading out for something especially, you can always wait until the weekend to make or bake something special. Perhaps a big brunch at home – this recipe by Madeleine Shaw looks amazing! Or even home-made cinammon buns (can you tell I like them?!)? Whatever it is, if you make it a ‘weekend thing’ it will help to separate your week and weekend out.
Over the weekend I also like to get on top of house chores. I know that may sound boring, but given that I’m sat at my computer for SO much of the week, I actually savour time away from a screen, pottering about and doing things. I love the feeling of a clean, tidy home too, and it always gives me a boost to see the results! Though Oli and I try to keep on top of general house tasks during the week, the deep clean/laundry/whatever-extra tasks are saved for the weekend.
I’ve also really enjoyed savouring downtime with Oli over the weekend. I’m still working full-time at the moment, which means that although we’re both home all day, it’s not like we’re hanging out 24/7.
Instead at the weekend I like to switch off from work. And really pour time and energy into my time with Oli. We’ll go on a long walk, set the table for a nice dinner together, download a movie . . . whatever! The most important thing is the mental shift from the work week, to the weekend.
One of our favourite restaurants just started offering takeaways on the weekend. So we’re planning on taking advantage of that this Saturday!
Hello lockdown date!
Speaking of which . . .
2 – Save Wine Time For The Weekend
I admit that during the first few weeks of lockdown, wine time was very much a daily occurance. The weather was amazing, and lockdown felt novel. A glass of wine (or few) in the evening felt like a no-brainer.
As the weeks progressed however, and we learnt that lockdown was to continue for longer, the novelty of a daily happy hour ran out. I felt the tug towards healthier choices again.
As of Week 3 Oli and I shifted our focus to fresh clean food. And alcohol only on the weekends or the occasional evening.
Saving that glass of wine for a Zoom catchup with friends, or the weekend, has really made me look forward to it again. Plus, y’know, it’s healthier.
By making a glass of wine, or G&T, a part of my downtime / weekend routine, it’s helped to mark Friday evening – Sunday out as a separate entity. Cheers!
3 – Choose A Week Day and Weekend Uniform
Whenever I read an article about working from home, one of the top tips for productivity is to ‘get dressed’. Taking the time to shower, put on makeup and a proper outfit really does help with productivity. And funnily enough it helps me to distinguish week days from weekends too.
If I’ve had a week where I’ve worn workout clothes for five days straight, I like to make more of an effort on Saturday and Sunday.
Conversely if I’ve had a week where I’ve fancied wearing more put-together outfits, I look forward to the ease of workout wear.
My general rule of thumb is basically to wear the opposite of what I’ve been wearing for most of the week. Hence creating a distinction. This week I’ve been VERY into workout wear. So I’m looking forward to dressing up more this weekend.
4 – Save Catch-Ups For The Weekend And/Or Evening
Much like a normal working week, I try to keep social things to typically ‘social hours’.
That way I can stay on top of my work life to-do list. And enjoy that ‘unwinding’ feeling of clocking off at the end of the day or week.
5 – Change Up Your Walk/Exercise
One thing which usually distinguishes the weekend for me, outside of lockdown, is a shift in exercise regime.
Back when I was signed up to my previous gym Saturday mornings were marked with an early kettlebell class. Just before lockdown I’d signed up to a new gym. I hadn’t got into my weekday vs weekend groove yet. But since isolation Oli and I have tried to mix up our exercise regime to mark the weekend.
For example, if you usually do a particular walking route during the week, you could try a run on the weekend. Or maybe tune into a Sunday yoga class? Or even take a day at the weekend off? (My preference, ha!)
Whatever it is, if you have a clear change, it will help to draw a line underneath your working week, and make the weekend feel separate.
Taking back control, over certain life elements, can help you to feel more secure during this turbulent time. Focusing on a weekend routine has really helped Oli and I both, despite the fact that we’re currently in different working positions.
If you’re struggling to differentiate the weekend from your weekdays during lockdown, I hope that this blog post can help. And I would love to know of any tactics you’re using too!
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?
I’d love to know! Any advice or tips, please leave them below.
I hope you’re doing OK right now, sending love your way.
Love, Monica x