Why do people take a weekend off?

Weekend! The most relaxing tips

Finally done, finally weekend! The work week is ticked off, now only do the last little things of the day and then into the well-deserved weekend. start. Enjoy the free time, do nothing, switch off, maybe pursue a hobby. What the individual prefers at the weekend is as complex as earth sediment. Everything goes. However, there are a few general tips and advice that will help you make the most of your weekend. Because unfortunately the weekend is often much less relaxing than it should be. We have collected tips and options on how you can get the maximum relaxation out of your weekend ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Weekend: Finally some free time

Stress with colleagues, the annoying boss or even the stressful customers can be quite a problem for many employees on weekdays Mood spoil. In addition, there is often the long commute: every day going to work first, often in traffic jams, then sitting in the office from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., then commuting back home - there is hardly any opportunity to do or do much else during the week.

For many, the weekend is therefore primarily: leisure. 48 hours of free time without thinking about the job, having to meet deadlines or rushing from appointment to appointment. Two days dedicated to relaxation and relaxed free time.


Although this idea of ​​the weekend is common, the reality is usually different. The weekend is already planned well in advance: tidying up, shopping, washing the car, going on excursions, going to the cinema or a concert, going out to eat, reading, painting, jogging, meeting friends and family ... All of these can be good and meaningful activities on the weekend , but at some point it will no longer turn into relaxation, but rather Leisure stress.

That's why we're using the weekend wrong

We want to use the weekend for our own free time, but the two days off are still rarely designed to be really meaningful and relaxing. Hardly anyone does not have the time to actually relax.

There are two behind this behavior Fears and psychological effects:

  • Afraid of too little time

    The weekend is short so everything has to be done in no time. Many think so. In a few days the next weekend is already due, which could be used - but that doesn't matter at the moment. Instead, all errands, appointments and activities must take place immediately. We force ourselves into a much too tight schedule on the weekend that has nothing to do with rest and relaxation.

  • Afraid of missing out

    And what did you do on the weekend? Everyone would like to share their experiences, great activities, wonderful memories and exciting adventures. Behind it stands FOMO - fear of missing out - in German: fear of missing something. If everyone else is doing great things, we have to do that too, in order not to be left out, to be considered boring or to miss something.

So remember: You can fit a lot into a weekend like this, but you don't have to make up for everything and do everything at once, what you have always set out to do or what you haven't had time for during the week.

Or freely based on Paracelsus: The dose makes the poison. A few projects are in order and you can look forward to them. But you shouldn't put any pressure on yourself. Otherwise the weekend is anything but free and becomes a sheer effort.

Weekend in times of Corona: what can I do?

Through the current corona crisis many things run differently than usual. Companies are temporarily closed or employees are on short-time work, bans on contact make social interactions more difficult and even the weekend does not seem to have the same value during this time.

On the one hand, there is the understanding that health is always in the foreground and the risk of infection and thus the number of infections must be reduced. On the other hand, there is a risk of camp fever and a bad mood if the feeling arises that you can only sit at home on the weekend.

It is all the more important that you use your weekend even in times of Corona - of course within the scope of the currently permitted activities. We have some tips and suggestions for this:

  • Go in the sun

    In most federal states, walking is still allowed as long as you keep the minimum distance from other people and are out alone or in pairs. To help contain the coronavirus, you should stay at home if possible, but half an hour in the sun is allowed and can significantly lift your mood on the weekend.

  • Start a video conference

    Meetings with friends or family should not take place at the moment. However, that does not have to mean that you have to forego contact entirely. Modern means of communication make it possible in the simplest possible way. Start a video conference, invite friends or family and you're good to go. You can chat, eat something together at a distance or play a few games over the digital connection.

  • Have a good time at home

    We are all looking forward to the time after Corona, when normality returns and the restrictions are lifted. Until then, you should try to have a good time at home on the weekend too. Cook your favorite meal or order it from your favorite restaurant. Enjoy the sunset on the balcony, cuddle up with your partner on the couch with a nice movie - there are endless possibilities to enjoy the weekend at home.

The weekend is more stressful than the job

Stress with customers, anger with colleagues, working under constant current - the job can be quite grueling. However, a study by the Pennsylvania State University came to the conclusion: Many people experience far more stress at home than in the office. Most affected: women.

For their studies, the researchers took saliva samples from 122 working people - both during the week and on the weekends. In doing so, they mainly focused their attention on that Stress hormone cortisol. Lo and behold: there was a lot more of it in the blood at the weekend than during the week.

Why it is like that? The work, the scientists suspect, is clearly structured in most cases:

  • We know what to do there.
  • We know our tasks, our contacts.
  • Our projects are planned, organized, structured.
  • We know that this is where we earn our income.

