Relationships

A Trick for Making Weekends Feel Longer

Eggs and Bacon by Nikole Herriott

After 40 years on earth, I’ve finally figured it out…

All my life, weekends would fly by. I’d leave work on Friday evening, flop down on the sofa, blink and find myself getting dressed for work on Monday morning. Maybe we made pizza, maybe we went to a park — who even knew? Was life just passing us by?!

But then. Last year, my friend Gisela invited me to a movie on Sunday evening. I found myself looking forward to it all day, then rode my bike to Alamo Drafthouse; she’d already ordered popcorn and we sat back to see Three Identical Strangers.

And that Monday morning, I noticed something. My weekend had lasted forever.

We did it again another weekend and saw Free Solo. Another Sunday, we saw Call Me by Your Name. And it changed everything. I realized: No matter what else I do all weekend, the anticipation of a Sunday night hang — and the afterglow — stretches out each day and takes away the Sunday scaries. Instead of anticipating work, your mind is busy gearing up for an evening adventure.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a movie — anything works, as long as you end your weekend with a bang. Alex will tackle a recipe he doesn’t usually have time for on a weeknight, like pasta carbonara, or delight the boys with breakfast for dinner. If the weather is promising, I’ll make a phone date with my twin sister in California and catch up with her on an evening walk, which feels so special on a spring night in Brooklyn. One weekend, we took the boys for Ethiopian food (you can eat with your hands!), and another we even drove out to Coney Island to walk on the boardwalk while the sun set.

It’s crazy what a difference a good Sunday night makes.

Plus, I feel so much better about Monday when I’ve squeezed the fun out of Sunday. The end-on-a-high-note strategy is actually backed by science. “The human brain gives outsized consideration to things that happened last in a series,” reports Fast Company. It’s called “recency bias” — and it works for vacations, too. The Wall Street Journal suggests leaning into the last day of a trip. “If you’re only going to upgrade once, splurge on the business class seat on the way home, not the way there. Plan your big dinner at the Michelin-starred restaurant for your final night, not your first.”

Gisela

My movie buddy, Gisela.

This Sunday, I think I’ll see Amazing Grace. What about you?

P.S. Gisela’s apartment tour, and how to plan the best trip.

(Top photo by Nikole Herriott.)

  1. Nina says...

    Oh my oh my any chance we get treated to Gisela’s week of outfits? That jacket is jaw dropping beautiful.

    • Cheyenne says...

      I second this!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask her!!!

  2. alex says...

    this is so funny because i feel exactly opposite! my husband and i have a running joke about Sunday evening plans being the worst possible thing that can happen to you. as two introverts with public jobs, we both need the weekend to recharge for the week and the idea of a social engagement looming at the end of our recharge time is just the worst! i love how different we all are. :)

  3. Rachel says...

    My friends have been having Sunday night dinner parties before we all watch Game of Thrones together! It’s so awesome to get 15 people together to share what we got up to on the weekends and eat a potluck dinner. And then! We get to watch GoT as a group (way more fun than solo)! I actually didn’t watch previous seasons, but got into it for the social aspect, and now I’m so sad the season is ending. I hope we keep coming up with reasons to hang on Sundays. Maybe we’ll watch the SNL from the night before?!

  4. chris says...

    I always find that if I do something on a Friday night, it makes the weekend feel longer. If my Friday night is just making a normal dinner, cleaning up after, walking the dog (the same route as every night), watching regular weeknight recorded TV, and then going to bed at 10ish, I feel ripped off come Sunday. BUT if I have friends over or we go out or just do *something* then it feels like a longer weekend!

  5. Elizabeth says...

    I totally agree – my husband and I have a standing date night on Sunday nights. By Sunday evening we’ve had the whole weekend with kids so it doesn’t feel like we’re cutting out on family time, restaurants are less crowded and it starts our week off with good 1:1 time.

  6. Sara Campbell says...

    This is a long weekend in Canada, and my husband and I are ending it at a showing of Amazing Grace – I’m already looking forward to it, and its only Thursday morning!

  7. Alice says...

    YES to this! My boyfriend and I regularly go to a comedy show on Sunday evenings. Ending the weekend with a really good laugh always puts me in a brilliant mood for Monday. We go, we laugh, and then we slowly wander back to his chatting about what we’ve seen… it’s the best end to weekends!

  8. Amanda says...

    I’ll be 40 this year, and it’s taken me this long to figure out the keys to “longer” weekends: tackle errands like grocery shopping and cleaning during the week, and say no to weekend plans as much as possible. Browsing the shelves at Whole Foods is a much more pleasant experience on a Tuesday evening, rather than a Saturday morning (seriously makes my blood pressure go up). My husband and I try to clean a little bit each night so that the house is clean by the weekend. And we stopped making so many plans on the weekends. There’s nothing like getting to the end of a Friday work day and knowing that you have a completely open weekend to do anything you want, or absolutely nothing.

  9. Lauren says...

    My friends and I noticed it too, and responded by doing the same! We used to call it “Taking Back Sunday,” and we’d do a movie, or a museum, and then dinner out. It was the best and it lasted a good long while, until the first of us had a baby and then we found ourselves on the sofa again. Ha!

