Why Not . . . Recharge the Midweek Slump?

Apr 18, 2018

Every once in a while a week comes a long that just leaves you yawning profusely before it has barely begun. Such a week is taking place currently, but I am determined to arrive at Friday feeling satisfied with how I navigated through it. Due to the bi-annual conferences we have in the evening on Monday, the workweek is a bit longer than usual. And while it is only four more hours, it is a shift and an opportunity to recognize how we indeed need to find time regularly to recharge before the weekend arrives.

Yesterday, I made sure to go on a nice long walk outside with the dogs in the sunshine, cook myself a delicious dinner that was filling and balanced yet also fun to make, and I reveled in the time to slip off to bed early and read more of a new book I picked up at the bookshop this past weekend (see below as shared on IG stories). And I will be honest, I will likely be enjoying this routine again this afternoon and evening.

I couldn’t help but contemplate the need for a midweek refresher. A midweek boost, so to speak, because even if the week is typical, the week is long and the weekend is short. And even if we sincerely enjoy our careers and/or place of work, we are better workers and better people when we tend to our well-being before the weekend arrives.

As I recognized what I do during my own weekly schedule to combat times when I have fewer hours to myself than I would prefer, I realized that when we choose to be proactive, planning events, activities (or lack-there-of), we preserve the goodness of the week throughout each of the five days, and we are less likely to arrive on Friday barely getting by on the fumes that remain.

Today I would like to share with you five ideas for boosting and recharging midweek so that the entire week may be a pleasure to look forward to.

Schedule a Midweek Afternoon Break

In 2006, the blog Right Attitudes came up with a suggestion for overcoming the mid-week burnout that often occurs even though next week we swear we can push through it and do it better. The suggestion: take an afternoon off for a couple of hours each Wednesday. Why? The productivity and improved efficiency that will increase after the break is taken demonstrates that the quality we provide when we do not take the midweek break is lessened.

Now, understandably, many of us cannot make this a weekly routine, but for those of us who can, why not? Why not plan something midweek that enables you to step away from work, responsibility and serves as a mini-weekend so that you can finish the work week strong?

Add unexpected flavor to your weekday go-to meal

I love salmon. In fact, at least once a week, I will have a salmon fillet for dinner and enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day. So last weekend, when I had the opportunity to take a seafood cooking class and saw that a salmon dish would be one of our recipes, I was tickled. More precisely, a salmon recipe that was full of flavor and low on calories.

This salmon is drenched in a spice rub full of cumin, dry mustard, chili powder, cinnamon, paprika, black pepper, sugar, and salt. Once the salmon is seared for two minutes and then cooked for 6-8 in the oven at 350 degrees, a fresh salsa is placed on top. As you can see from the image below, it is colorful, and I will attest, it is delicious. Even better, it takes fewer than 20 minutes to prepare and cook. This recipe, along with all of the recipes I learned, can be found in the  instructor’s cookbook, The Passionate Vegetable. Needless to say, last night, after preparing this meal again, my tastebuds were dancing with delight, and I am satiated and full.

Add Natural Light

Depending upon where you work, do what you can to expose yourself to as much natural light throughout the day as possible. Northwestern University found in 2014 that exposure to natural light positively improved participants’ quality of life specifically with regards to one’s “mood, alertness and metabolism”. Productivity increased, a better night’s sleep occurred and a longer night’s sleep as well.

If unfortunately your workspace does not allow much or any natural light, make Wednesday (and as many days as possible throughout the work week) the day that you take a walk outside during lunch, walk to work if possible or find a space in the building to enjoy your lunch with a window that looks out to the world.

Engage in an energy-increasing activity

Perhaps midweek is time to take that yoga class that stills your mind, lets your body stretch and enables a deep night’s sleep. Or maybe Wednesday is when you make a date with yourself to step into your favorite coffee shop to read a good book, work on a puzzle and sip on a expertly made latte. Or maybe midweek is the perfect time to treat yourself and your partner (or just yourself) to a dinner out when crowds are less likely, reservations may not be necessary and you are able to step away from the responsibility of cooking at home, and engage in what relaxes your mind. Whatever activity you choose, choose something that will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the workweek and leave you feeling rested and more at peace.

