Very few people around the world have an “easy life”
Most of us work hard every day, take care of our families, and try our best to keep things going.
Even when it looks like we have it easy, there are almost always problems underneath the surface.
The weekends are meant to be a break from these problems, a time for us to sit back and relax.
Sure, there are probably things that we still need to take care of, but overall we have more free time than during our work days.
As it turns out, however, the weekends are not everyone’s favorite time of the week.
In one study, people have reported the lowest level of subjective well-being on Sundays, closely followed by Saturdays and Fridays.
But why is that? Why do so many people dislike the weekends?
1) We are inactive
The weekends are supposed to be our time to relax.
There is relatively little that is expected of us and as such, we spend a lot of our newfound free time doing nothing.
As it turns out, this is not a good thing.
Studies show that busy people are happier than idle people.
Inactivity makes us unhappy and increases the risk of depression, but why is that?
When left on our own, our thoughts tend to wander.
For many of us, pessimism and negative thoughts are in our nature, and this kind of inactivity is only going to bring them out.
People who already suffer from a depressive disorder have it even worse.
With nothing to distract them, their condition becomes much harder to handle.
2) We are unorganized
During the workdays, we follow a pretty clear-cut schedule.
Between spending time at work, handling personal matters (Visiting the bank, buying groceries etc) and spending time with our families.
In contrast, the weekends are much more open-ended.
From the moment that we wake up to the moment that we go to sleep, there isn’t any schedule that we need to follow.
During the weekend we can do pretty much anything that we want whenever we want.
The thing is, that much free choice isn’t good for us.
Humans need structure.
After a certain point, having too many options does us more harm than good.
This lack of order can leave us confused, miserable and even depressed.
3) We are lonely
Humans are social creatures.
Even the most introverted of introverts need human contact.
During most of the week we are surrounded by other people.
Our Co-workers, our friends, or even just the cashier at that shop that we buy our groceries from.
We are constantly interacting with other people all throughout the week.
Except for the weekends, in which we are pretty much alone.
Some people can handle social isolation better than others, but some start feeling lonely almost right away.
Research shows that loneliness is associated with depression.
As such, without other people to hang out with, many of us are likely to start having negative thoughts.
How to deal with weekend depression
Feeling down during the weekend is not uncommon.
Many people experience these “weekend blues” at least every once in a while.
Given the right approach to the problem, however, solving it is relatively easy.
To people who suffer from a depressive disorder, on the other hand, the weekend is a time that their disorder reaches its peak.
Without any distractions there is absolutely nothing to stop them from spending the entire weekend in their room.
Depression is a disorder and takes time and effort to truly overcome, but there are ways for you to start feeling better almost immediately.
1) Spend time with positive people
Spending time with other people is probably the most obvious way to handle loneliness.
After all, what better way is there to stop feeling lonely than hanging out with your friends?
As it turns out, however, not all social interactions are created equal.
The truth is that there are many people that you are better off without.
This principle, however, works both ways.
Spending time with positive, energetic people can improve your mood and increase your ability to cope with depression.
2) Hug someone
Well, not necessarily “hug” per say, but hugging someone is a great way to increase oxytocin.
Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that regulates social interaction.
It is often known as the “love hormone” due to how it is released during moments of social bonding and/or intimacy.
One study shows that oxytocin can reduce activity in the amygdala, the part of our brain that is responsible for certain emotional reactions such as fear and stress.
Similarly, new research suggests that it can also be used as a way to treat anxiety and depression.
In other words, hugging someone can make you feel less depressed, at least for a while.
Hugging is not the only activity that can do that, however.
Here are some more ways to increase oxytocin:
- Get a message
- Spend some time in a warm place
- Pet a dog or a cat
- Have a caffeinated drink
- Engage in sexual activity
- Spread certain scents, such as jasmine and lavender, around the house
It should be noted that there are other ways to increase oxytocin, such as smoking and stress eating, but these should generally be avoided due to how they affect your health.
3) Be more active
Many people believe that “rest” means spending their time doing nothing.
So they go on to watch TV, play video games and whatever else it is that people do when they want to relax.
Although it is true that this form of relaxation has its purpose, prolonged inactivity is not good for you.
In fact, one study shows that being busy can actually make you happier.
This fact also applies to when you are doing things that you care little about – engagement makes us more capable of dealing with depression.
Another thing to consider is enjoyment – Getting a new hobby might be good for you.
Having a hobby is noted to improve your mood, so you should definitely consider it.
Find something that you enjoy, or at the very least something that makes time fly by, and spend some of your free time doing it – shouldn’t be too hard, right?
4) Maintain a schedule during the weekend
Even if we don’t maintain a schedule per-say, our work days do create patterns.
We wake up every morning at roughly the same time, come back from work at a certain hour and so on.
We have a certain routine, things that we do almost every day.
Studies show that these habits can benefit out mental health, decreasing the risk of developing depression.
In other words, humans are creatures of habit, and we benefit from having a routine.
During the weekend, however, we don’t have any routine to follow.
We wake up whenever we feel like/need to, eat what we want and when we want, go to bed late and generally do whatever we want.
This lack of order hurt you a lot more than you might’ve realized.
Although it may be impossible to fully replicate your workdays during the weekend, there are still things that you can do:
- Don’t sleep in
- Try to keep the same sleeping schedule
- Try to eat at the same time as always
- Keep yourself busy during the day
With these habits, you will be able to significantly reduce the negative thoughts that you have over the weekend.
5) Help other people
During the weekend you have a lot of spare time that you waste doing absolutely nothing.
In many cases, you might believe that by working during the week you “earned the right” to spend your weekend watching TV or sleeping.
Here is a better idea – Why don’t you spend some of your free time helping your community?
At the risk of sounding cliché, in many cases, helping other people can help you as well.
Spending even a few hours every day helping other people can help you deal with your depression more effectively.
Not only that, but volunteer work will also lower your levels of stress, making work a much more comfortable affair.
The weekend always comes to an end
Bad times don’t last forever, and eventually the weekend will come to an end.
Until then, it is possible for you to control, contain and overcome these feelings by applying a variety of methods.
Either way, in case your situation is worse than simple “weekend blues” there is still much that you can do to help yourself.
I highly recommend that you check out the Destroy Depression Program.
In it, you will find everything that you need to know on how to help yourself overcome depression.
It might not be easy, and it will take time and dedication, but the results are absolutely worth it.
For any further questions feel free to get in touch either by Email or the comment section below.
I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you!