While it feels really good to be writing this piece on a Friday, I’ve begun to feel like my weekly cycle of peaking on Friday then plummeting on Monday is to my detriment. Do you know the cycle that I mean?
I wake up on Friday mornings feeling like my healthiest self, of course having every intention of ruining that over the weekend. Alternatively, on Monday mornings, there’s an invisible woman behind me saying, “Shame” and ringing a bell as I get dressed for work. I walk around sullenly, beating myself up for having an extraordinarily unhealthy weekend, dreading the week to come. Then I hang my head, take a breath, and vow to be the absolute healthiest version of myself for the next four days straight. “I’m basically going to be a monk,” I say to the mirror steadfastly.
No matter how much you love your job, much like the political climate these days, weekdays versus weekends can be incredibly polarizing. There sometimes seems to be no middle ground between the two. On Mondays I’m lethargic, sad to come down from the high of the weekend, and altogether pissed off that it is over. On Fridays, I am basically euphoric and fully ready to take on the fun of the weekend as my healthiest self, forgetting how shitty I felt Monday.
I know you may be reading this thinking, “Ok well that’s the nature of the week and the weekend, so what?” But does it really need to be? Sometimes I feel that there could be more of a balance. We always say that we should focus on the journey not the destination, but it’s impossible to do that when you’re constantly wishing away a journey (i.e. the week), while wishing for a destination (i.e. the weekend).
Something I’ve been trying to do more often is create those weekend moments on weekdays, and vice versa. I aim to stay away from that invisible line I draw between “playtime,” and “worktime” and try to incorporate a little of each into both timeframes.
On weekdays, I make a concerted effort to work weekend things in. These are the things that make each day feel less like a definitive “work day:”
I started doing the little things that I love, like waking up a little earlier than usual so that I can walk through the park with my boyfriend on his way to work, and then bring my dog to the pre-8:30/9 AM playgroup in the park (a weekend routine I treasure). After that, when I get home, I play music while getting dressed rather than constantly having the news on, which we can all agree has been depressing of late. I’m all for being informed, but do I necessarily need Harvey Weinstein or Russia to kick off my day? No. I also try not to check my email the moment I wake up, and I even put on an old movie as background noise while I do my makeup. Who out there says you can’t get your day started with Breakfast at Tiffany’s? I started a Wednesday with an I Love Lucy episode the other week, and it was the most productive day I had; I was also in the best mood.
Later in the day, I convince myself I can take thirty minutes to get lunch with a friend. I even blast some really fun pump-up songs like I Feel It Still by Portugal The Man before a big advertiser phone call I’d been nervous for. I’ve started to put as much focus into the breathing part of hot yoga on weekdays as I do the cardio and toning aspects. I convince myself that even though it’s a weekday, I deserve to at least attempt to meditate and find some semblance of peace and quiet before or after the crazy work day.
And as for weekends? I try to remind myself I am not on death row. Sunday is not my last meal, and Monday is not my lethal injection. In fact, it’s just another Sunday: They come around every seven days. I think we forget that sometimes.
I go to an exercise class on a Saturday morning. I opt for something healthy on a Saturday night, not because I’m guilty about the night before but because maybe I just want to. Maybe it’s a choice that will make me feel better on Monday. Maybe the invisible Game of Thrones “Shame” woman will take the day off if I make a healthier choice than usual. She’s just doing her best, trying to get through her Monday too, after all.
It can’t possibly be healthy for us to go through such a high and a low each week, and continue on that hamster wheel over and over again. It’s not just about defeating that feeling of the work grind, it’s also about wasting five days a week (that’s 260 days out of the 365 days a year) waiting for the weekend. That’s quite a lot of wasted time.
We’re all happy that it’s Friday, and perhaps this piece will be more enjoyable or comforting to come back to Monday. But I thought it was something good we could all take into our weekends and our Mondays; or as I like to call it on weekends – The-Day-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Do you feel the Friday and Monday roller coaster? I’d love to have your comments for my Monday plummet…