  10. C. says...

    what a good idea! I am going to give this a try, because Sundays are often taken up with laundry and grocery shopping and errands- everything is all about getting ready for the coming week. I would love to swap all that out for some fun instead!
    (ps: I love Alamo Drafthouse?)

  11. I love this post because it seems so simple but make so much sense. I am a very high anxiety person in general, and Sunday nights have typically always been sleepless and somewhat of a dread. I am hopeful trying this out will not only make my weekend seem longer and more full, but also result in me going to bed more relaxed and thus sleeping.

  12. Kristin says...

    When we lived in North Carolina we had another couple there that was like family to us. Almost every Friday night we would get together (this was pre-kids!) and do anything from grab dinner at a hole in the wall restaurant to have an impromptu dance party in our backyard with yard games and one too many cocktails! Without fail it ALWAYS made our weekends seem super long and almost every Saturday my husband and I would end up saying “This feels like it should be Sunday”. I miss those weekends so, so much…we now live in Colorado…and most Friday nights we text our old friends in NC letting them know how much we miss our old Friday night get togethers!

  13. Patricia says...

    I wish this would work for us, but there are always so. many. things. to make sure are done on Sunday in anticipation of the coming week. There is no way a Sunday hang would be relaxed! ;-) Are we the only ones?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we usually do errands and household things on saturday to get them out of the way. i want sunday to be as relaxing as possible. (that said, i do sometimes work in the evenings! but try not to!)

    • Kristin says...

      I feel your pain! I cook lunches and at least one meal (if not 2!) on Sunday evenings and that’s not really something I want to do too much earlier on account that it’s got to last until Friday. On days I don’t go to church I can do it in the morning, but I’m often up late getting all my edible ducks in a row. And this morning (Monday morning) I skipped my workout to clean all the dishes I didn’t do last night. I have started grocery shopping on Thursday nights and that has been a game changer for the better!

  14. Tshego B says...

    I do this too. Early dinner, shower and pamper myself then I get cosy and watch a movie with a glass of wine. I like romantic/travel/history/food type movies for Sunday :)

  15. The thought of making big plans for Sunday evening gives me anxiety! When will I make lunches? Who will set up the coffee (a must for a seamless Monday morning)? When will I have time to pack the extra diapers the babysitter needs? I need that Sunday night to put the chaos of the weekend in order for the week.

  16. I totally agree! I run a little hotel in the country, and whenever folks are checking out Sunday morning I always ask them what they’re up to for the rest of their weekend. I cannot tell you how many people are like, “Oh nothing really, we’re probably just going to get back to the city as soon as we can so we can catch up on some stuff before tomorrow, you know.” I always find myself bullying them into taking the long way home, stopping at this place or that. “You’ve still got half the weekend left!” I tell them. Sometimes it even works :)

  17. Helen says...

    I used to veg out on Friday evenings alone, but read somewhere that doing something Friday night makes the weekend feel longer. It works!!! When Sunday rolls around, it feels like an extra surprise day off since I’ve already done things two days in a row.

    • Chris says...

      agree! i just wrote the same comment!

  18. Lindsey says...

    So interesting to me that Sunday night is the time that makes you feel that way. For me, it’s Friday nights. When I get out and have plans Friday night, instead of just lying around my house ordering in food and watching TV, I wake up on Saturday and feel like it should be Sunday, because I was out and about, but now I still have two whole days ahead of me! Plus, Sunday afternoons and evenings are really sacred to me; I desperately need that time as an introvert to set myself up for the week, meal prepping, tidying up the house, getting my gym bag together, etc. So much so that I almost never plan Sunday night activities, because I’ll feel so unmoored the rest of the week.

  19. SarahN says...

    Totally only ever upgrade on the way home! But starting to also like some first night luxe when I’ve been on a long haul and jittery… thanks!

  20. Nina says...

    Great idea. I think I’m going to come up with a list of Sunday night things to do. So far its mostly been self-care. And making sure my son is ready for the week – shower, clothes, nail trimmings, ear cleanings, etc…

  21. polly says...

    I stay home with my 2 under 3 and the WEEKEND IS LONG

  22. Kia I. says...

    This is a great idea, it makes perfect sense. I’m going to give it a try this weekend !!!!

  23. Jessica says...

    We have a 2nd Sunday tradition–we make a big soup and salad and have friends over the 2nd Sunday of every month. We love it.

  24. stefana says...

    I know it might not be the funnest thing possible BUT try waking up really early (like weekday early) and have a 2 hour nap at noon, both Saturday and Sunday. That way you break it down into 4 big chunks of day, with sleep pauses in between.

