I feel disappointed with myself for having HUGE expectations from my weekends — R Voice

I feel disappointed with myself for having HUGE expectations from my weekends

Jayashree Rajagopalan
Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 139 admin
edited August 6 in Self-care & Wellbeing

I wonder if any of you would relate to this. I POWER through the week, sometimes working feverishly through 16+ hour days, with only very essential food/stretch breaks. Of course, I am not even aware of this pattern. I've launched myself into my work and am in so deep that I don't even know I am overworked. Come Friday morning and I feel like I'm crashing - mentally, physically, emotionally - and find it most difficult to focus on my work...just on Fridays!

And all of a sudden there it is - the prospect of a magical weekend! I start piling a whole bunch of expectations on my weekends.

My weekend will be full of self-care. I will read that book I couldn't during the week. I will cook a fancy meal, or bake. I'll get some binge watching time on Netflix. I will go on a hike with my husband. I will be relaxed and happy and carefree. My new art project starts this weekend. I'll complete that personal learning course this weekend...I will conquer the world this weekend!

But when the weekend arrives, it's all anticlimactic. I barely get anything done. Thanks to how my week passed, when weekends arrive I find myself too numb to be able to do anything new, too physically exhausted to work, too mentally exhausted to be creative, and so on. The biggest highlight of the weekend is junk food binge eating (far from binge watching a series). When I look back at my weekends, it's like watching an anticlimactic scene unfold in slow motion! 😀 This makes me disappointed with myself and the weekend. And by the time I am ready for a Monday, I feel like I achieved nothing. Am I the only one experiencing this?

I think I've had enough of this! So I've decided to make a conscious change. It's a Friday and I am feeling distracted as usual and can't stop thinking about Saturday and Sunday. But this time:

  • I've decided to use this day (Friday) to work on things/reading I could not get done during the week. So Fridays are for me to improve myself at my work, instead of adding to a to-do list!
  • I have NO EXPECTATIONS from myself and from my weekend.
  • I will take it as it comes and make sure I get enough sleep, rest, and nutrition.
  • I will, however, squeeze in some quality time for my family, my cat, any one hobby or activity that helps me truly unwind.
  • I will remind myself to take it easy! [this is a big one]
  • Most importantly, I won't be hard on myself if nothing goes according to plan this weekend!

This was my weekend prequel story.

What is your weekend mantra @Raj sundaram @Isurika Sevwandi @Asli Telli @Gustavo Arluna @Soumi Paul @Shruti Turner @Mohamed Samunn @Lidia Lins @Andrea Hayward @Kakoli Majumder @Hollie McDonnell @Simge M. Vit @Harpreet Notey @Pooja Pratheesh @Omololu FAGBADEBO @Mdumiseni Mazula @Lee Ellie @Yuliya Shtaltovna @Laura Lester @Karen Hall @Dahlia T @Rekha Gupta @Joseph David @Juan Carlos Torres-Galván @Reshnee Tabañag @Yufita Chinta @Ruchika Yogesh @Erin Owens @Lafi Munira @Suman Mundkur @Victor Muthama @Prajjwal Dhungana @Parul Nigam

Comments

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 300 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm so glad that you started this thread, @Jayashree Rajagopalan !! I am often so full of guilt that all I do is veg out on the weekend because I'm just so exhausted...and especially with lockdowns/restrictions I've got used to not seeing people so socialising is exhausting too.

    It's not really a mantra, but a reminder...that "having fun is not restful, but rest isn't fun" - I think I coined it myself over the years from my experiences. I have had great weekends where I've done day trips or seen people and then I've got to Sunday night and really wanted/felt like I needed a break again and then the following week just drags on and I'm waiting for the weekend again from the beginning of the week (which is not how I like to work, because I'm a big believer in enjoying our work!) But then, when I do nothing on the weekend, I feel guilty that I've wasted my free time.

    I like the thought of not putting any expectations on my weekend, but I know that will just end in me taking the lazy option (especially in this past year.) I like to try and make sure I plan to do something on each weekend day...even if that is just a yoga practice or something bigger like a day trip or seeing freinds. I try to make sure that I only have one "big" thing in just routine weekends (occasions/trips are different of course) and preferably on a Saturday so I have Sunday to "recover"..but that is flexible. This method sort of helps with the easing of the guilt but allowing myself the time to rest too.

