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How Coronavirus Helped Me Take Back My Weekends

4 Min Read
Lifestyle

The weekend — it is something that employees around the world count down to every week. Those two blissful days to enjoy life without worry. I used to be one of these people, watching the clock slowly move on Fridays, waiting for the moment I could jump out of my desk and head to the elevators, leaving colleagues in my dust.

Since starting my entrepreneurship journey almost three years ago, running my own PR agency from all over the world, my weekends disappeared. I replaced brunch and lazy mornings with crafting media pitches, strategies, and research. Sure, I enjoyed my weekends and did fun things, but work was still a priority. When you are a business owner, the stakes are high, and taking a full day off (let alone two) seems wrong. There is always something more that can be done and life becomes an endless cycle of to-do lists.

There is always something more that can be done and life becomes an endless cycle of to-do lists.

Then COVID-19 disrupted the world, especially the workplace, and thousands of people are now working from home, dealing with being surrounded by work 24/7. It was only once I went into self-isolation that I realized the disservice I was doing myself by not having my weekends work-free. Taking Saturday and Sunday for myself means that Monday through Friday are the power days where I am putting in more concentrated efforts, because I know I will have the weekend for myself. Now, I am motivated to accomplish as much as I can during the week so I can guiltlessly enjoy the weekend.

Even though I am my own boss and can make my own hours, I am making sure I get up early and have a scheduled working day while I am stuck at home. I find it helpful to have clear starts and ends to my day now. I start my day around 7:15 in the morning with coffee and the NYT daily briefings and end with a brisk walk around the neighborhood. These little things anchor my day and help me stay focused. I have recently started chunking my time into 45-minute power sessions where I focus on one, and one task only for those 45 minutes, then take a small break. I find that this helps me stay organized and motivated because my daily tasks now seem more doable broken down into 45 minutes of dedication.

Taking Saturday and Sunday for myself means that Monday through Friday are the power days where I am putting in more concentrated efforts, because I know I will have the weekend for myself.

The weekend starts with a cocktail or glass of wine followed by a movie and ends with a meditation on Sunday night, mentally preparing myself for the week that lies ahead. I spend about 30 minutes on Sunday evening writing down my priorities for the week, things I need to get done that week, and can't push off. Once my weekly priorities have been set, I schedule 3-4 of those priorities to get tackled on Monday. Doing this helps me feel more prepared and confident for the week because I know exactly what I will be focusing on. No Sunday Scaries over here!

Here are some things I am doing during the weekends — all social distancing approved!

1. Reading "You Are A Badass at Making Money" by Jen Sincero. I love reading inspirational, self-help books. Reading these types of books is a form of learning so I don't feel guilty spending hours reading for pleasure because I am also bettering myself in the process.

2. Creating content. I am taking my writing more seriously now that I can't leave the house. Writing has always been a hobby, especially storytelling, so I am using this quarantine time to write more articles and update my travel blog with stories of past travels.

3. Taking walks. I aim to take a walk every single day. It is especially important Monday through Friday because it helps me unwind from my workday, but the weekend offers a chance to take longer walks or embark on a trail for a few hours. Staying active during quarantine has been very important for me.

4. Watching movies. I try to eliminate phone screen time as much as possible since that can easily lead to checking emails and thinking about work, whereas movies are a relaxing way to indulge in technology while far removed from work.

5. Cooking good food and making cocktails. The weekend is supposed to be fun so I like to indulge in good food and cocktails. Recently we have whipped up coconut martinis, spicy margaritas, good old mimosas, and bloody marys! For dinner, we utilize the extra time we have on the weekend to make some nice dishes. Lately, we have been making tacos, stir fry, brisket, chili, or ordering in food from our local restaurants to support them and having our own at-home "date night."

6. Dreaming about my next travel destination! As a digital nomad, I am itching to get back out into the world. I know this won't happen for a while, but I have definitely been thinking about where I want to go once life returns to normal. We want to move back to Hawaii and then explore South America, the Caribbean, and more.

How are you spending your weekends these days? Maybe it's time to take those two days back for yourself, too!

3 min read
Lifestyle

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Email armchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get the advice you need!

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.

-Sadsies

Dear Sadsies,

I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.



I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!



- The Armchair Psychologist

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