How our weekends have changed since the pandemic
With many of us working from home during times of COVID-19 and only venturing out more as the restrictions lift, our routines have become somewhat muddled.
Sticking to a routine that involves 'you time' at the weekend is more important than ever.
Why is maintaining a ‘weekend’ important?
Even if you live alone, it's important to have a clear divide between 'work time' and 'home time'.
While it's tempting to have your laptop open while you have TV shows playing in the background, you'll quickly find there are problems. You'll burn out, feeling less keen to work when you should (plus you'll miss important revelations in your show).
Most importantly, having a clearly defined weekend gives you something to look forward to. Sticking to your normal structure when Friday evening was a time to look forward to helps keep up a healthy rhythm.
Even with pubs and restaurants limited in numbers, major sporting events limited to the TV and cinemas, theatres, and gig venues restricted, it's important to give yourself something to get excited about.
Simple things like making the weekend the time you get takeout, treat yourself to a sleep-in, or go out to enjoy a bushwalk can help mark the difference between you-time and work-time.
Keeping social with video chats
One of the things that people express they found difficult during the shutdown was the isolation. Catching up with friends and family using video calls increased and many of us had to learn how to use video call technologies.
Although it's not quite the same as catching up in person, the technology we have available to us nowadays makes it a lot easier to keep our social lives intact than ever before.
Whether you use Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Messenger, WhatsApp, or something else, video chats are keeping us connected in new ways.
Office friends are 'meeting' for lunches to keep their routines in place, friends are having Friday drinks in each other's company and families are getting together for a Sunday afternoon meal.
One of the reasons people are working extended hours at the moment is the feeling of ennui they get from staying home and not doing all the activities they did previously.
If you get itchy feet staying at home, use the weekends to work on productive challenges.
Whether that's minor DIY jobs like fixing your loose cupboard doors, tidying up your garden, or signing up for one of the many free courses that are being offered at the moment. Using your time to accomplish something can help keep your mind occupied while keeping clear of your work emails.
It doesn't have to be something big, either. We all have a drawer that should really be sorted, our clothes could be better arranged or the photos on our computer could be a little more organised. So channel the famous Japanese tidying expert, Mari Kondo, and clear some ‘life admin’.
Enjoying 'me time'
Even though the world is in turmoil, it doesn't mean you shouldn't do things you enjoy – in fact, it's that sort of self-care that will help many people get through this.
Enjoy the slower pace of life. Use weekends and evenings to do the things you enjoy. Whether that's binge-watching new shows, reading books, playing games or relaxing in a warm bath, you now have the perfect excuse to do exactly what you want to do with your time.
You'll also find people online being inventive in their attempts to entertain us. Whether it's musicians live streaming home performances, sports teams replaying classic matches or celebrities holding live Q&A sessions, there's plenty of new entertainment options online too.