  25. Ana says...

    6 years ago, after both my best friend and I had babies, somehow Sunday evening seemed the less stressful way to keep meeting without eschewing precious family time on weekends. I don’t know how we decided on it, it kind of happened once and felt right, right away. So we decided to create a Sunday night night-out, which usually involves going to the same low-key Indian restaurant, eat a couple of samosas and badjis, order one portion of delicious xacuti and drink one or two bottles of green wine, which is a wonderfully light and fruity wine.
    We talk for a couple of hours, we laugh or we cry, we gossip and complain without judgement, we are home by midnight and feel a lot better starting a new week.
    We already tried meeting in new places, but there is something about the fuss of planning that takes the stress-free feeling of these dinners away.
    We even have a code name for it, which is SOS (wine label) and we already know what it means: this Sunday, 20h30, both of us, lots of spices e some nice, cold wine :))))

  26. Laura C. says...

    Yes. This. Absolutely this. Thank you VERY MUCH, Jo.

  27. Mina says...

    Totally! In the first few years out of university when working life was so hard me and my brothers used to go to the pub for dinner every Sunday night. It was something lovely and low key to look forward to that make the weekend seem longer. One last good thing on a weekend is always a good thing :)

  28. Abbey says...

    Here here! I remember coiling up a rope, filthy and exhausted, during a sunset in the Sierra after a long weekend of rock climbing. My climbing partner, who had convinced me to tack on a truly full day of climbing had convinced me simply by saying “Don’t let your Monday ruin your Sunday.” That gem has stuck with me a long time, and it changed everything.

  29. Margaret says...

    I started taking a pottery class on Monday nights! Even though the weekend is over and I can have the Sunday sads, I always look forward to Monday nights and then like that! I zip through the week!

  30. Kim says...

    Great idea! We somehow always seem to be able to have a big breakfast on Monday morning lately (my husband works weird hours and sometimes at home and I am a SAHM) and that really seems to extend the weekend vibe for us.
    My oldest will be going to kindergarten this year and I’m really starting to freak out about it. I feel like I need to suddenly become a super mom and have everything scheduled to a T. How do other mothers do it??

  31. rachel simmons says...

    i do not work a traditional work week, i work 4 10’s with a rotating days off so i cant REALLY relate, but i do appreciate the tip for the last day of vacation. I have 12 (glorious) days off from work, mostly paid, and 5 of those will be spent in Mexico with my hubby celebrating out 6yr wedding anni! So I will for sure be taking that advice to heart while sipping my last marg on the sand.

  32. Liz C. says...

    One our family and friends favorite quotes, heard originally on a Sunday “you gotta attack your Sundays, cause Mondays coming no matter what” we say it just about every weekend, words to live by.

  33. Katie says...

    This is genius. I’m trying it Sunday. Thank you!!!

  34. Natalie says...

    That header photo!! I am drooling at my desk, lol. Send toast and crispy bacon. :)

  35. Meghana says...

    would love to hear from other folks who don’t have the comforting ritual of traditional weekdays/weekends? my fiancé and i are both in residency and long-distance on top of that. it’s so hard not to have conventional scheduling to fall back on for routines in our relationship and in our own individual lives. i’m sure people in other fields experience this too – bedside nurses and the restaurant industry jump to mind. how do people find routines in schedules that feel a little unmoored?

    • Ellie says...

      Married to medicine over here and I remember how tough residency and fellowship were!! Instead of routines we moreso had traditions: scheduling one fancy dinner date per month (as schedules allowed) and collecting the biz cards for each (all important dinner biz cards live in a big frame in our kitchen), toasting to end of another rotation over, savoring vacations as much as we could, etc.

      One of my biggest pieces of advice for residency/fellowship is that it’s so key to find one or two pain points in every day life and throw some money (if possible or within reason) at the issue. Whether it’s dog waking, house cleaning, laundry, more Uber’s/cabs…whatever you can pay someone else to take off your plate to ease your overall load will pay off big time. Easing the stress and burden of just 1 or 2 to do list items can make a massive difference. I just wish I had figured that out sooner than Feb of first year fellowship!!

      Best of luck to you both!

    • Sumi says...

      Hang in there Meghana! I went through the same—long distance relationship with both of us in residency/fellowship. Unfortunately there might not be a way to achieve the balance you crave. Spend this time focusing on how to be a great doctor, and savor the moments, few and far between, that you have with your S.O. There is a beautiful light at the end of the tunnel of residency. When you get there, it’s glorious…but part of you, like me, might even miss how very sweet the moments of freedom tasted in comparison with the bitter, long stretches of work. After training, with time and effort you CAN develop your career in a way that suits you. Today, I can finally say I love my life/work balance and feel fulfilled. Good luck!

    • Kristie says...

      It is an unmoored feeling, when you don’t fit into that weekday/weekend routine. But there is a daring thrill to being out of step with “normal” – going out for a nice dinner on a Tuesday! Treating a Wednesday as a Sunday. Hump day? No, it’s pjs & pancakes morning! Long distance is definitely hard though, I hope to never ever do long distance ever again. Xx

    • N says...

      Ellie, Meghana, just reading your comments made me want to cry, because you guys get it! Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy and that I should be handling my very privileged life with more grace and less complaints than I am. My boyfriend is just wrapping up his intern year (EM, 3 yr program) and we live in NYC (so freaking expensive and living here is harder than it has to be — we are transplants, clearly) and this past year has been T O U G H. I run a small, but recently successful business, so between his 12 hour shifts (night and day), and my working-for-myself/always-on-call for work schedule, we hardly get any quality time together, and haven’t had a chance to establish these kinds of routines in this first year of living together.

