Everybody’s working for the weekend, but that doesn’t mean your weeknights have to be a total drag. Sure, a long day’s work can be exhausting, but there’s still fun to be had in the hours of freedom you have once you get off.
So, to help you make the most of your weeknights, we came up with a few easy ideas to make them seem more like, well, a Saturday. Here are seven things you can do Monday through Thursday to amp up your evenings, instead of waiting for the weekend.
Have a weeknight dinner special
Who says you have to save all the awesome eats and drinks for the weekend? Turn your usual dashed-off midweek dinner into something special by adding a delicious dessert or creative cocktail to the menu. Even if it’s take out, it will still feel more like an impromptu Saturday night restaurant outing than your typical Wednesday meal.
Watch a fun movie
Just because you don’t have time on weeknights to make it to the movie theater doesn’t mean you still can’t get lost in a good movie. Instead of saving all the films in your Netflix queue for the weekend, make a point of watching one in the middle of the week to relax and unwind in the evening. Whether you download a new release on iTunes to watch on your laptop or screen a movie on TV, a great film is always refreshing any day of the week.
Make an after-work to-do list with one fun leisure activity
Looking for an easy way to get a head start on your weekend while you’re still at work? Try making an after-work to-do list—with at least one fun activity planned—before you power down at work for the day. Whether it’s reading your favorite book for an hour or simply playing a board game with your significant other, it’ll give you something to look forward to at the end of your workday (other than the weekend).
Go on a brisk walk
Even if it’s just a short detour in your normal route to the subway, sometimes a quick walk is all it takes to feel like you’ve had a nice break from your daily routine. Ask a colleague you’re close with to take a fifteen-minute walk after work, or take a stroll through your neighborhood park before you head home. Either way it offers some kind of unexpected outing to shake up your usual weeknight groove.
Have a friend over
While it might not be as fun as say, going out dancing, having a friend over to visit on a weeknight will still offer up some Saturday-style social release. Even if it’s just for a quick cocktail or dessert, inviting a friend over Monday through Thursday evening will definitely feel like a weekend treat.
Organize something small
Although it’s no substitute for your usual weekend power clean, tidying up something small—like styling your bookshelf or organizing your shoes—is a great way to decompress before bedtime and get a head start on your weekend to-do list.
Do yoga before bed
Forget that your gym days are usually reserved for the weekend, 15-20 minutes of yoga before bedtime will do more than help you unwind. Along with relaxing your brain and body, a little yoga prior to hitting the hay feels more like a weekend luxury than your chaotic weekday routine.