  • Yuliya Shtaltovna
    Yuliya Shtaltovna Member Posts: 12
    edited August 6

    These are our thoughts on living and learning in Summer - https://lnns.co/Bn3efpA9QI1

    These are our thoughts on Improving work-life balance https://lnns.co/bcW4yHGkEpQ

    These are our thought on Staying sane and sound: digital dieting https://lnns.co/DK25MOWXSzH

    These are our thought on Productivity and self-care: https://lnns.co/4VtU36ELgnp

    These are our thoughts on Building resilience: https://lnns.co/GTaiF5snuXv

    These are our thought on Learning during vacation: https://lnns.co/0G5R1y7nrhc


    Let me know which helps you most.

  • chris leonard
    chris leonard Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 127 admin

    @Yuliya Shtaltovna I never knew you had a podcast. Nice!

    And @Jayashree Rajagopalan - to add to your weekend listening (!) I am also including a link to this:


  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 139 admin


    @Omololu FAGBADEBO - well said! You hit the nail on the head by talking about what a typical weekend is for a researcher. Probably one of the reasons as well as effects of poor work-life balance for researchers is the wasted weekend or false expectations of what a weekend should look like. It's encouraging to hear that you value your health above all and make sure you get some much needed R & R from time to time. Having said that, have a restful weekend 🙂

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 139 admin


    Ah - hi fellow veggie @Shruti Turner ! Pass along those chips will ya 😃 But I hear you - after all this while socializing is no long the effortless part of life it was. I too find it difficult to mingle or reconnect with people over the weekend - especially when the whole week has been digitally intense and fully online. I feel like NOT chatting with anyone or NOT getting on that video call. Love what you coined - it's so simple but so deep. Let us both aim for the one-hit-wonder weekend - do at least ONE major thing, not necessarily big in terms of time or effort, but big/important for us. It'd be nice to do this with someone for company and exchange notes about the one thing we did that made the weekend worthwhile. I've told myself that I won't feel guilty of wasting any free time over the weekend, so I got to stick to that now. But I just wanted to say that you're not "guilting" alone - there seem to be many of us going through something similar.

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 139 admin

    Whoa @Yuliya Shtaltovna I didn't know you had a podcast and what a nice list of recommendations you've shared. I've added these to my listening list and will come back to you once I've gone through them. I tend to listen to podcasts/audiobooks on my walks/runs and you've given me a playlist to run on loop for the next few days. Thank you! 🙂

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 139 admin

    @chris leonard - Where and how do you find these unique and interesting things to read/follow/listen to. This one seems like a take on viewing periods of rest as a way to increase productivity. I'm certainly going to listen to it "this weekend"!

  • Gustavo Arluna
    Gustavo Arluna Member Posts: 99 ✭✭✭

    @Jayashree Rajagopalan I fully understand you. I feel like I've wasted my time every weekend. But I think that's because sometimes I feel the activities I planned for the weekend as "more work", and my body is begging me for some rest. So, I think the key is what you say: no expectations, and taking it easy. And I would add "mindfulness consciousness in every single fun thing that I do".

    @chris leonard that article you shared reminds me of something that my therapist gave me as a homework. She asked me for "doing an unproductive activity that I enjoy a lot" during my breaks during the week or in the weekend. That "unproductive" word had the intention of making me feel relaxed and disconnected with the idea of productivity, even for having fun! By the way, that was a hard homework for me😅

  • Yuliya Shtaltovna
    Yuliya Shtaltovna Member Posts: 12

    @chris leonard , well, we are only getting to know each other, that's what can lead us to a community eventually when we share our research, support, knowledge and networks.


    Here's the Digital Business card for all the podcasting platforms and social networks to choose the one most convenient for you to listen to the Live and Learn Podcast

    https://hihello.me/p/18b7d227-104f-4c8f-810a-4f22e4858023

    Enjoy.

  • Dahlia T
    Dahlia T Member Posts: 90 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 6

    Interesting timing my dear @Jayashree Rajagopalan. I read through your thread ... and this article in the same morning. I think the universe is speaking to us ...

    Leisure is useful—but only insofar as it remains leisure. Once that time is viewed as a means to improve employee morale and higher growth, then leisure loses the very quality that makes it so potent. As Pieper wrote, “Leisure is not there for the sake of work.” Leisure is doing things for their own sake, to pursue what one wants. We should fight the urge to reduce it to a productivity hack.  


