How to separate your weeks and weekends during the coronavirus lockdown

Caroline Allen
Contributor
The days can easily merge into one. (Getty Images)

It’s easy to feel as if all the days are merging into one during the coronavirus lockdown.

With many people unable to work at the moment, it’s not always easy for people to split their weekdays from their weekends.

Before the lockdown, weekends were full of plans and felt like an entirely different experience to a weekday.

Now, people are finding Thursdays and Fridays some of the hardest days of the week given that they used to be full of excitement for the weekend and now they’re not.

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Despite the lack of clear difference between the weekdays and weekends, there are ways to look forward to your weekends again. It starts by making subtle differences to your current routine.

If you are able to work at the moment, the changes are a little more obvious. Tidy your workstation away on a Friday afternoon, participate (or start) Friday night virtual drinks and don’t spend your weekends working just because you can.

If you’re not able to work, there are plenty of ways to make your weekends feel special.

“Use your Saturdays and Sundays to go for longer walks, make more elaborate breakfasts, spend longer making dinner, bake and do things that you really enjoy.” Psychotherapist, Christine Elvin, explains.

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Elvin, who has dedicated her free time to helping key workers through the pandemic with telephone counselling sessions, says it’s a “difficult time” for everybody, but that there are small ways to make life more enjoyable.

“Between you and your family, make a list of your absolute favourite things to do. Each weekend, choose an activity at random from the list.

“Little things like this - things you can anticipate - make so much more of a difference than you might realise. It’s important not to just shrug and think, ‘oh well, there’s no such thing as the weekend now’ because that attitude will help negative thoughts to spiral.” She explains.

There’s also merit in keeping to your weekend routines - but cutting out the “going out” portion. For example, if you love a Sunday morning lay in, keep having it. If you like to bake bread on a Saturday afternoon, there’s no reason to stop.

This uncertain time can make us feel like we simply can’t be bothered, but pushing through that feeling - in the same way you might encourage yourself to go to the gym when you don’t feel like it - will leave you feeling much better at the end of the week.

“If you’re not working and you’ve got jobs to do around the house, keep those jobs for the weekdays and then treat yourself to a really luxuriously relaxed weekend.” Elvin also recommends.

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Getting ready for every day is a must, but it’s worth investing a bit of extra time in your outfit for the weekends.

Some people are even using the hashtag #DressUpFriday - a play on the usual dress-down Friday - to showcase their fanciest outfits for the week ahead.

People have worn everything from weddings dresses to suits to celebrate the end of the week.

Most importantly, it’s good to have a plan. Whether that’s a virtual quiz night with your friends, a fancier meal than usual or a fun activity you can do with the whole family, don’t just coast into the weekend treating it as if it’s any other day.

“Remember there is an end to this and use it as a time to get to know yourself and spend more time with the people who matter. This feeling will pass.” Elvin concludes.