08/24/2014 12:10 pm ET Updated Oct 24, 2014

8 Powerful Ways to Maximize Your Weekend

How often have you thought to yourself on Monday morning, "Where did the weekend go?" Or, "It feels like I didn't even have time to relax"? Saturday and Sunday for most people is a time to get caught up on all the things they didn't have time to do during the week, see friends, have fun, and do it all over again five days later. For many this routine leaves them feeling just as exhausted on Monday morning as they felt on Friday afternoon. The challenge: how to simultaneously decompress from the week, recharge, and create positive emotions and experiences. For many people this is hard to accomplish within a 48 hour period, though, not impossible.

Here's how to do it:

  • Take a break from work. That's right, actually give it a rest. Make a decision on Friday evening to turn off your work mode. Imagine you're stepping out of the work version of you and into the lighthearted weekend version of yourself. Be okay relaxing, guilt-free.
  • Don't spend your day sleeping late. Although you may be tempted to do so, this will rob you of valuable time to get out there and make the most of the day. Further, it will eventually interfere with your sleep schedule during the rest of the week. Instead, if you're tired, take a short power nap during the day.
  • Don't leave all your chores and errands for the weekend. Doing so will put pressure on you at a time when you are trying to decompress. Instead, lighten your weekend load by knocking off some of your chores during the week.
  • Unplug. Being constantly connected to smartphones and social media spreads your attention thin, thus sapping you of energy at a time when you're trying to recharge. Learn more about how to detox from your smartphone here.
  • Strike a balance between planning ahead and going with the flow. Look forward to activities and have plans in place, but be flexible and don't pack the weekend too tightly.
  • Plan time to do nothing for an hour or two. For years I've been allowing a morning or an afternoon each weekend to be without plans. That may seem boring, but knowing that I don't have to be anywhere, do anything, or be accountable to anyone, is a healthy way for me to recharge and hit the reset button. So carve out an hour (or more if you don't have a partner or kids) and be entirely selfish and self-indulgent.
  • Step out of your comfort zone and mix up the scenery. Monotony can make a weekend feel routinely boring. Challenge yourself with new physical or intellectual activities and make your weekend different from the previous one. Consider a weekend staycation. Pretend you're a tourist in your own city or town. What would you do and see? Perhaps there are some yet to be realized diversions for you to take.
  • Conquer the Sunday blues. People sometimes can't enjoy the weekend because their head is wrapped up in the work week that lies ahead. Learn how to beat the Sunday blues here. And above all, know that the weekends are yours... make them different and special.

Will your weekend be monotonous and draining or will it be refreshing and energizing? Own your weekend!

For more tips on how to lead a healthy life check out my book BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days.

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