    I am purposefully driven to water the soil to grow the seed that is already planted. 

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 300 ✭✭✭✭

    Haha - yes, I'm totally there on the sofa with you!

    Yes - you sum it up so succinctly...work life being online has totally taken out any want I had of being online for leisure.

    This weekend I have to say I exhausted myself with a double hit weekend as my in-laws were in town so we went out on both Saturday and Sunday. Thankfully yesterday was quiet with work...

    It's feels good to have company in my guilt, but hopefully like you say it's something we can exchange notes about with our meaningful event of the weekend. Then we can work towards not feeling guilting together! :)

  • Juan Carlos Torres
    Juan Carlos Torres Member Posts: 3

    Sorry I just check this post after to do the things that I should do on weekends haha

    I try to make some plans for relaxing and be ready for the week, is difficult for me sometimes because I always remember something that I should do like prepare an exposition, read some papers, etc, but usually I spend with my family and that remembers me that not all in my life should be the academia, there is a life that we should live outside of our lab or computer.

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 454 admin

    @Omololu FAGBADEBO I agree with everything you've said here! There was a time at which I'd probably laugh at the very concept of "setting aside time for rest and relaxation" but now I live by it! I can relate to what you've said about assigning yourself time to slow down just so that you can get away from the long to-do list. A lot of people don't realize that self-care doesn't happen automatically (even though it should) and it requires a lot of practice and conscious effort. I'm so glad to see that you've been prioritizing your health and that you've been taking it one day at a time. This by itself is a huge win! ❤️

    I feel like we're on the exact same page because I would type much of what you've said. I constantly remind myself and others that "the work will always be there." Thank you for adding so much value to this thread! ☺️

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 454 admin

    @Yuliya Shtaltovna (at the risk of saying something everyone else has already said above) I had no idea you had a podcast, and am so so glad that you've shared it with us. 😊

    Just caught the episode on productivity and self-care and absolutely loved it! You're covering so many important topics here. Keep up the great work!

  • Omololu FAGBADEBO
    Omololu FAGBADEBO Member Posts: 37 ✭✭✭
    edited August 11

    Yes,  @Andrea Hayward. "The work will always be there", and it is only the living, who are healthy, that can carry on doing the work.

    One thing at a time

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 454 admin

    @Juan Carlos Torres Spot on! I can relate to what you've said about relaxing being difficult because you end up remembering something or the other that needs prep-work. It's quite similar to a discussion I recently started about academic guilt and an all-to-familiar feeling that "there's always something you should be doing." Would love to hear your thoughts on this 🙂

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 454 admin

    @Jayashree Rajagopalan I feel like I already have no expectations of myself when it comes to weekends. It wasn't always this way, and I think this is an effect of the pandemic and not being able to leave the house for months. My mantra for the weekend now is "Do what feels right ON the weekend, despite what you might have planned." This seems to work for me. I could've had big plans for the weekend, but if the weekend comes and I'm not feeling up to it, then I listen to my mind and body. Other times, my plans could just be to catch up on extra sleep, or binge-watch a show with my favorite bowl of spaghetti. One of my weekend days (mostly Sunday) gets assigned to cleaning and I can't help this at all. So I try and be especially kind to myself on a Sunday and just take the day as it comes.

    This mantra has transformed me from someone who used to think of "lazing around" as boring to someone who now values it as an essential part of resting and self-care ☺️

  • Kakoli Majumder
    Kakoli Majumder Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 147 admin
    edited August 11

    @Yuliya Shtaltovna So glad you shared your podcast. I just listened to the episode on digital dieting and loved it! @chris leonard The one you shared was simply amazing! I could so relate to the concept of constantly pushing the goalpost farther and farther away! @Dahlia T Thanks for sharing such a thought-provoking piece. "We should fight the urge to reduce it[leisure] to a productivity hack." - This is indeed the best piece of advice I've heard in a long time!  

