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Two Ways to Think of the Weekend from a Mental Health Perspective

When the weekend arrives, it's tempting to use it as an excuse to kick back and do nothing. That's wh
Two Ways to Think of the Weekend from a Mental Health Perspective
When the weekend arrives, it’s tempting to use it as an excuse to kick back and do nothing.
That’s what the weekend is for, right?
Not exactly.
The weekend is commonly known as a time to relax and forget your worries.
But is that the best way to treat the weekend?
What is the point of a weekend from a mental health perspective?

View 1: Weekend as Separate Entity
Something happens when we treat the weekend like a separate entity.
We begin to think that it has magical healing powers. We act as if all the draining, unpleasant tasks happen during the week, and the weekend is the time to escape from our lives for a bit.
Viewing the weekend as a separate entity is great for compartmentalizing feelings, but what happens when we have to go back to our “normal” lives? We create an unnatural pattern of ups and downs with each passing week, and this can take a toll on our mental health.
Let’s look at the weekend another way.
View 2: Weekend As Continuation of the Week
Another way to consider the weekend is to consider it as one piece of the weekly puzzle. It’s connected to all the other days of the week. It’s a part of the family rather than the creation of an entirely new identity.
Thinking of the weekend this way has several benefits.
It creates a pattern of consistency rather than the haphazard ups and downs that come from separating the work week from the weekend.
It also promotes the development of healthy habits and routines. When the week is viewed in its entirety, no day is greater or lesser than the other. All of them have value, and so it creates a feeling that healthy practices should take place every day of the week.
Finally, viewing the weekend as the continuation of the week, rather than a separate entity, removes expectations. When we expect the weekend to put us into a state of 2-day bliss, we become disappointed when that is not the case. And, because weekends contain no inherent magical properties, that is usually not the case. If expectation is premeditated resentment, then the weekend is the perfect example of that.
Rather then expect the weekend to erase negative feelings and experiences from the rest of the week, treat Saturday and Sunday as two days that are full of possibilities. But also full of typical responsibilities. Taking this approach is a way to keep the body and mind active throughout the entire week.
And it’s a way to keep the mental health momentum going, week after week after week.

Sorry for the late email today! Sometimes routines get thrown off, but, with good habits, routines can be shifted. I hope you had a nice Saturday.

With much respect and compassion,
Jordan
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