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Most people view the weekend as the reward that comes after a hard week's work. You finally get some time to spend by yourself or with your family and friends. But not all jobs follow a traditional 9 to 5, Monday through Friday schedule. Although it's not easy when your friends are out having a good time or relaxing, you can cope if your job requires you to work on weekends.
Change Your Outlook
The way you choose to look at the situation has a tremendous affect on how you feel. If you view working on the weekends as drudgery or a form of punishment, you'll inevitably feel bummed out, depressed or resentful. Try to think of a few positives to working on the weekends, and minimize the downsides. Perhaps you have more time to think through projects because your office is quieter or you're able to get more accomplished. Maybe you're now able to chaperone class trips for your children during the week, which you wouldn't be able to do with a traditional schedule. By changing your outlook and adopting a more positive viewpoint, you can learn to deal with working on the weekends in a healthier, more productive manner. You even might find yourself looking forward to those two extra days off during the week when everyone else is busy at work.
Enjoy Your Days Off
It takes time to adjust to working a non-traditional schedule. When everyone you know is at work during the week and you have the day off, you might feel a bit funny about sleeping late, lounging around, engaging in hobbies or performing leisure-time activities. But you deserve time to yourself, even if that time happens to fall on a weekday. It's not easy, but letting go of feelings of guilt and allowing yourself the opportunity to enjoy your time off can make coping with working weekends a bit easier.
Manage Your Time
Managing your time is important even if you work a traditional schedule. But time management techniques, such as writing down your daily schedule or taking regular breaks, can help you cope with working weekends, especially if you work alone or from home. When there's no one else around to let you know when it's time to quit or when you need to meet certain deadlines, the responsibility lies with you. Treat your time the same as you would if you were working on a weekday.
Take Care of Yourself
It can be tempting to make the most of Friday nights with your friends. You might want to stay up late or go out and party when everyone else is celebrating the arrival of the weekend, but try to moderate urges to go overboard. Remember that you'll need to work the next day, and it's no fun going to work feeling run-down, hungover or dead tired. Take care of yourself, and get enough sleep so you're well-prepared and rested for your day ahead.
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.