By the end of the work week, you’re probably exhausted. After working 40 hours or more, it’s understandable if you just want to curl up on the couch all weekend and watch Netflix. But if you do that every weekend, then life just starts to become a monotonous cycle of work, sleep, repeat. It can be a bit daunting to shake up your weekend routine, but there are some relatively small steps you can take to add more fun to life.
1) Get on the road. It’s easy to think of your car as something that gets you to and from work every day. If you live in an area with congested roadways, it’s possible you have even more negative feelings associated with the big hunk of metal. But it’s time to get away from that mindset. Remember how excited you were when you went to the dealership and bought your car? Take out a map and find a location that looks interesting. It doesn’t have to be a major landmark or big city, but it should be something you personally find interesting. It should also be a place within a few hours’ drive, so you won’t have to get a hotel. Then take a trip and see it. Or if you’re really feeling adventurous, just start driving with no destination in mind. Bring snacks and an atlas (for bonus points, try to avoid using your phone’s GPS if at all possible). Follow the road signs until you feel like stopping. Literally getting out of town and seeing things from a new perspective can work wonders.
2) Visit a theme park. But don’t take any kids. Take your partner or take a friend, but no children are allowed. Once you get through the gate, do everything that you think you’re too old for, within reason. Eat cotton candy until you get sick. Ride the roller coaster and scream your lungs out. Play the carnival games until you win a prize, even if the prize is just a tiny coin purse. The point is to stir up that sense of childlike wonder that got lost around the time you started pondering SAT scores and college admissions. Yes, you’re an adult now, and you’ll have to get back to worrying about credit card payments eventually. But it’s important to remind yourself that things weren’t always so stressful, and that you don’t need an excuse to have mindless fun every now and then.
3) Play ball. Everyone is always telling you to get a certain amount of exercise a week, but there’s no rule that says you must do it on your gym’s treadmill or elliptical machine. Set up a date with friends or coworkers to play a game, be it basketball, flag football, or something else. If you’re really feeling ambitious, you can set up an office softball team. It’s probably not a good idea to start an office MMA league, but you can do just about anything else that doesn’t involve beating your co-workers to a pulp. Don’t divide the teams along typical lines, such as women vs. men or accounting vs. human resources. Instead, do something wacky like asking your friends if they prefer Star Wars or Star Trek. Then pit the Trekkies vs. the Chewies. We divide ourselves among the usual lines every day, so it can be liberating to team up in completely unexpected ways. If you feel up to it, make each team come up with a catchphrase that they shout whenever they score. The exercise will make you feel good, and the connections you’ll forge will make you feel great.