      But Ellie, I totally agree with what you said, we are scraping all the money we can (when I say we, I really mean me, because his salary is so low) and throwing it at dog walking, grocery delivery, apartment cleaning once a month, etc. because we are both stretched way thin. Most of the responsibilities usually fall on me, because he’s next level exhausted, and I desperately look forward to attending life when I can have my boyfriend back.

      I feel like that was a rant but I’m sure you guys get the frustration.

    • Kim says...

      Ellie, I just wanted to say I found your comment hugely helpful. I’m a second year MD/PhD student now, and it only becomes more clear with times how deliberate I’ll need to be in enjoying life along the way of training. Am literally taking notes. Thank you!

    • Ellie says...

      @Kristie You just reminded me of a Monday afternoon movie we went to once (I work in events and sometimes have comp days during the week). Thanks for bringing back that memory! It felt SO special to be at the movies while everyone else was at work or school.

      @N I hear you!! The perception that doctors make so much is skewed and it’s even worse during training. I’m glad you’re able to find ways to give you some time back. I hope that allows you and your hubby to carve out some time together! You were by no means ranting!!!! Sometimes it’s helpful to vent a little and know you’re not the only one.

      @Kim I was just reading today’s Cup of Jo post and feeling really sad/angry/scared/upset about the news. But being on COJ reminded me that I wanted to come back to this post to see if anyone else had commented and I am just so thrilled to see these comments! Hearing that you found my words helpful lifted me up so much and I hope you find some lift too. My husband has an MD/PhD (we met his junior year of residency) and I know it’s a loooong road. I’m always happy to chat :)

  36. S says...

    Every time we have a date night (that ends once the babysitter gives us the all clear that they are asleep) on a Friday night and meet friends at some point on a Sunday the weekend feels so long and great! Sometimes it doesn’t always happen because I am teacher and a mom…but when it does I LOVE it.

    • Lia says...

      Yes to the all clear!! One time we got home at 10:30 with a new sitter and OUR OLDEST WAS STILL AWAKE. It was like we lit the money on fire!

  37. mary says...

    Aww this made me so happy to read! My husband moved from Baltimore to Boston just four weeks after we met, and we started flying to visit each other. After just one trip, we realized it made a world of difference to leave early Monday instead of Sunday night so that we didn’t spend half the weekend dreading saying goodbye. Sundays became our date nights, and six years later–even though we spent only ten months apart and are now married, living together in Massachusetts with our dog and 5 month old daughter–it’s still my favorite thing in the world to spend a Sunday night with him.

    • Jen says...

      This comment made me tear up! My boyfriend and I did the same thing when we were long distance!! We’d cook pasta together every Sunday to ease the pain of saying goodbye and then whoever was visiting would wake up at 4am to make it home in time for work Monday morning. We live together and are married now, but “pasta Sundays” live on. <3

  38. Anita says...

    Yes, I do this!!! It helps me cope with what I call the ‘sunday night blues’ – something I’ve struggled with all my adult life.

  39. Amanda says...

    Eek! No way! The thought of making plans every Sunday night makes me so anxious! I realized a year or so ago that I definitely do best if my Sunday nights are quiet and relaxing. In fact, my partner and I call it “Sunday quiet time.” I hang out with the cat, write in my journal, and eat a treat (I very often bake something over the weekend.) My weeks are so busy that my weekends are all of the chores and all of the socializing, so I need that time set aside to reset. But it’s so interesting to read about everyone’s different routines.

    • K says...

      I’m the same way, thinking about making plans like this gives me so much anxiety!! We sometimes have dinner over my in laws on Sundays and it’s always so stressful for me, I can barley enjoy it.

  40. khs says...

    Yes! Recently started a Sunday afternoon ritual of rummikub at a local park that has DJs spinning Reggae Sunday, Feels like starting every week with a vacation.

  41. Kirsty says...

    I have to ask, how on earth is Alex making pasta carbonara that he requires the weekend to do it? It’s one of the simplest dishes in the world!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha i know it sounds crazy! but during the week we are even simpler: quesadillas, cheesy pasta, etc. :)

  42. Kaitlin says...

    Our friends with the oldest child started a tradition of pizza and football or board games on Sundays. This was 14 years ago and it was a way to balance socializing + parenting. When we moved cities, we took the practice with us, and last year when our daughter was born, it was a game changer for us. We might only have 700 square feet, but having extra people around made bouncing the baby or rocking her to sleep way more manageable.

  43. Sasha says...

    We do a rotating Sunday night with friends where we have dinner and watch an HBO show at each other’s houses. Right now it’s Game of Thrones (though, I couldn’t sleep after last week’s ultra-violent episode). In the summer, it’ll be Big Little Lies. It’s fun to watch a show with others… and you start looking forward to it on Monday morning when you are texting about the prev show.

