How to Have a Better Weekend

You come home stressed out and tired from the work week and your commute home, but there is no rest yet.  You have to cook dinner, clean up some of the mess you didn’t get to last night and then take the kids to their lessons or head out to a friend’s place.  So by 8pm your even more tired and just a little grumpy since you haven’t even started to relax yet.  If this sounds a little like your Friday night, you need to make some changes to be happier and save some money.

Save money? Yes, just think for the minute about the amount of money you spend on all those entertainments and distractions in your life: dinners out, drinks, movies, TV, books, computer games….the list just goes on and on.  Not to mention the money we spend on drugs and health care problems that all go back to we are too stressed.  The truth of the matter is you won’t need a lot of that if you had the start to a better weekend and controlled your stress level.

What is the solution?  You need to book out some decompression time right after work.  Going from full speed during your workday into full speed into your weekend isn’t healthy for you (since your body keeps thinking its in stressed state).  You need some time, not even that much, to shift gears and enter your weekend in a more relaxed state.  Then you can really start to enjoy your weekend.

In my house I typically come home and do a few different things to help me shift from full speed work to slower speed at home.  I first get a snack if I’m starving (since as my wife will tell you I’m a bear when I’m hungry) and then I go upstairs and change clothes.  Do I need a new outfit? No, but I do it to help separate my work day from my home life.  Then I take perhaps 10 to 15 minutes to either read some blogs on Ipod Touch or a book in the bedroom by myself.  I love my family, but I just need a little time to myself to relax before I place myself in the middle of the supper rush.  The total cost of this routine is some gas to get to the library once a week for a book and a few extra groceries.

At that point I’ve decompressed enough that I can handle helping with supper or playing peace maker with the kids. Then I pour a glass of wine for my wife and I and we can both relax a bit more during supper (providing the kids are being good).  Then the rest of the evening can happen and I don’t feel stressed out anymore.  Now that is my method of decompressing after work on a Friday.  Your method might be completely different, but it is important to have some method of downshifting from that stressed out state.

Stress management is one of those grossly under estimated items in our lives that can save you a fortune in other costs.  Do you shop when you are stressed or perhaps you get something to eat out?  We tell ourselves its ok to have a little treat or a pick me up: because we had just a hard week and we deserve it.  All of that can be avoided with some simple stress management (ideally every evening), but especially on Friday before the weekend.  Why before the weekend?  Basically you are much more likely to do your shopping at that point and if you were stressed out you are much more likely to impulse buy.

So your mission for tonight is simple: book some time for yourself to decompress regardless if it takes a half an hour soak in a tub or prepare a small snack before supper to push off cooking for an extra 15 minutes.  Whatever you can come up with that doesn’t cost a lot and helps you downshift from your week.  You will feel better and likely also spend less.

So how do decompress at the end of the week?  Or do you notice what you buy when you are stressed?

7 thoughts on “How to Have a Better Weekend”

  1. Why is it that men always think that they need to relax before they tackle family? Does your wife get to come home and go take some time off to read etc? or is she like me, making supper (so we can be frugal and keep within the budget), handling the kids, the phone, etc? I personnally found it very difficult to handle that my dh needed “time” to decompress before. (I have been a SAHM,a Work at Home mom and a go-out to-work mom at different points in my life so I definately know what it is to work and come home) You can relax by setting the table or cutting vegetables and talking with your wife…listening to her (which will do wonders for your marriage and bedroom)…that will definately take your mind off of work! Or perhaps, coming down your street, take a deep breath and tell yourself you are leaving all the problems and stress right there and that you will pick them up tomorrow morning on your way into work. Do you need down time when you go into work before you start working? I doubt it! Most men pull open the work “compartment” without a problem and don’t need to “rest” before they start.

  2. Rena,

    What does being a guy have to do with it? No really I don’t see why that matters here. My relax routine has more do to with my personality than my sex.

    I’m a very sensitive person to other people’s emotional states. Basically others peoples emotions sort of stick onto me far too easy so to relax I do NEED some alone time. Otherwise I’m too quick to lash out at the end of the day when the kids overload my emotional state. So with some experience my wife knows this and tries to give me that time. It doesn’t always happen, but we try since I’m a much better husband and father when I do it.

    As for my wife, she works from home and manages her stress to what works best for her. Her crazy time is right around lunch so right after lunch when the little ones are down for a nap. She puts on a movie or let’s the older kids play outside and she sits down with a coffee and reads for about 20 minutes. That’s her ‘must have’ time and she normally gets it. When it doesn’t happen I can tell and my ‘relax’ time usually gets pushed off until after supper so I can help with the kids. We give and take each day to make the entire think work.

    As for listening we talk all the time. Depending on the day we start when I walk in the door and don’t stop until bedtime (other than my short relax time).

    That’s what works for us, as I said in the post each person will be different and have what works for them.

    From your comment I would assume that you need to talk with some of the men in your life to get a better understand on what works for both of you and find a balance. I would suggest you don’t project your issues in your life onto others. It comes across as hostile and a little shallow which I would assume you likely are not like that normally.


  3. Hi,
    I just read your article in Toronto Star today hence visiting your site. Nice article except all women out there would respond the same as Rena especially if families have small children. Seriously, I can’t get my coat off because my son wants to cuddle for 15 minutes or I have to read him a book after we get home and my older daughter tells me there is no space for her on my lap :(. So see I like to get into my home clothes after work too, but it does not happen after an hour at times. I have yet to make dinner, read, play and whatever else. So I do get what you are saying but really it is SO hard to find time for yourself especially if it is a MOM.

  4. Hi Tim,

    I enjoyed your article and look forward to the follow-up ones this week, especially Thursday’s: making money in retirement and working when you want to. This is where I am at having only retired end of June this year. Still making money (and spending it) working when I want to now. It’s GREAT, everyone should be doing what I am doing working from home. Go after your dreams, God Bless.

  5. @ Snowflake,

    Oh, I’m not underestimating how hard it is some days. For example, tonight I didn’t get my time in. The boys were jumping off the walls. The point is to try and get your partner to help out.


    Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully I address your issues later this week, if not drop me a comment and I will try to do a follow up article or post.


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