I used to work around the clock 7 days per week. I had to. It was my job and the nature of my business. I also burned out in epic fashion. Not the kind where you walk into a Mcdonald's with an oozy but the kind where sell everything you own and disappear for 6–12 months refusing to engage with any and all humans.
Growing up my parents had a no-nonsense rule. Sundays were for recharging and doing nothing more than what the heart and mind desired.
As children, we learned that Sundays were often quiet and restful.
As a young adult, I followed this Sunday routine. Sleeping late and taking mid-afternoon naps on breezy summer days.
Later on, when I started my business the line quickly blurred between off and on time which made the sacred Sunday nonexistent.
For 13 years, every day was the same. No vacations and there was no such thing as a weekend.
Today things are different. I have made Sundays the new mandatory corporate retreat.
No longer do I have to head to work or worry about the phone ringing. I am able to sip my coffee in the morning sunlight and think about what I intend to do that day — or don’t do.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for a day off to help make Sunday or your ‘day of rest’ as relaxing and rejuvenating as possible.
Tie Up Loose Ends
At the end of each work week, I tie up all loose ends.
Taking care of loose ends at work and getting things set for Monday morning is important. Defining a clear boundary on what has to be done by the end of the week and what can wait until the next.
Typically I answer pending emails and return all phone calls making it clear to anyone who needs something that I will be available on Monday.
I also reschedule tasks that are incomplete to be finished on the following Monday. This way I’m not wondering what I have to do when I return to work or worrying about what I may have forgotten over the weekend.
Get Errands Out of the Way
When preparing for a day off I always try to make sure the household errands are done no later than Saturday. Needless running around is the last thing I want to do on a day off.
The only exception is grocery shopping.
Most of the time I have the grocery shopping and meal prep done for the week however, there are times it’s a fun excursion to go shopping and head home to try a new recipe.
Clean Your Home
Tidying up the house no later than Saturday is mandatory. It’s easy for things to get a little messy during the workweek and I don’t want to be dealing with clutter and chores on a day of rest.
No matter what, I always try to get the house cleaned by Saturday night. A clean clutter-free home is relaxing whereas a home that looks like a bomb went off drives my anxiety through the roof.
Limit Outside Influences
Keeping my day of rest as stress-free as possible includes reducing outside influences.
I make it very clear to friends and family that Sundays are for family only and often decline invitations to events. I also ask people not to pop in for unannounced visits. I don’t want to be spending the day entertaining guests.
I make it a point to keep the use of electronics limited and do my best to refrain from checking emails and social media as well.
The idea of limiting outside influences is not to be antisocial, but more about not feeling obligated to socialize. Quite often I’ll spend time with friends and family on my day off but I never feel it is a chore or burden which is the entire point.
The Main Takeaway
It’s important to prepare for a day off by finishing and rescheduling any and all tasks prior to your ‘day of rest’ and setting boundaries with others. It’s best to close all mental loops to enjoy the day with minimal stress and mental clutter.
Having at least one day per week devoted solely to yourself and your family is the end goal.
In our home, most Sundays end with everyone relaxed and recharged. Others end up a little chaotic but the effort is always made to devote one day off per week to unwind.