  44. We started doing Sushi Sundays at our house a few months ago. We go to the fish market together to pick up some sushi grade tuna or smoked salmon for the Philly rolls that my husband loves. It gives us something to look forward to all week, and our homemade sushi is much better than the place around the corner. It’s not that intimidating to make, I promise!

    We’re trying to start (pizza) Pie Day Fridays now. Ideally, we would use my husband’s yummy homemade dough and my marinara but I’m a realist and stocked up on frozen balls of dough from Trader Joe’s plus their sauce. It’s an easy end of the week meal that we’re getting excited about.

    These two meals anchor our weekend and give us something to look forward to for days!

  45. Erica says...

    I love this!! I had sunday night dinner plans (at 8pm!) with my best friend who was in town from LA the other night. Part of me was regretting making plans bc i like to meal prep and do laundry on sunday afternoons, but it was actually the best sunday I’ve probably ever had! I woke up early and volunteered at my church, squeezed in a barre class and then came home and rested while i was made my lunches for the week and did laundry–then by the time i was all settled, i was eagerly able to anticipate having dinner with my bestie! My weekend felt PERFECT! thank you so so much, i agree!!

  46. J. says...

    Sunday night plans/dinners out are my FAVORITE. I always float home feeling so soul-filled and peaceful and happy after a good conversation with friends.

    When my friends are all busy on Sundays, my Sunday ritual is to walk to my favorite independent bookstore, pick up a new book, and then walk down to my favorite restaurant for a solo dinner with a glass of super cold champagne and a couple hours of blissful reading time. I walk home still floaty– though a different kind of floaty!– and fall asleep grateful for the simple pleasure of Sundays, champagne, books, and calm.

    • Jessica says...

      J., this is such a beautiful solo ritual! I might have to institute something similar for myself. Thank you for sharing!

  47. B says...

    My boyfriend and I found an old-school roller rink in town with an unbeatable $5 deal on Sunday evenings. Wobbling around on clunky skates to upbeat music always makes us laugh and ends the weekend on a high!

  48. agnes says...

    For a long time i had anxiety every sunday, starting at around 3pm; I would end the sunday at the cinema, and sunday nights were just horrible. One day I started something new: never do a “sunday thing” on a sunday: no prep for work or laundry, no cinema, but something exciting. I started exploring a new part of the city each sunday and I would meet my friends for salsa dancing (a thing I would never have done before on a sunday), It totally changed my life! Coming home sweaty from dancing, happy and excited just gave me energy to start the week! And I kept the cinema for monday nights! I don’t go dancing right now beacause I have a small child, but try to have picnic for dinner, or go for a night walk, something a little extraordinary.

  49. Lisa says...

    I personally don’t agree with this method, but I can see how it works for others. My secret is: do the fun thing on Friday evening, so that you wake up and have two whole days left. Saturday plans varies, but for me Sunday is for making loads of food (for lunch and dinner the coming week), doing laundry, watering plants, and all the face masks I feel like. Self care Sunday!

    • Melissa says...

      Yes, this is what I do, too! Rally on a Friday night and then you have the whole weekend to relax.

    • Mary says...

      I wish we could do the same but my husband works late shift, and isn’t home til 10 or 11. We have to put off all the plans on Saturday or Sunday.

    • Emma says...

      I wonder if maybe this could be an introvert/extrovert thing? My husband and I are both very introverted and can’t handle Sunday night plans. Even if we have a great time, we end up feeling too socially exhausted to be at our best for work on Monday. I would much rather do fun things Friday/Saturday and have a quintessential lazy Sunday to recover. :)

  50. Amanda says...

    My best (guy) friend and I tried this thru our 20’s… we went out to a dive bar EVERY MONDAY. *boom*…you know, because Monday. Best feeling ever to look forward to a Monday night :)

  51. We always go to lunch with my parents on Sunday afternoon after church, and in the evenings my husband and I have nachos in bed and watch a movie after the kids have gone to sleep! It makes Sundays feel so special and I look forward to it all weekend.

  52. Therese says...

    How funny. My husband and I always try to make plans Friday night so that we have two fully open days to do things; it always makes the weekend feel SUPER long, and we don’t feel bad about completely relaxing all day Saturday or Sunday.

    • Ll says...

      I’m the same! Bang on Friday, then you have had the highlight but you still wake up onsaturday morning with TWO DAYS left! Amazing.

  53. Dana says...

    So based on this logic, it seems I shouldn’t leave the big grocery run for Sunday afternoons at 4pm… No wonder Monday rolls around and all I can think is “If only I had one… more… day…”

    • Katie Larissa says...

      Dana, I leave mealplanning for Sunday evening (and the Dreaded Grocery Run for Monday morning,) and now I’m thinking that’s a slight mistake? Hahaha!

  54. Amanda says...

    My fiance and I have started making Sunday nights our date night. We keep a running list of restaurants that we keep meaning to try, check the list earlier in the week and pop in the reservation.

    So much of our weekends quickly gets committed to other things and other people. It’s really nice that after all of the grocery runs, laundry, birthday dinners, and adulting, we still have our own little adventure to look forward to.

