Working all week, overtime, chores around the house, workouts at the gym – sometimes it’s a miracle we have any energy left by the time Saturday rolls around. If you’re guilty of always making awesome plans for the weekend and then flaking on them because you’re just too tired, we have some news for you. The weekend is supposed to be a time for having fun! That means stop slumping on the couch in front of Netflix, put your tub of Ben & Jerry’s away and get out there and DO something; it doesn’t matter what, just try something new, catch up with friends, and make your weekend more awesome. Because it’s Friday, here are a few tips to get you started on the road to more generally awesome, ass-kicking weekends that you’ll be dying to chat about on Monday morning at work.

Spend time with friends

It might seem obvious, but spending time with friends at the weekend is a sure-fire way to increase your happiness quotient. Whether you stay in with a film or go out for dinner, catching up with everyone else’s news keeps you grounded and gives you shared experiences to talk about. One of the major reasons we feel so happy on weekends, compared to weekdays, is the social time they allow us. Research shows we spend an average of 7.1 hours with friends and family over the weekend, compared to just 5.4 hours on average throughout the week – that’s not that much social time !

Master your experiences

What the heck are we talking about now? We’re happiest when we’re busiest – that doesn’t mean going into the office on a Saturday to catch up with paperwork, but it does mean keeping active, even on the weekends. Sitting watching TV for hours is not only depressing, it could shave years off your life, and when your mind wanders, you’re more likely to dwell on negative thoughts. So learn to master your experiences by getting good at the things you’ve already tried, whether that’s yoga, running or knitting. Or learn something new, like a new language or a musical instrument – or take up rock climbing! Whatever experiences you’re into, focusing on them 100% will definitely make your weekend more awesome.

Get a new job

Did you ever stop to think that the reason you don’t enjoy your weekends as much as everyone else seems to is because you’re too busy stressing about what will happen next week at work? Whilst there are some professions you’re never going to be able to switch off from, like brain surgery or law, if you work in retail and find yourself spending every weekend feeling sick with worry about what’s to come on Monday morning, your job could be making you unhappy, so it might be time to look around for other options.

Broaden your horizons

Stop complaining that there isn’t anything to do where you live. Ok, so it might be true if you live in a small village in the middle of nowhere, but chances are you have access to a car or public transport (or a bike), so you can get out there and find things to do. Take a daytrip to a city you’ve never been to, book tickets to a show, visit a local jumble sale and scout for bargains (we’re not promising you’ll find any valuable antiques) or call a friend up and go to the seaside for the day. Getting out of your comfort zone breaks the rut you’ve found yourself in and can broaden your horizons. Plus, doing something with your weekend makes going back to work on Monday so much less painful!

Turn off your TV

TV and the internet takes up so much of our time in modern society – yet these things don’t make us happy. It’s easy to spend hours in front of the TV when you’re tired, but even if you don’t feel like going out and socialising, there are other things you could be doing that are healthier. Spring clean your apartment, try one of our workouts, play with your pets, paint some furniture or do some DIY – you could even try baking some healthy treats for the working week ahead.

Let’s face it, we’re automatically programmed to choose the easy option when it comes to our leisure time. Studies have revealed that American teenagers are two and a half times more likely to experience happiness and increased enjoyment when taking part in a hobby or playing sports, compared to watching TV. So why do we spend four times as many hours glued to the box as we do participating in hobbies or playing sports? We’re drawn to what’s easy, convenient and routine, and it can be hard to break bad habits  – because turning on the TV is easier than getting the bike out of the garage or going to the gym for a workout.

Make some plans

It might sound obvious, but one way to fall back in love with your weekends is to make some plans! Plan two to three activities you’d like to do each day, then you can have something to look forward to when the weekend rolls around – this could be anything from dinner with a friend on Saturday night to enjoying a nap on Sunday after reading a good book on the sofa. Planning out your weekend will make it awesome again!

Skip your chores

We’ve all met that one person who saves Sundays for housework and chores – what a depressing way to spend your weekend! If you can, try and fit your chores into your free time during the week; clean the bathroom one night, hoover your apartment the next. This way, when the weekend rolls around, you’ll be free to do whatever you like.

Don’t forget chill time

We’re all for awesome experiences and having fun, but don’t forget that the purpose of weekends is to give you some time to relax and recharge for the week ahead. So don’t jam pack every second of your weekend with activities and socialising, leave some time to just unwind and chill – maybe a couple of hours for a nap or an early night with a movie. Yoga is a great way to relax on your days off and starting your day with some morning yoga can put you in a great, positive frame of mind for the rest of the weekend.