A few months ago, I ended my Sunday with the surprising sentiment that I had just experienced the ideal weekend—it was filled with just the right amount of fun, spontaneity, and respite mixed with routine tasks and productive periods.

As a result, my moods and energy levels were balanced all weekend in accord with what I had on my plate and the self-care I wanted to practice. On Friday evening, I was ready to unwind. By Saturday morning, I was revved up to knock things off my to-do list, and that evening, I was primed for social activity. Come Monday morning, I was energized and eager to begin a new week.

That weekend stood in sharp contrast to many disappointing weekends prior, when I was so slammed during the week that I was completely burned out by the time Friday night rolled around. Throughout the weekend, that lethargic feeling would magnify, and by Monday morning, I would feel exasperated even though I had just had two days off. Something was definitely off: my energy levels weren’t in balance at all.

Since that one stellar weekend, I’ve thought a lot about what made it so special, and how it was different from the others. I figured out that I felt drained at the end of my typical weekends because I wasn’t making time for truly restorative moments. Instead, I was opting for easy, mindless entertainment or my ever-growing to-do list.

Overcoming this common trap requires a mindset shift—thinking about spending our precious weekend hours strategically with a healthy combination of energy boosters and energy zappers.

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