  55. emma says...

    hi! I noticed a new face on the staff page. more info coming soon? so exciting to see the digital fam grow :) :) :)

  56. Becky says...

    I had a good thing going when I did all my work mon thru Thursday evening. Over time it started creeping into the weekends and now everything is done over the weekends. Ugh. Time for a change! Thank you for the inspiration 💖

  57. Nikki says...

    Go on MONDAY dates. A while back my great friend MB and I would go to a low key yoga class late on Monday nights, 7:45 pm class and then go for a small tapas late dinner (I always ate a power bar before class so we weren’t starving) and a few glasses of wine. I ALWAYS looked forward to Mondays.

  58. Lauren P. says...

    I recently switched jobs that took me from the traditional M-F 9-5 schedule (where my weekends blew by in that unsatisfying kind of way) to a schedule that has me sometimes working Saturday (AM or PM) or Sunday (AM or PM) with a guaranteed Monday off. For whatever reason, my weekends now feel interesting and spacious and Mondays always feels like a 3rd day off, although that’s not actually the case. All of this to say, I fully believe variety is the trick!

    • Ellie says...

      I work as a hotel sales manager and I’m on site for weddings some weekends. Even though I get the Monday off following and I worked a tiring 8-10 hours on my feet, I agree, it totally feels like a longer weekend!!!

  59. We often hire a sitter on a Sunday night if she’s not available on a Friday or Saturday, and it’s nice to have something to look forward to all weekend. Plus, it’s easier to get into a restaurant on a Sunday!

  60. celeste says...

    We so need to change to a four-day workweek ;). Sunday nights, I do my side gig of writing a weekly history column while my husband does have a video call with family members. I also try to get chores done on Friday nights :).

    • Ker says...

      History column? Tell me more…

  61. Andrea says...

    On Sundays I like to do family dinner with my sister and brother-in-law. They meet me at our favorite restaurant after I go to 5 pm Mass (because you can wear jeans to that one, ha). For several years I volunteered with a youth group on Sunday nights. I had to force myself to put on pants and go but it was always the highlight of my weekend – teenage energy is contagious (and they served dinner)!

  62. Sarah says...

    For better or worse, this is why I will always take a red-eye flight on a weekend. Even though I’m a total zombie on Monday morning, the whole concept of “can you believe we had dinner in [city] last night?” is so thrilling that it gives my week a jump-start. I did this two weeks ago for a girls weekend, and am doing it again this weekend (for my grandpa’s 100th birthday party!) My go-to move is to focus on the bookends: I make reservations somewhere I love for when I arrive and as the last meal before I get on the plane. I’m already excited for what I’ll have at Tartine Manufactory before my flight home :)

  63. I’m promptly adding this routine to my weekends, which will help significantly (I hope) since I work a lot of weekends! Wondering if you have a favorite Ethiopian restaurant? My husband and I will be visiting NYC next month and have been craving Ethiopian since we moved away from Germany two years ago!

  64. Sarah says...

    My newest thing is to suck it up on Friday night and get all my errands run after work Friday. I’m usually tired and cranky anyways, might as well get stuff done. I’m going to end up with a glass of wine on the couch at the end of the night no matter what.

    BUT then Saturday and Sunday are totally free of obligations and chores.

    • Meredith says...

      YES! I did this for the first time last weekend and it made such a difference! Did my grocery shopping on the way home from work and then made a huge to do list and knocked most of it out in 2-3 hours instead of 2 days and then had the rest of the weekend to enjoy. 10 out of 10 highly recommend and will definitely be doing again this Friday night!

    • Katie says...

      Yes!!! I try to tackle some cleaning too. It sucks at the moment but feels so good to not have to do it Sat/Sun.

    • Vee says...

      My mum used to do this too, except with Thursday nights! So she would clean her house/do errands on Thursday night so when she got off work on Friday, her time was all for leisure! I’m going to start incorporating that I think :)

    • Abbe says...

      I was going to comment saying this as well! I got the concept from a Girl’s Night In article I think (highly recommend their newsletter, I believe I found it on Cup of Jo!). Friday night chores so you have the rest of the weekend to relax. I think the best thing for the Sunday scaries is to not spend half your weekend preparing for the next week. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get back on this schedule since I moved in with my partner, but I really should this summer.

    • Ellie says...

      I bet this is a quiet time to grocery shop too!

  65. jane says...

    I love this because of all the things/chores that are designated for the weekend, scheduling FUN is probably the hardest to prioritize and the most vital. I can chill in front of Netflix Saturday night or any weeknight – Sunday eve’s I want set aside for something more life giving – thanks for the reminder!

  66. katie says...

    Yaaaaaaaaas! Sunday is my favorite day of the week, and when I say so, people look at me like I’m cuckoo bananas. But! Years ago I lived in a town in Germany where EVERYTHING was closed on Sundays; if I needed so much as toilet paper, I’d have to find a gas station with a mini market, maybe. But a funny thing happened…I started LOVING my lazy, quiet, restful Sundays, and weekends seems to last forever! Ten years later, I’m back in the USA & I still do as little as possible on Sundays, errand-wise. It’s only for fun stuff, and it’s changed everything for me. Amen, Jo! (PS – thanks to COJ I saw “amazing grace” last night & bawled my face off. Thank you. It’s so so good!)

