Brantley Gilbert is launching his next album with the single, The Weekend.
The romping song is about working all week and living for the weekend.
It’s a blue collar anthem in many ways. But it’s also something that people in many areas of life experience.
Work all week just to get to the weekend where you can ease off a bit, relax, have fun and recharge before the work week kicks back off early on Monday morning.
Maybe you have some great plans for this upcoming weekend, but if you’re reading this post we’ll figure that you’re looking for some ideas on how to better utilize your weekend.
So let’s get into 10 ideas for getting the most out of your weekends…
1. Spend Money On Experiences
Many of us are looking to live happy, fulfilling lives. Happy is a word a lot of us use when describing a good life. Money might come into play, but usually as a way to bring us happiness or at least comfort.
There is science, it turns out, on how spending money can affect happiness.
It turns out that people are happier when they spend money on experiences vs. things.
How does this knowledge affect your plans for the weekend? I’m not saying you need to spend money this weekend, but if you are spending money focus more on experiences than on things.
Instead of buying a new couch this weekend at the store. Maybe go away to a B&B with your spouse. Or take the entire family to the waterpark or a ball game.
Planning to binge on Netflix this weekend?
Trust me, I’ve been there. When Longmire comes out I’m all in on Netflix, but even while watching I think about what else I should be doing with my time.
I do like reading. I’ve successfully changed my morning routine from watching some TV to reading. It’s a great way to start the day and now I also set aside weekend time for reading.
There are a number of benefits to reading including that it makes us smarter, helps us sleep better and much more.
3. Spend Time Alone
The concept of being alone seems to be frowned upon today. We’re so connected with others that it seems like we should always be with people and that those who enjoy being alone are somehow doing it wrong.
There is science out there that shows the benefits of spending some time alone, though.
So many people go through the busy work week always being turned on. Their brains are always going and by the weekend their exhausted. But then we go into the weekend with a bunch of plans. It makes us feel busy and accomplished.
But our bodies need time to be in solitude.
4. Fewer Friends, More Time With Close Friends
How many friends do you have on Facebook?
50, 100, 800?
Maybe you have even more.
But how many of those people do you really know?
When many of us look back on our lives we think about the people closest to us. If we’re lucky, we have a handful of those people in our lives. These are people we can really connect with, talk to and freely exchange feelings and information.
The science shows that it’s not a race for quantity with friends, although making connections and being open to relationships is good, it’s really about having fewer friends and forming really close bonds with those close friends.
So this weekend, make some time for a really close friend.
5. Get A Hobby
Who has time for hobbies?
I’m saying that instead of working all through the weekend or packing your schedule full of this and that, make time for a hobby and make time for it each weekend or most weekends.
Work gives structure to your regular week. A hobby can give structure to your weekend and that’s a good thing for life. That’s just one positive aspect of a hobby. There are many more it turns out.
6. Get Outside
So many of us work in an office today, but our ancestors were outside much of the time. I’m not saying that being indoors doesn’t have its benefits. It’s winter here in Wisconsin so I’m very thankful for the shelter.
But I still like making time for daily (or almost daily walks) even in the winter. And on the weekends I like to get outside to do at least a few things even if it’s a walk around downtown or maybe doing some scouting on hunting property or whatever.
Researches have found that nature is the fuel for our souls. It’s good for our mind and body. It can provide inspiration and can even lead to better work when you head back to the office on Monday.
Journal. Fiction. Non-fiction. Blogging. Whatever.
Writing, especially by hand, has many benefits. It improves our mental health. It decreases stress. Some studies have even found that regular writing can heal wounds faster.
How cool is that?
We know that exercise is good for us. Many of us join a gym. Maybe we spend three days a week there in January and February, but then things kind of fall off.
It turns out that one of the best forms of exercise is also the simplest: walking.
Walk alone. It gives your mind time to consider life’s big questions. You can experience the outdoors.
Walk with someone. It gives you a chance to connect. Leave your phones at home. Really have a good conversation with the other person.
You’ll see benefits of the mind, but also benefits for your overall health including improved heart health and cancer fighting benefits.
9. Try Something New
Simple. Cliche. I know.
But humans are weird. We’re kind of wired to avoid new things as we get older. Studies actually show that we fear an unknown event more than we fear a bad known event.
You could say that many people would rather get shocked by an electric fence than do something they’ve never done before like playing golf or eating a new foreign food.
But many of the best things in life come from new experiences. When we’re kids we’re wired to try new things. We don’t care about the outcome. In fact, it seems that kids instinctively know that good things often come from trying something new.
Even if a new experience doesn’t pan out into something great it’s the idea of trying something new that offers the possibility of discovering something great like a new hobby, a new memory or a new person to love.
People in this world are sick…possibly more than at any point in history.
That’s pretty sobering. It’s almost like we’re looking at a lost generation.
One of the big culprits is our relationship with food. It’s a cliche, but we really are what we eat and most of us don’t have a good relationship with food.
Convenience is great in many areas of life, but we’ve allowed convenience to take over our eating habits. We eat fast food. We snack. We eat all kinds of bad things.
There is even a huge industry focused on making us crave bad things.
But we can only blame ourselves.
Here is a great finding from a study:
“When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all – even if they are not trying to lose weight,” says Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and lead author of the study.
The weekend is great. I totally relate to what Brantley Gilbert is singing about in his hit song. There’s a reason that song has been popular with country fans. We all live for the weekend in many ways.
But how we spend our weekend time really matters. We can decide to binge watch Netflix once in awhile, but if you’re looking to get more out of your weekends, look at doing some of the alternatives on the list above.