    @Jayashree Rajagopalan There was a time when my weekends were busier than my weekdays - I would spend my weekends trying to prep for the week ahead, completing all the household chores, cooking in large batches and freezing them, chauffeuring my kids to hobby classes or birthday parties, while squeezing in some time for socializing, or helping out my parents. By Sunday night, I was dead tired, my whole body sore, and yet always feeling that I'd not done enough. I had forgotten how to relax, and even if I had an hour for myself, I would feel guilty if I wasn't doing anything productive. Reading too had to be productive - it was either self-improvement books or work related stuff. I've stopped overthinking now and over-planning too, and just go with the flow. I've consciously stopped having to-do lists for the weekend, and either relax at home or make impromptu plans. I've also had to minimize screen time over the weekend due to an eye condition, and this has been a blessing in disguise. I think I'm more at peace with myself now, and end up doing more things that make me happier than when I perpetually pushed myself to be productive. True, I sometimes end up being the only one in the room who hasn't watched a popular movie, or feel a tad bit silly when someone makes a Game of Thrones reference or talks about a video that's gone viral, but I tell myself, it's okay. I'm healthier and happier this way :)

  • Yuliya Shtaltovna
    Yuliya Shtaltovna Member Posts: 12

    @Andrea Hayward , I am happy we have now an environment where we can learn more about what we do and what we research, we can find support and reconciliation here.

    Let me know if you need more topics to share - we are about to finish Season 5 of our Live and Learn Podcast, so I have plenty of episodes to share!


    Here's the Digital Business card for all the podcasting platforms and social networks to choose the one most convenient for you to listen to the Live and Learn Podcast

    https://hihello.me/p/18b7d227-104f-4c8f-810a-4f22e4858023

  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 322 ✭✭✭✭

    @Dahlia T

    My friend...the voice of reason! Yep. Leisure to improve productivity as a lot of us are trained to view now almost unquestionably is almost entirely an invention of industrial revolution (and capitalism), after all. A great tool or weapon of social control. haha.

    Loved "Leisure is not there for the sake of work.” Thank you for quoting pieper!

    And thanks for reminding what we almost always forget as members of the workforce..."Once that time is viewed as a means to improve employee morale and higher growth, then leisure loses the very quality that makes it so potent."

  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 322 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 16

    @Jayashree Rajagopalan ...

    Right now, I have no weekends. 😅 So...I don't have a mantra. And it would be hypocrisy to advice.

    I'm not a person who rests and am very demanding of myself. That's just me.

    So ..even on weekends, when I used to have them...I'd challenge myself, do something to show the world and myself that I'm "worthy" and "not incompetent". And as a return for the resources I take from the planet/world. Be it volunteering washing 600 plates for 4 hours straight at a food kitchen or going on a 150 km bike ride or dredging rubbish from rivers and beaches at cleanup drives.

    It's not leisure (and I dont think this might change the world's problems with pollution/poverty...). But I'd get a kick out it...although a lot of what I did was partly to escape bad memories, recreate new memories, to rebuild my core/self worth, that sort of thing. To manage PTSD.

    But....now...I have come to a point I don't need to prove myself even to myself or let alone to anyone else. So...I've decided when I have weekends again, I'll do what I feel like for the reasons I decide - be it challenging myself and/or doing good for the world with no influence from past trauma. (The influence has been reducing in small doses over years...time helps, I guess.)

    For instance, I'm taking a break around my second vaccination day(a Friday). This time...my plan is to lay in my bed and not get up for 4 days.

    Have asked a few friends to keep an eye on me. Remind me to eat, etc. It's the first time I'm asking for this kind of help, am in the circumstances, and feel ok asking for this kind of support.

    I now feel I deserve (as does everyone) and thankfully am in a circumstance of being taken care of. 🙂

    So...I guess my weekend mantra will be the clichéd "be yourself, its your space"🙂

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 454 admin

    @Yuliya Shtaltovna please keep the podcast episodes coming - they're great!

    Especially if you're considering doing episodes dealing with mental health, researcher wellbeing, and maybe research culture, I'm all ears! :)

  • Isurika Sevwandi
    Isurika Sevwandi Member Posts: 51 ✭✭✭

    Even though this will be a late comment added to this thread, I feel typing this😀

    Actually, my weekend plan is to complete the to-do-list items that are personal (related to my career goals and future prospects) because during the weekdays I am overwhelmed by performing tasks that were given to me by others for their benefits + undergraduate teaching which I enjoy a lot. As truly mentioned by Jayashree Rajagopalan, most of my weekend plans fail because again I get piled up with some other tasks that were accumulated because I couldn't practice saying "no" to them. Some times I drown in paperwork and find no time for my personal growth, which makes more tirelessly work again if I really need to get them done.