    • Therese says...

      I loved this about living in Germany as well! That’s why Sundays are for snuggles.

  67. Katie says...

    My trick is to have two young and needy children (1 and 3 years old). Weekends last foreverrrr over here.

    • Kate says...

      OMG – this! I can’t believe how much I look forward to Mondays sometimes. My kids are growing up a bit (7 & 4) so it’s a little better these days, but getting some time to myself, even at work, can still be quite a relief.

    • Kylee says...

      Hahaha, same here too!! 😂

    • Molly says...

      WORD!!

    • CL says...

      Omg I have a two month old and a two year old and I was just thinking the same thing. Though I know it won’t be that way forever <3

    • Danielle says...

      haha! My kids are the same age. When I saw the title of this post my first thought was “um – no thank you”

    • Tara Conway says...

      Haha love this! I have a 2 year old and am due in a week. I identify with this to my core!

    • Kelly says...

      haha! I have 8 and 3 year olds – often on Fridays (mostly in the winter, it’s ok in nicer weather) I get an awful feeling of dread for the weekend. My 8 year old is starting to get pretty booked up with activities on weekends, which I always thought I’d hate, but it keeps me from having to entertain her (she has ADHD and is extra-extroverted, i.e. rather exhausting for her introverted mama).

    • kathie says...

      hahaha. my husband was out of town and i had all 3 of my kids (6, 4, and 1) over the weekend to myself. by monday morning, when our nanny showed up, i was thinking what a luxury it is that i get to go to work.

    • Luna says...

      Oh, do a post on this, please! I always dread the Friday (my day off work) when I take care of the kids the WHOLE day. Then the weekend starts… On Monday, when I sit behind my desk at work surrounded by adults, with a cup of coffee, that is when I can finally relax. And don’t get me started on the ‘holidays’. Everything changed with kids.

  68. I actually love this – my family is super close and we always have a big family dinner (grandparents, cousins, parents, boyfriends/girlfriends) with cocktails (even if it’s just beer) and apps (even if it’s only chips and salsa or pretzels) before dinner, flowers on the table, and my mom’s or aunt’s table set for 12+ people.
    When I was younger, I wasn’t super into this whole Sunday-night family dinner, but now, I can’t imagine ending my weekend without it. It’s good food, no one is in a hurry, and I hear amazing family stories. This past Sunday, I found out that the first time my mom went on a plane, it was when my grandfather had bought the whole family $5 tickets from Greenville, SC to Charlotte, NC (1hr45m drive) just for the experience. Anyway, I’m in love with these Sunday nights, and I love how you’ve framed them.

  69. I also find that if I can bring myself to do something Friday, such as going out to dinner or taking in an art opening (or both!), magically Saturday becomes an extra day and when Sunday rolls around: What? There is still another day to do things?

    • Sonia says...

      Yes! I feel this way about Fridays too.

  70. Maggie says...

    Yas! Last Sunday we had a Cinco de Mayo party with four other neighborhood families. At first I thought, am I doing this on a school night? But it was great! Margs. Taco bar. Kid craziness. Definitely stretched the weekend.

  71. Katherine says...

    I did a double take when you said Alamo Drafthouse. I had no idea they’d migrated all the way to NY! I lost my mind when I was in SF this past summer and realized there was one out there, too. Does it have the laid back Austin chill vibe? I haven’t seen a movie anywhere other than the Drafthouse in probably a decade. I’m stoked to see its popularity reaching coast to coast!

  72. Melz says...

    I saw Amazing Grace with my mom, & we both Loved it! *Look for a young Mick Jagger in the audience

  73. Lauren E. says...

    I was about to comment, “I HATE making plans on Sunday night!” but then I realized my husband and I actually do this in our own way. Sunday afternoon we open a bottle of prosecco and drink it while we play Wii golf. I know this sounds like the dorkiest thing in the world but we look forward to it so much. After “golf” we order dinner in and watch whatever show we’re into at the time. It’s always my favorite part of the weekend, even if it is low key.

    • Lauren, this sounds heavenly!

    • Amy says...

      This sounds like the best date ever!

  74. Hilary says...

    Love this! A few years ago we moved all of our weekend errands to Saturday morning- grocery shop, clean the house, etc. It’s so nice having the adulting out of the way early on in the weekend and just enjoying the rest of it!

    • katie says...

      Yes! I moved mine to Friday night (I know, I know ) — but stores are EMPTY! I get a decaf coffee & bust ’em all out by 8 or 9 and then the whole weekend is chill city. Totally recommend it!

  75. Liz says...

    Love this! Also, and I’m pretty sure this advice came from your blog, but I’ve started splurging on a nicer hotel for the final night or two of my vacations and it is lovely! Normally I stay in the cheapest airbnb or hotel, but this gives me something to look forward to and fight any sadness I might feel about the trip ending. Fits with the logic of this post nicely :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!!!!

