This is why your weekends seem shorter right now

“You may feel like time flies faster than usual as we try to pack more into our days” (Photo: Getty)

Monday again. How are we already here?

The weekend seemed to go by in a flash – a whirlwind of socializing, chores, exercising, catching up on our hobbies – and we’re back to work before we have time to catch our breath.

Of course, we will always feel like we don’t have enough free time to do what we want.

Existing in a capitalist society means that most of us have to spend a huge chunk of our time working to pay our rent or mortgage, pay our bills, and pay for our food and groceries.

It can leave you feeling quite tense, but something seems to have changed in recent months, with more people reporting that the weekend is shorter than ever.

“These two-day weekends are starting to look like thirty-minute lunch breaks,” wrote one Twitter user – and people are getting along. Hard.

It may be a sequel to the pandemic, or an impact of starting to socialize again after a long time, but these two-day weekends just don’t do it for us anymore.

“Getting out of lockdown has been a big change for most people, as unusual circumstances have become a new normal for most,” Rebecca Lockwood, psychology and neuro-linguistic programming coach, told

“With the lifting of these restrictions, it has created a big change in the lives, relationships and routines of most people. This naturally created panic, anxiety, and unwanted emotions for a lot of people, as it made a lot of people feel like they missed things during the lockdown, or they now feel like they were on lockdown. ‘there is a hurry to “catch up” “on what has been lost.

“It can make time seem like time flies faster than usual as we try to pack more into our days.”

Is it any wonder that our weekends are shorter than in the last 18 months?

During much of the pandemic, all we could do was walk around, watch Netflix, and bake leaven. The hours stretched out before us and boredom was our greatest concern.

In the blink of an eye, we’re back to the opposite – crowded social calendars and plans are popping out of our ears.

It can make you feel like you don’t have enough time to recover and rest, especially if you’ve started commuting again and your workdays are now longer than when you were working from home.

“When we’re in our comfort zones, most people like to stay there because it’s normal, it’s routine and it’s considered a safe place to stay,” says Rebecca.

“Staying home and creating a new routine has become the new normal and the new comfort zone. When we start to step outside of our comfort zones, it causes feelings of uncertainty, anxiety and overwhelm.

“This is what we all went through when the lockdown started, and now it will have the opposite effect when we come out of the lockdown because it’s been going on for so long.”

Sarah Cannon, Psychological Wellness Practitioner at Living Well UK, adds: “Many of us returned to the office for work which left us with less time in the week than we may have been used to. throughout the blockages to continue our usual activities. This forced us to try and incorporate a lot more of these activities during the weekends.

Sarah adds that the weather doesn’t help either.

“On top of that, as we head into the winter months, we find that the nights have also started to lengthen and our days as a whole seem shorter as our exposure to daylight also decreases. at this time of year, ”she says. .

“A reduction in our exposure to daylight could also impact our sleep and wake cycle, making us feel more tired and impacting our ability to feel able to cope with daily demands. “

In fact, the shock of coming out of lockdown is so severe for some that it manifests as a stress disorder, referred to as post-pandemic stress disorder by some mental health experts.

How to know if you have post-pandemic stress disorder

If you notice any new or worsening symptoms in the following areas since the pandemic, some degree of trauma may be present:

  • Increased anxiety levels
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep problems
  • Nightmares
  • Avoid situations that remind you of pandemic / containment
  • Feeling on guard, constantly vigilant in the face of future pandemics or recurrences of Covid-19
  • Intrusive thoughts on your pandemic experiences

If you are worried about your mental health or have any of the above symptoms, talk to your GP or mental health specialist.

There are a number of mental illnesses that can cause these kinds of symptoms.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted because you don’t seem to have enough time on the weekends, what can you do?

You can’t shoehorn more hours in the day, and you probably don’t want to isolate yourself at home again after nearly two years of forced lockdown. But Rebecca has a few practical strategies.

“Don’t feel like rushing to see people,” she suggests.

“It’s been a while since we’ve been able to see our friends and family, so it can create that rush of rushing to see people every weekend, because it’s possible to do that. But, just because it’s possible, doesn’t mean you should rush out to see as many people as possible if you don’t feel like it.

“You can be really excited to see people, which is great, but not everyone will feel that. I suggest you don’t rush into planning things if you don’t feel like it. Be aware of your energy.

“Some people get their energy from being around other people and some get their energy from being alone. Be aware of where you get your energy from because it will really help you understand your personality type and help you avoid social burnout.

Rebecca also suggests that creating boundaries for yourself is really important and can help you regain some vital time for yourself.

“When you know your personality type and where you get your energy from, you can set limits to make sure you refuel in the way that works best for you,” she says.

As more and more of us react against the “culture of turmoil” and societal obsession with activity, we look for other ways to slow down our lives, reclaim our time and take more time. seriously personal care.

If you find yourself feeling exhausted and disoriented on Monday morning, it might be time to revisit your weekend plans and try to make your free time a little more restful.

How to make the most of your weekend

Here are Sarah’s three top tips for making the most of your time:

Focus on sleep
When we feel rushed, we can often end up going to bed later and later to fit more into our day. However, it actually works against us in the long run.

This is because the better we are rested, the more energy we will have to be present in our weekends and do the activities that are important to us.

Make a plan based on your priorities and what’s important to you
Many of us think of routine as something reserved for the week, but planning how we want to spend our free time on the weekends can be just as important. This may involve setting aside a specific time to sit down and read your favorite book, or scheduling time to go out with friends or family.

Be realistic with the time you have. It may mean saying “no” to certain things this week. However, remember that if you say “no” to one thing, it means you are saying “yes” to something else, which could be more restorative and relaxing.

Practice mindfulness
Try to pay attention to the present moment and recognize your thoughts and feelings. If you notice that you are feeling rushed or overwhelmed, take a break, take a deep breath, and focus on your senses. something you can see, smell, touch, hear and maybe taste.

Bringing awareness to the present moment can help reduce these feelings of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm, and give us the opportunity to appreciate what we are doing at this particular moment.

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