Finally a better work-life balance! This is how you use your weekends wisely
All week you’ve been looking forward to the weekend to finally relax, and then? Then at the weekend one date follows the next, you also want to do sports and maybe finally go dancing again. And, yikes, suddenly it’s Sunday night again and you’re exhausted. Does this scenario sound familiar to you? Then you are like many other people who, according to studies, do not recharge their batteries enough for the working week at the weekend. Then sad but true: Germany is stressed. And increasingly so.
The current stress study “Relax, Germany” 2021 shows: Almost two out of three people in Germany feel stressed at least sometimes – more than 26 percent even often. According to an older study by DAK-Gesundheit, only just under every second woman manages to relax at the weekend – for men it is 37 percent. Crazy numbers, right? But here’s good news: it’s up to you what you make of your weekend. Let’s de-stress it together!
Work-life balance: what exactly does the term mean?
Work-life balance means a balance between professional requirements and private needs. If you can switch off well in your free time, don’t take job problems with you to the weekend and find enough relaxation, then work and private life are well balanced – and that makes you happy. But we all know: Especially in times of new working models, for example working from home, it’s not that easy.
Work-life balance: why it is so important for our health
Not having a good work-life balance means stress. And what, above all, permanent stress does to our health – namely, nothing good – we all actually know that. Quick reminder: Stress can cause cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, gastrointestinal infections, burnout and depression, among other things. But what are the first signs that your work-life balance is not right? restlessness for example. Or nervousness, sleep disorders, frequent infections, impatience or irritability.
Why the weekend is essential for our work-life balance
In challenging phases at work, our body releases the stress hormone cortisol, which makes us efficient for a short time. However, a high cortisol level is not healthy in the long run. That is why we need periods of rest in order to break down the cortisol again. However, if we have constant leisure stress at the weekend, this does not happen.
Why we misuse our weekend
But why is it so difficult for us to simply do nothing at the weekend and give our bodies a break? There are two fears behind this behavior. First, the fear of not having enough time. The weekend is short, so everything has to happen and be done in these two days: appointments, sports, meeting friends. Of course, that doesn’t have much to do with relaxation. Second, the fear of missing out, so FOMO (fear of missing out). If everyone else is experiencing great things, then we don’t want to be left out.
5 work-life balance tricks for a quieter weekend
Need inspiration for more relaxation on your days off? Here she comes.
1. Don’t take work home
It’s actually quite obvious, but sometimes we catch ourselves wanting to get this or that done quickly on Saturday. Or we think we have to do some preparatory work on Sunday so that the next week doesn’t get off to such a stressful start. Stop it! Such behavior is not good for us. Turn off your work cell phone and laptop and don’t turn them on again until Monday morning!
2. Experience the opposite if possible at the weekend
Researchers have found that we can relax better on weekends when we do activities that contrast as much as possible with our everyday work. That is to say, if we sit a lot at work – which is probably the case for most of us – then it is good for us to move as much as possible on the weekend. For people with less creative jobs, artistic hobbies can be a great balance. But of course the following applies here: less is more. There should still be enough time to simply do nothing.
3. Make friends – but not too many
For most of us, part of a perfect weekend is making time for loved ones. That’s good and right, because social contacts are good for us. But only as long as we don’t rush from date to date. Remember: one appointment per day is enough to leave room for relaxation.
4. Clean up regularly during the week
The big cleaning shop at the weekend: who doesn’t know and hate it? She doesn’t necessarily have to be there. If you take 20 minutes to tidy up and/or clean every evening during the week, you can probably avoid these unloved activities on your two days off and have more time for the things that really make you happy.
5. Plan fixed relaxation times
We are often so trimmed to experience exciting things that we forget to take time for rest and relaxation. Reading a good book, going for a walk, getting a massage, or just lying there and breathing: These things are so essential that we should reserve fixed times in our calendar when planning the weekend. Especially when we have children and quiet moments are a real luxury.