  76. Rachael says...

    Hah! I’m totally the opposite—I HATE having plans Sunday night bc by that point all I want to is curl up in my pjs and watch Great British Baking Show with my kids! It’s the only time all week that i know all six of them will actually be home.

    • katie says...

      LOVE it, Rachael! Whatever makes it pleasurable, man. Go for it! (:

    • Andrea says...

      That sounds like the perfect “plan,” a night in with family <3

  77. Andrea says...

    We have a lot of customs that center on Sunday (taking a day of rest, going to Mass, Sunday dinner, making a weekly to do list together), but we recently instituted apero on Sunday night to set it apart. We indulge in a pre-dinner drink and a small, easy, nice appetizer like a new cheese and crackers or a fun dip and crackers.

    I (heart) apero!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that!!!

  78. Colleen says...

    Yes! I also recently learned that a friend was taught growing up that Saturdays were for chores and Sundays for relaxing. I’ve been in the habit of saving chores- laundry, grocery shopping, house projects- for Sunday. Now we work through most of our to-dos on Saturday- leaving time for Saturday night fun and a relaxing Sunday (and there’s nothing better than beating back the Sunday Scaries by listing off all the things you’ve already accomplished this weekend!!

  79. Elyse says...

    A lot of people get overwhelmed by how much they want to get done in a weekend and balancing that with time for fun. My partner and I created the 3-2-1 system to help us feel like we accomplished a lot in a weekend but also had fun. It works like this: 3 things you want to get done (ex – clean the bathroom, go for a run, resew a button on your shirt), 2 things you want to do for fun (ex – see a movie, check out the new cocktail bar, games with friends) and 1 thing you want to eat (ex – pizza, pancakes, homemade dumplings). We like talking about it on Thursday to anticipate the weekend!

    • Caitlin says...

      I LOVE THIS!!!

    • Katie says...

      This is such a cute idea! I like your thinking.

      I always say the perfect weekend has three parts (and therefore should be three days, but that’s not the way the world works). One part fun/social; one part productive; one part relaxing. I feel it’s a successful weekend when I’ve done all three.

    • katie says...

      LOVE THIS, too! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS Elyse!
      So good.

  80. Laurel says...

    Similarly, I’ve found that if I got out and do something on Friday night (even though I’m usually exhausted) it makes the weekend seem longer. Imagine if you did both!

    • Lisa says...

      Agree! Start the weekend off right!

    • Heather says...

      Agree! Pre-kids, we used to have our dinner out Friday night and it kicked off the whole weekend – separating that night from all the other work week nights before it.

      As the girls get older I’m looking forward to trying this again – even if its just in the form of an ice cream run.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!! love this!

  81. Jeanne says...

    This is just so smart.

  82. What a clever idea!

    Let’s chat about Identical Strangers: how insane was it seeing this movie as a twin!? I had such a hard time with it and so many emotions (also being Jewish) and could not wait to talk about the movie with my sister.

    I usually tackle all the mundane tasks on Sunday such as meal prep and plant care, but now I am thinking of adding one SUPER fun task as well that I can do every Sunday night.

  83. Julie says...

    Sunday evenings in nice weather my husband and I like to make a big salad like panzanella and grill some chicken or whole fish, and listen to our “Deck Mix” while drinking wine outside (well…Miller High Life for him, he’s loves that champagne of beers). Sometimes we’ll watch a terrible movie so we can listen to the accompanying episode of our favorite podcast, How Did This Get Made? Looking forward to those days makes the whole weekend feel like forever.

  84. Jess says...

    Yes!!! We used to have a weekly potluck dinner and movie night with friends on Sunday evenings, and it made a world of difference in how weekends felt. I never felt the Sunday Sads, even though I was working a series of stressful jobs in which I was unhappy.

  85. Alexandra Gerson says...

    GAME OF THRONES SERIES FINALE.

    • txilibrin says...

      Agree with you! Before it was the movies and then I had a kid, so now it is something organized at home for the evening!

  86. BG says...

    i think this is what game of thrones is for most people right now!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!!! hahaha — and it was sex & the city back in the day! (and barry for me now:)

    • Nectar says...

      i was going to say! My friends and i have done a potluck every sunday and then watch GoT and love it so much we want to do it after the series is done.

    • Hannah says...

      Exactly! We and our friends take turn hosting and ordering takeout then we all pile onto the couch and floor to watch the new episode (silently, of course). And then knowing I can read recaps and think pieces Monday morning makes it feel like the fun just keeps going!

    • Jen says...

      and Big Little Lies soon ;-)

  87. Lynn says...

    I love doing Sunday suppers. I like to try a new recipe from Bon Appetite, one that is more time consuming and not week-night friendly, and really take my time with it. Play music, light candles, and actually eat at the dinner table – something that rarely happens when we’re busy during the week.

  88. EmilyS says...

    This is so true! We have recently found ourselves going out for an early dinner on Sunday evenings and have realized that it is more fun than going out any other weekend night. Its almost like going out on a school night which makes it all the more exciting!

  89. Megan says...

    This is genius! The anticipation is half the reward. Now I’m already thinking of what I should do this Sunday evening :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it sounds like such a small thing, but it changes everything!