At home it is different: There are a number of tasks there, but even more that cannot be planned (especially when there are children in the house). A dispute with colleagues is quickly resolved, and you can avoid them if necessary. Family conflicts no one escapes and they always get under your skin.

Then there is the self-inflicted stress: If the job doesn't fulfill you, then at least it has to be leisure be: a super party here, athletic performance there - it's less and less about relaxation and more and more about new performance stress and the eternal worry of being able to miss something. Not least in order to then show on Facebook what a great life you have - compared to your friends.

Tips: How to make the most of the weekend

The free time on the weekend flies by and before you could even recover, is Monday just around the corner? This is the case for many - it is all the more important that the weekend is used properly. On the one hand for the necessary relaxation after a stressful week, on the other hand for the projects and activities that are not possible during the week.

A first tip that you should take to heart for your weekend is therefore: Clarify your expectations. If you are disappointed with the weekend or feel like you are not getting the most out of it, it may be because you are focusing on the wrong things. Do you primarily need relaxation or are you driven by the desire to spend time with as many activities as possible?

The weekend is what you make of it. Of course, there are also obligations on the days off, but you can help make the most of the weekend by organizing it. The following Tips for the weekend help you:

  • Plan the weekend

    You shouldn't clock the two days off down to the last minute, but it makes sense to think about the design beforehand. What do you want or have to do? How much time is actually free and how do you intend to use it? Early arrangements with your partner, family and friends save you a lot of short-term stress on the weekend.

  • Set priorities

    48 hour weekends may seem like a long time at first, but you need to set clear priorities to make the most of your time. For most people, for example, time with family and friends or relaxation after a strenuous week is particularly important - if no priorities are set, this is exactly what is neglected. Only when you are sure that you can do the really important things on the weekend should you think further.

  • Sort your commitments

    At the weekend I have to do this ... or I definitely have to do that on the weekend ... There are usually some commitments on Saturdays and Sundays. But is that really the case and are these tasks or appointments really so mandatory? Much can be postponed or canceled so that you can really relax.

  • Postpone weekly shopping

    An unusual but very effective tip. One of the biggest stressors on the weekend is weekend shopping. This takes up a lot of free time, but above all it costs a lot of nerves. Squeezing through full aisles, being pushed to the shelf, waiting in line for ages ... pure stress and crowds. If at all possible, postpone the big purchase to another day, for example on the way home after work.

  • Maintain your daily rhythm

    Of course, there's nothing wrong with sleeping a little longer on the weekend and not jumping out of bed at an early alarm clock. Nevertheless, you shouldn't mess up your daily rhythm too much on the weekend. Otherwise, on the weekend it is not the recovery that comes, but the cold. This is called the rubber band effect in technical jargon.

  • Maintain your hobbies

    Real hobbies are more than just a pastime. If you pursue a job with friends and passion, you draw strength from it and can relax - even if the hobby itself is exhausting. Exercise on the weekend can be an important aspect, even if you work up a sweat. It also increases satisfaction when you devote yourself to a hobby. This will make you happier and better at the weekend.

  • Really switch off

    With hardly any other device are curse and blessing as close together as with the smartphone. On the one hand, it opens up countless opportunities for us - also to stay in contact with others. On the other hand, we stay in contact with it even when we don't want to - for example with the boss at the weekend. Often there is only one radical step to real relaxation: switching off. Literally. Even if only for a few hours. It is a real satisfaction not to keep checking your cell phone, checking e-mails, replying to messages and checking the news in the feed at the weekend.

  • Learn to say no

    Helpfulness is good, but you also need to learn to say no every now and then on weekends. You don't need to have a guilty conscience or justify yourself in length and breadth. A short one Unfortunately I can't do that on the weekend ... is enough to refuse.

    You can of course help a friend move or do a favor, but don't forget that the weekend is your time too. At the latest when it becomes a burden for you and permanently damages your relaxation at the weekend, it is better to say no and set limits.

  • Allow yourself some rest

    Finally, another somewhat tautological tip, which cannot be emphasized enough: Consciously take time for yourself at the weekend - in peace, all by yourself or with your partner. Anyone who is consciously looking for such time-outs to relax will enjoy the moment to the full, come up with fresh ideas and gain new strength. Idleness and doing nothing are a fine art that, unfortunately, is hardly taught or learned anymore.

    You can decide for yourself how exactly you organize these real breaks. For some, a relaxed bath with a good book is the best recovery, others relax with a walk in the woods and still others indulge in yoga or meditation. In the end, it is important that you feel good, come to rest and replenish your energy reserves.

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23 September 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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