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Make Your Weekend Last (and Last...)

WebMD Feature from "Redbook" Magazine

By Nicole Yorio
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End the Is it really Monday already? blues with these weekend-extending tips.

You know the feeling — it's 8 p.m. on Sunday and you find yourself wondering, Where'd the weekend go? So often, those two precious days spiral into a whirlwind of chores and obligations, leaving you deflated and drained come Sunday night. In fact, weekends filled with hassles and short on social activities are linked with burnout and poor well-being during the week, according to a study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Here's what you can do to turn your weekend into a pause that truly refreshes.

Create your own "The weekend starts here" ritual.

Even just buying a flower to put in a bud vase on your dresser does the trick. Let this simple symbolic act remind you to leave your demanding weekday world behind and bring a feeling of beauty and peace into your home, says Monica Magnetti, a life, business, and wellness coach.

Make a list of all your weekend chores...

...then cut it in half. C'mon, when do you ever get through the whole list anyway? Seeing all those to-do's will only leave you racing to accomplish them — and feeling guilty when you don't. If you're having trouble narrowing down your list, write it on a Post-it Note, suggests Jill Murphy Long, author of Permission to Play. That way, you'll be forced to decide what's really important. Plus, once you accept the fact that, realistically, you can only get to three or four tasks, you'll enjoy your leisure time more because you won't perpetually obsess over all the projects you haven't dealt with, Long says. You'll also feel a sense of satisfaction and peace from knowing that you have time for what you want to do, not what you "have" to do.

To make sure the chores you do tackle don't devour your weekend, time them right. For instance, do your grocery shopping after 5 p.m. or before 8 a.m., which are when supermarkets are least crowded, according to And arrive at the post office within 15 minutes of opening time to beat the long lines of Saturday customers, suggests the United States Postal Service.

For every task on that list, add one fun thing too.

Consider each pleasurable to-do a pat on the back for all the work you have accomplished — and a way to prevent you from filling up every spare moment with tasks. And there's another sneaky benefit: Helping you fold the towels won't sound so bad to your kids if you're all going out for ice cream afterward.

Play with your kids.

Really play. Get down on the floor and color, or watch cartoons, or build something with LEGOs, or whatever. Children are always seeking pleasure and are good at living in the moment, so let them guide you to be imaginative and carefree. When you see the world through their eyes, you'll remember the happy-go-lucky days of your own childhood — a feeling you'll want to recapture again and again, says Long.

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