The right attitudes for a carefree weekend
New hobbies, a long run, a short trip, a fun party, shopping, cleaning, meeting with family – and we think that’s called a vacation. Canadian author Katrina Onstad explains the mistake in her book Week-end paresseux, week-end heureux. It is her profound conviction that if we want to regain energy and real contact with our own desires/needs/feelings, we need to devote two days off work to total and unconditional inactivity.
In the pages of the book, Katrina shares the experiences of different people, companies and whole nations vigilantly protecting their free time from worries, responsibilities, adventures and, most importantly, goals and achievements. As Onstad writes, “the secret to a happy life is to set aside the precious 48 hours, turning them into a smooth haven of laziness.”
What our weekends are like
The maxim ‘work less and enjoy life more’ was once held up as a virtue but has been all but forgotten these days for the hectic 24/7. We just need to keep busy, no matter what we do, as long as we don’t stop. A weekend is a two-day opportunity to diversify your life (and spruce up your Instagram) by booking brunches at top restaurants and tickets to popular events or twisting joints at a training session with a trendy pilates guru, pre-purchasing food for the week and convincing your parents that you won’t be going to Vladimir to visit them that weekend.
“You don’t need scientific research reports to realise that living under the pressure of schedules and deadlines is not helpful,” Onstad writes. – “Because of the lack of time to recharge our internal batteries, every aspect of our lives suffers: health deteriorates, personal contacts collapse and productivity falls. And for most working people, working life has no clear-cut boundaries. Admittedly, you must have had to answer work emails on Saturdays, and complete reports that should be on the boss’s desk by Monday morning.
Why, to be happy, you should do nothing on weekends (photo 3).
What the weekend is really about
The body and mind need those 48 hours to get out of stress and recharge their batteries, for which it’s important to free yourself from mental stress by not planning and anticipating.
Katrina Onstad’s ode to laziness would hardly surprise anyone these days. The battle against stress and burnout has long been gaining momentum, with new formats like slow life and JOMO (joy of missing out, available to those who take a break from the internet and social media) and age-old concepts like the Danish hygge. Some advanced experts recommend reducing the working week to three days altogether, leaving two days for family affairs and saving the weekend exclusively for a break.
Technically, the benefit of laziness is that doing nothing naturally leads to boredom, which in turn directs the mind to look for new ideas, activating creative energy. This reset is needed to support inner harmony, productive self-realisation and a positive attitude to start the next week off on the right foot.
How to learn to relax
Rule number one: For a happy weekend, stick to beneficial circumstances. While there’s no one-size-fits-all recipe – everyone has their own ways of motivating and therefore relaxing – some components of a fulfilling holiday are good for everyone without exception.
Merging with nature will keep your batteries in good working order for a long time, so take every opportunity to tap into healing sources of energy. The need for a walk or contemplative relaxation can be satisfied by the forest, the sea, a lakeshore, a city park, the park across the street or a flowerbed in the yard.
Whatever strategy you come up with, if you manage to separate yourself from your smartphone at least for a day you’ll save a lot of nerve cells.
Tabletop, moving, idiotic, sexy – games are wonderfully liberating and, as a bonus, provide a supply of fond memories.
The Art of
There’s no need to spend half a day in a line to see Serov or Munch; you can just admire art masterpieces online or watch a soulful (and not too abstruse) film.
Clear your head, clear your space around you (using the ConMari method, for example) and be alone with your thoughts – for as long as you like, take your time.
The last and perhaps most important point: Stick to the lazy concept every weekend, over and over again, until the tangible benefits of idleness come to you. This will surely happen, but again, take your time.