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5 Ways to Make Your Weekends Happier

5 Ways to Make Your Weekends Happier

Weekends are a brief, magical period where anything goes. How you spend all of those 48 hours is completely up to you. However, some people feel paralyzed by a total lack of structure and end up lounging away all weekend, binge-watching entire TV seasons on Netflix or watching their dog drag its butt across the carpet. Don’t be a bump on a log! Consider one of these five ways to make your weekends happier.

Exercise Your Body (and Imagination) Outdoors

You’ve probably heard this all before: Go outside, experience nature, get some sunshine, and work out. Let’s take it to another level and give your mind a healthy stretch, too. Grab a portable music player and make a playlist of some of the most epic music you have. Think movie and video game soundtracks, orchestral masterpieces, or whatever else inspires motivation and vigor. The idea here is to make physical outdoor exercise more accessible and interesting.

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You could be a hero sprinting to glory through a war-torn battlefield, a puma hunting in a dense jungle, or the lone survivor escaping a horde of zombies. Whatever your fantasy, live it. You’re allowing your mind to escape the rigors of the weekdays while simultaneously strengthening your body and spirit.

Have Some Extra Time in Bed

Your bed is your very own sacred place for meditation, reflection, and relaxation. When you wake up in the morning, swim through the sheets and realize the entire vicinity of your mattress is yours and yours alone. No one is going to bother you here; no one can take that space of private isolation from you (unless you’re with a lover).

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Allow your thoughts to wander as you sort out the week’s events consciously and subconsciously. The peace of mind and lack of distractions can help you recharge your mental batteries.You could also escape into your own little world and watch some TV on your laptop or tablet thanks to FiOS tv service from Verizon. Don’t waste your day lying in bed, however; just spend a little extra time enjoying the comfort, like you want to do all week but aren’t able to.

Spend Time with Family and Friends

What is happiness? What is success? Can these things be measured by material matters such as the size of your house or price of your car? Or are you more likely to find the feeling of life satisfaction knowing you’re part of a community of people who love and care for one another? “A successful person is usually one who has achieved a measure of happiness and fulfillment in their work, family, and spiritual life (however that is defined for the individual),” executive coach Dale Kurrow says, “most successful people need to feel a sense of accomplishment and are self-motivated to tackle the next challenge.” Leave your weekday life behind and focus on friends and family.

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Pursue a Hobby

Day in and day out, day in and day out—weekdays are a drag. Routines can start to wear on even the most fortuitous minds. Having some sort of hobby, no matter how obscure, can be a great way for you to shake off the dust of monotony that settles on your brain five days a week. Hobbies, whether they’re based in logic or creativity, allow your brain to wander leisurely down curious avenues of thought while flexing your ability to think critically and perceive patterns.

Playing Sudoku, the piano, or volleyball are some pretty good options. Hobbies are like yoga for your brain; they help create more “flexible” thought patterns than can be used to solve complex problems in the future. Plus they’re an excellent outlet for stress.

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Plan For the Week Ahead

Your work week is probably going to be full of assignments, deadlines, and a million people hounding you to get something done. Be proactive during the weekend and schedule a list of things you know you’ll need to tackle in the days ahead. It’ll save you a world of headaches down the road.

Weekends are a great time to get things done, escape the world around you, or spend time with friends and family. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t waste them

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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