To help maximize the positive emotional response that the weekend brings for most of us, Hampton Hotels worked with Dr. Christine Carter, a sociologist, happiness expert at UC Berkeley and author of Raising Happiness, to identify three simple tips to both get the biggest happiness results and to prolong the positive effects of the weekend:
1. Take a break!
People often push work and chores to the weekend, but if possible this time should be dedicated to rest, relaxation and doing the things you enjoy most. If you have vacation time, consider spreading it out to take several three-day mini-vacations versus one extended vacation. We human beings are most productive — and happiest — when we “pulse” our activities, working hard and then resting and rejuvenating ourselves.
2. Prepare for Monday, on Friday:
Although stress levels are lowest on Saturdays and highest on Mondays, many people begin to feel more anxious and stressed at the end of the weekend. To reduce “SNA” or “Sunday Night Anxiety,” take the time on Friday morning to prepare for the following workweek. Simply scheduling important tasks can significantly reduce worry, allowing you to fully enjoy your time off.
3. Give yourself something to look forward to:
Not everyone recognizes the advantage that planning ahead can have on happiness. Thirty-seven percent of survey respondents report that they typically plan their weekends one week in advance or less, meaning these people miss out on the benefits that come from anticipating something positive in the future. By striking a balance of planning something you love for the weekend and allowing time for spontaneity, you can maximize the positive emotions that come from anticipation.