Make Wednesday the Day of No Errands

When I sit down and look at what my week will be on Sunday, I become quite happy to see days in which I can come home from school and simply walk my dogs and write. Usually I have at least one such day a week, and if I am lucky, two or three. Upon recognizing how much I treasure such days, I began to wonder about making it a habit. Why not set Wednesday aside as “no errand Wednesday”? Not only will you continue to look forward to the weekend’s arrival, but you will also be looking forward to Wednesday’s arrival for the precise reason that you are free. Free to do as you please without expectation, and that alone could open up the day to be one of rebooting, recharging and finishing the week well.

~SIMILAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:

~Why Not . . . Read a Book of Leisure in the Evening?

~Why Not . . . Let Go of the Busy Mentality?

~Why Not . . . Transition from Balanced to Busy?

~Why Not . . . Design a Great Week?

 

Image: TSLL’s IG, The Sparrow Bakery NWX



16 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Recharge the Midweek Slump?

  1. I always enjoy your insights, inspirations and writing talents. PS I like it so much that during the Lenten season, I gave up as a little sacrifice reading your blog and Thank God Lent is over as I am back to my daily Shannon reading about tips to live a simply luxurious life. THANK YOU Shannon.

  2. I love this! I’ve started joining a Wednesday meditation / contemplative prayer sit group every other Wednesday. I leave work at 3:30 on that day and look forward to it so much that I may try to convince my boss to let me do it every Wednesday. As excited as I get a bout the prospect of my every other Wednesday, I can see incorporating your ideas and extending the time off to 1/2 a day and relaxing at a coffee shop / used book store / cafe until I need to be head over for the sit!

  3. Per usual, Shannon, another lovely post. 🙂 Yours is one of the only blogs I’ve loyally followed for 3+ years now.

    I like to take a bubble bath or long shower on Wednesdays and Sundays, followed by face masks, deep hydration masks, etc. It’s very refreshing, a special mid-week treat for me!

  4. Perfect timing. I was in a “MOOD” on Monday after work, so I went home and cooked a lovely salmon filet, roast potatoes in duck fat & rosemary, plus a tray of sliced heirloom tomatoes with lime juice & finishing salt. Felt so much better!

  5. These are good ideas and a its nice idea to make midweek special to break up the busy week. I have a long day in school on Wednesdays but came home and cooked salmon for dinner and am now relaxing with a nice cup of tea and your blog. I’m feeling nicely relaxed now. Thank you!!

  6. Looks utterly delicious and healthy to boot. A great way to treat yourself midweek walking the dogs and cooking. I used to save the best for weekends but not anymore. I have a daily treat now so much better.😊

  7. Shannon, you complexly inspired me! Not only was reading this post shortly after the sounding of my alarm – while still warm and cozy under the covers – a treat, but you completely changed the way I viewed the day. I completed some draining study earlier in the day, treating myself to a coffee out; the only time this month! Feeling inspired and a bit pampered, I was able to have a conversation I had been half-dreading with much more confidence, and it went better than I could’ve hoped. Also kept my off-schedule appointment for a workout despite feeling sleepy, which led to me feeling healthy, energized and good about myself. This led to a wonderfully relaxing evening with some TV, an M.L. Longworth novel, and a nice long chat with a close friend. Ready to head back to work tomorrow feeling energized, confident, and – most importantly – like I’m taking steps to lead my best life NOW, rather than waiting for an arbitrary time.

  8. Lovely reminder.. and I had to laugh cause I used to make Wednesdays. no worry Wednesday! Because I worry so much🙁 so I am going to revisit a no worry/ do something lovely for myself Wednesday!

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