woman relaxing on sofa with a mug in her hand

Growing up, my family seldom had plans for the weekend. Dad commuted by train to his job on Wall Street every weekday to provide for us. When he had time off, he liked to relax. This usually meant lazy weekends with the newspaper or a book or watching an old movie or a baseball game on TV. Being able to rest and recharge on the weekends seemed to give him the energy that he needed to work the rest of the week.

Mom and Dad never made suggestions about how my sister and I should fill the time during weekends or summer vacation. They didn’t ask, “How about a game of Monopoly?” or “Do you want to play outside or read a book?” There were no playdates or computer time (the technology hadn’t been invented yet) and going on a day trip was very rare.

What did that mean for my sister and me? It meant that we had to figure out what we wanted to do and how our weekends would unfold. Depending on the weather and our moods it might be coloring in a coloring book or going outside to see which of our friends were around. Or, maybe reading comic books was just what we wanted to do at that moment.

While I do remember being bored at times, I don’t think those lazy weekends were a bad thing. Not having anything specific to do gives your body and mind a chance to rest.

I was reminded of how downtime revives my spirits last Sunday. Free of commitments, I cooked soup, read, and napped. I took a break from paperwork, phone calls, and social media. When I went back to work the next day, I felt calm, focused, and ready for what the day would bring. I highly recommend it!

Give yourself the gift of time off — a lazy weekend or even just a few hours to relax. Downtime really isn’t a waste of time after all.

This post was originally published on February 19, 2020.

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By Joanna Lacey

Joanna Lacey lives in New York and has collected thousands of ideas from the frugal habits of her mother and grandmother. You can find her on Facebook at Joanna the Green Maven.