Working from home means that weekends probably involve some work too, so you may not be able to switch off completely.
Working from home means that weekends probably involve some work too, so you may not be able to switch off completely.

Coronavirus survival tips: Do what you can to restore the weekend

The absence of a weekend, and any weekend-like activity, can add to the monotony and stress of lockdown, so here are some ways in which you can restore a sense of downtime and chance of pace to Saturdays and Sundays.
Hindustan Times | By Paramita Ghosh
UPDATED ON APR 19, 2020 08:43 AM IST

So far, life has had a law. Weekdays were followed by weekends. You worked through the week and then played, whether this meant going trekking, grabbing your camera to get some shots, or heading to a café.

The absence of a weekend, and any weekend-like activity, can add to the monotony and stress of lockdown, so here are some ways in which you can restore a sense of downtime and chance of pace to Saturdays and Sundays.

Tweaked routine

Working from home means that weekends probably involve some work too, so you may not be able to switch off completely. If that is the case, give yourself a few hours at the beginning of the day to unwind and log out of work mode. “On weekdays, I do almost the same thing as I would in the office — make my calls, do my planning and scheduling, and I do them in the same order every day,” says Rajeev Jalnapurkar, CEO of Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad. “I maintain a bit of that routine on weekends, but tweak one or two details and add one big fun or learning activity. Also, on weekends, I don’t watch the news obsessively every hour. I log on for my online course in financial crisis management instead, and I compete with my wife and, with the help of YouTube, my good friend, on who is better at oil-free cooking.”

Time-keeping

“Time is at a standstill and utterly confusing now,” says singer and voice trainer Rimi Basu Sinha from Mumbai. For her, weekdays used to mean dubbing at the studio or teaching. Weekends were activity-oriented. Now she knows, she says, what it means to be completely still. She has slowed down accordingly, focused her attention on hobbies and projects she couldn’t make the time for before.

“Last weekend, while rummaging through my cupboard, I came upon stacks of books my grandfather had left my mother. Books of magic, recipes, puzzles…. There are also stacks of albums and memories of our time in Nairobi in 2005. All that had been forgotten, I am able to revive some of it now.” On weekends, she is “touching” all the relationships she had left loose for the past 40 years. “Mum is no more but my aunts are alive. I am telephoning them one by one. Earlier it just used to be ‘how-are-you-and-we-are-fine-too’ conversations. Now we are really talking”. It’s a practice she says she will not be giving up post-lockdown.

Real pleasure

End the week on a good note and make the feeling last, says Delhi businesswoman Suhrita Basak. Basak is learning Kathak through Skype. “My walks are over; there is no question of going out now. Kathak is the compensation,” she says.

Ambalika C Das, a tech entrepreneur from Kolkata, says the advantages of staying in for the weekend is that you can get some real downtime – time when you can drop out, sign off and be in your “own zone”. “I had no time earlier to catch up with or binge-watch a favourite show,” she says. This is what she is doing on weekends. So that Sundays stay Sundays.

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