What words would you use to describe your weeknights?
- A whirlwind
If you found yourself nodding along, you’re not alone. Weeknights – especially with a family – can be extremely busy!
You get home from work, and the kids have homework. Then there are sports and activities. You might have a meeting to attend or a couple of emails you want to respond to before bed. And, of course, there’s dinner and baths – and let’s not forget about some time to put up your feet and catch your breath.
But if you want to make your weeknights a bit more stress-free, there are ways to do that and here are a few ideas to help.
Leave Work Behind
It can be tempting to answer that text or finish that last slide for your presentation tomorrow, but ask yourself, “Can it wait?” Most likely, the answer is, “Yes!” However, setting some clear boundaries between work and home can go a long way to reducing the stress you feel on weeknights.
In order to get those boundaries in place:
- Prioritize work tasks so that the most essential are completed first each day
- Set clear expectations with your managers/co-workers/clients
- Block out time when you are not to be disturbed
- Say “no” when necessary
Shift Your Focus to Your Family
Sometimes it’s hard to turn work “off” at the end of the day. But when you get home, try shifting your focus to your family. Take a few minutes to decompress and then spend some time talking with your children or spouse about their day. You might even develop an “end-of-day” routine such as putting your phone in a drawer or changing into your comfy clothes.
If you find dinner to be a little bit hit or miss on weeknights, meal planning may help. Spend some time planning a week’s worth of meals and make them as simple as possible. Feasting at Home has a list of “25 Simple Sheet-Pan Dinners” that require minimal prep and are really easy to clean up. Or, take a look at these “30 Best Slow Cooker Recipes” from The Modern Proper.
Disconnect From Tech
Leaving work behind has been mentioned as one way to help de-stress your weeknights, but you may want to take a complete tech break – even if it’s just for a couple of nights per week. Put the phone away, and shut down your laptop and watch your well-being improve. (Yes, research has shown that tech breaks are great for reducing stress and increasing your energy.)
Create Some Family Rules
If you feel like weeknights are a constant battle involving kids, homework, to-do lists, and who knows what else, it may be time to create some family rules. Sit down as a family and find out what’s important to everyone involved. If the kids want some assistance with homework, dedicate a time that works for everyone. If you’d like some help with dinner prep, ask the whole family to be involved. Rules will help get everyone on the same page and, hopefully, cut down on the stress everyone feels.
Outsource Your To-Do List
If you spend your weeknights trying to get everything done on your to-do list, it may be time to outsource some of it. Things like grocery shopping, house cleaning and lawn care are ideal tasks to give to someone else and give you back some free time.
Carve Out Some Time For Yourself
And yes, carve out some time for yourself each night. Spend a few minutes doing an activity that you enjoy – such as reading or knitting or watching your favorite television show. Even 15 minutes can have a significant effect on your attitude and leave you ready to tackle the next day.
Don’t let weeknights stress you out so that you spend all of your time counting down until the weekend! Instead, use some of these tips to make your evenings a little calmer.
If house cleaning is a chore that you’re considering outsourcing, give Mini Maid a call. With over 20 years of cleaning experience in the Gainesville area, we’d be happy to provide you with a free quote and take cleaning off your to-do list!