Weekends are for rest, and because of that, we slave away Monday through Friday. Though it feels like a work takes up a whole day, most people have anywhere from 4-7 hours between getting off work and hitting the sack. That's 4-7 hours that you can call your own and that you should grab with both hands. I'm as much of a fan of weeknight television as anyone, but crime dramas don't often help fight stress, and sometimes it's nice to change things up.
Here are 8 weeknight breaks to help you unplug—warning: you may never want to fall back into the TV rabbit hole again. Several of these overlap (it's hard to be glued to a computer if you've got a honey mask on your face), but I hope you will run with these ideas and find some go-to midweek breaks on your own. All of these can be done with minimal planning, too.
1. No-tech night. Turn off the TV, turn off the computer, put on some music and pick up a book, magazine or project. Do anything EXCEPT for stare at a screen.
2. Girls night. Get the girls and some supplies and get to relaxing. Some fun home-spa things you can try: manicures/pedicures, sugar/salt scrubs, facial masks and hair
masks. Bonus points if someone has a hot tub.
3. Movie night. The average movie is anywhere from 90-120 minutes long, which fits into your evening with plenty of time to spare. Why wait until Friday to catch the latest blockbuster? Lines are probably shorter on weekdays, too.
4. Craft night. If you're a weekend crafter like I am, you know how frustrating and slow progress can be when you only give it a project a few glances a week. Pick a small project or a simple step within a large project that takes less than two hours, and get it out of the way.
5. Game night. Board games, video games or bowling, a mid-week game night with family or friends is a great stress buster (and I have the bowling injuries to prove it). Check out your local bowling alley's weekly specials—you'll probably find some great deals for a few hours of old school fun.
6. Book club. Create your own or join one, even if you gab and gossip more than you actually discuss the book. My last book club also included themed food (fair fare for Devil in the White City and pierogies for The Master and Margarita). Bonus: you could *gasp* learn something!
7. Supper club. Whether it's cooking with your live-in or some friends, picking out a recipe and making it can be a fun experience (and you get some yummy grub out of it). If you're doing a group meal, let each person pick a course and bring ingredients (and any special tools to make it) and cook together. Note: this is much much easier if the person with the biggest kitchen hosts. Just sayin'.
8. Date night. The last year I lived in California, K taught a late afternoon class on Mondays just a few blocks from my office. He got into the habit of taking the train there (a reimbursable expense for him), and I would pick him up after work and check out a different restaurant each week. Mondays were so much fun (and the restaurants were way less crowded).
How do you unplug and relax mid-week?