Does it matter how you use your weekend?
We know that it does.
But what are the weekend activities that most influence how you will feel Monday morning?
What can you do this weekend to get the biggest boost at work next week?
Psychological resources are thoughts or ways of thinking that help you to achieve your goals.
And recent research has identified 2 of the main resources that we should try to recover over the weekend.
- Self-regulatory capacity. This is the ability to exercise self-control, pay attention, and monitor or change your behavior as needed.
- State optimism. This is how positive and optimistic you feel in the present moment (which can be quite different from how positive and optimistic you think about life, in general).
Recovering psychological resources
How can we recover psychological resources during the weekend?
- Weekend activities. Doing things that you find fun and enjoyable can help recover psychological resources. This should not be surprising to anyone.
- Recovery experiences. There are 4 basic things that you can do:
- Psychological detachment—Think about your non-work identity as a person.*
- Relaxation—Physical and mental relaxation both count.
- Mastery—Gain skills and abilities (not necessarily work- or career- related, can be any sort of hobby).
- Control—Do something that makes you feel “in control.”
When you recover psychological resources over the weekend, you will be better off Monday morning.
And not only can recovering over the weekend help maintain desired levels of engagement and burnout, it can actually improve these important outcomes.
*Before you start planning your weekend, I should point out that research also finds a link between psychological detachment and reduced optimism. However we don’t know if detachment actually causes reduced optimism, or if other factors are actually to blame.
A little detachment is probably a good thing, but do it at your own risk. And if you find yourself feeling less optimistic, try picking a different strategy.