Making the Most of My Weekends / Free Time

cheap_thrills

A cup of coffee at 3 AM has become my weekend ritual. While I want to succumb to some semblance of a normal body clock when there is no work, I find re-setting it come Mondays is hard. When I settle for normal sleeping hours over the weekend, I am in zombie mode by the time I clock in for work on Monday nights. So I decided to keep my “awake all night, asleep all day” schedule even on weekends.

So how do I make the most of my weekends when I am asleep on the best hours to be awake?

It was frustrating at first, especially during those first few weeks. But like everything else, with time I finally adjusted. While I carved some time to spend with friends after four or five hours’ worth of sleep, I don’t do it often. I decided to make most weekends a relaxing treat for me instead. And I indulged in the simple things. (Not to mention pretty cheap. Ha!)

I CURL UP WITH A GOOD BOOK
There is something thrilling and wondrous and simply beautiful when scenarios and dialogues from a book unfold in your mind. You get this personal, mental movie as you turn each page. Reading takes you to places, widens your vocabulary and makes you feel alive without ever having to step outside your home (or coffee shop or library, if that’s your preference). I am currently re-reading Joe Hill’s “Heart-Shaped Box” and it is still a great read. I plan to get my hands on “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Booktore” next. That and Stephen King’s “Dr. Sleep”, which is a sequel to “The Shining.”

I TAKE A LUXURIOUS BATH
When I feel tired and drained emotionally, my go-to activity is a bath. This pampering “me time” consists of a fragrant, soothing shower gel, a loofah and warm water. I love the olive shower gel because it just feels so good to the skin, all soft and silky. Plus, it has a clean scent that I find soothing. Another favorite of mine are the vanilla-scented ones, since it smells so delicious and feels luxurious. Plus points for this warm bath if I have a scented candle or two lit up. When I’m in the mood, I set up some background music playing. If I’m up to it, I even sing sometimes! Favorite bath songs? “On My Own” and anything boyband. (And because I’m no longer in my twenties, that would mean Westlife, Blue and N’Sync But because I am not 100% a throwback, I sing One Direction songs sometimes too.)

I PLAY COMPUTER GAMES
I spend WAY more time than I’d care to admit in playing “The Sims 3.” Like reading a book, playing a computer game takes me to different places. But this time, it’s all done by clicking on the mouse and tapping on the keyboard. I really want to try and play “Minecraft” and “Alan Wake” soon. Note to self: Finish “Dragon Age 2” first. (My party keeps dying on me during the last battle. I took the mages’ side. Don’t judge.)

I HAVE TV SERIES MARATHONS
This cheap thrill of mine started way back in the mid-nineties, when I would wait patiently for “Who’s Afraid of the Dark?” and “Beverly Hills 90210.” I especially loved the former. I remember being glued to the TV in our living room, armed only with my courage, chips and chocolates. This was a habit I brought with me until today. My all-time favorite TV series are “Supernatural” and “Gossip Girl.” Lately, I’ve become a “Sleepy Hollow” convert and have yet to watch “Dominion.” It’s a fun way to kick back and relax. Never underestimate the relaxing powers of a good TV show and a couple of things to eat while watching.

I WRITE / BRAINSTORM
Most of the time, when a story idea strikes, it’s all playing in my head. Writing them down is an exciting moment for me. I like writing my stories with pen and paper. Really old school but there is just something about the pen connecting with the paper as my imagination and ideas disentangle themselves from my brain down to my arm then my hand and right down to that pen I’m holding, with the piece of paper ready to embrace them. Once I am done with writing, there is a sense of triumph and relief. Life is good with this ritual.

And those are my favorite ways to relax and unwind during the weekend. Yes, I am awake until sunlight seeps through the windows and Mr. Sun paints a hazy, golden glow to the world. And somehow, I don’t feel tired at all. Now I cherish my weekends instead of just sleeping it away.

* Credits for the image I made: stock photo (Unsplash), feather heart texture, font (Dark Roast)

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