We’re all familiar with that creeping sense of dread that builds as the weekend approaches and there’s an event we’re not super keen to attend baring down on us. And it doesn’t always have to be a big to-do to provoke this dread.
Maybe your mates have planned some afternoon martini madness at a new bar and you’re dreading the inevitable hangover to follow. Maybe you’re locked in for a beautiful Sunday arvo hike through your national park but know in your heart that a day spent pottering around alone at home will do more to soothe your soul in preparation for the week ahead.
We all know it sucks to flake and when friends flake, but sometimes you need to put yourself first to replenish your cup for future quality catch-ups.
To round out our Reason Season journey to help you craft healthy daily habits and routines in partnership with Swisse Multivitamins, we’ve compiled our top tips on how to get out of weekend activities that don’t feed your soul.
Read on to find the ones that will work for you to help ensure your soul is getting the weekend snacks it needs.
Make A Definite Decision
The worst part about dreading a future event is the flip-flopping stage where you're debating what to do. The longer you put off making a decision about whether or not to cancel, the larger the anxiety balloon grows, and the more likely it is to obscure your view of a solution.
Take ten minutes to really think about what part of the commitment is unappealing and the root cause of why you don’t want to go. Once you’ve identified this element, maybe there’s a way you can adjust your plans so that you don’t have to cancel, but your soul also doesn’t go hungry. This could be moving a dinner reservation to an earlier seating so you can be in bed earlier if you’re keen to catch up on sleep, or asking to bring a close friend along if you’ve committed to an event where you don’t know many people.
The most important thing is to identify the why of the dread, so you can do something about it.
Honesty Really Is The Best Policy
This doesn’t mean sending a wall of text to your mate to let them know every little detail of why you’re going to be a no-show, or that you’d like to adjust or postpone your plans. It just means getting in early and being sincere.
If you’ve identified that you don’t want to follow through with plans well ahead of time, let your mate in on the secret so they can adjust their own plans accordingly. There’s nothing worse than stressing about a friend's disappointment for so long that you end up compounding the problem with a last-minute, panicked cancellation. Chances are your friend has cancelled a few things in their time too, so they won’t hold it against you and will appreciate the early notice.
Depending on how comfortable you feel with the friend you’re cancelling on, let them into how you’re feeling. It doesn’t have to be a deep dive into the intricacies of your emotions, but if you let them know you really need a booze-free night in because you’re trying to save some coin and energy, this will give them some insight into the next plans you make together—or they’ll meet you at your level and swing by with a pizza, stay for a chat and then leave you to get a good nights sleep.
Don't Say Sorry Too Many Times
Don’t try to over-compensate by stacking your message with too many apologies. If you’re cancelling because you need to recharge or you're avoiding a situation that will negatively impact the healthy goals you’ve set for yourself, your friends will likely understand and support you.
The same goes for giving too many details. If you’re not keen to head out to something because you’re trying to save money or you’re in desperate need of a couch-potato sesh, but you don’t want your mates to know, don’t feel like you need to concoct a whole excuse about being sick, or forgetting you had ‘other plans’. Just shoot through a simple, sincere text saying you’re not up to making it out and you’ll reach out soon to make future plans.
Nip It In The Bud
This comes back to the idea of identifying why you’re cancelling a plan in the first place. If you know there are plans that you regularly cancel for one or two core reasons, stop making them, to begin with.
If you love spending Sunday night prepping your food for the week and taking some time to yourself to unwind before Monday rolls around again, don’t make plans on a Sunday night. Maybe there’s a weeknight that works instead, or maybe you suggest Sunday afternoon, so you can still get home in time to fit in your soul-food time.
This doesn’t have to be a hard and fast rule, but if you know from the get-go that an event or catch-up won’t bring you the same amount of joy as your Sunday night ritual and you’re likely to regret locking in plans, then don’t do it.
Make Plans That Do Bring You Joy
The other side of the don’t-make-plans-that-don’t-bring-you-joy coin—make plans that do bring you joy so that you don’t feel the need to cancel.
If you do really enjoy your Sunday night ritual, invite your mate over to join you, instead of making a dinner reservation. If you’re trying to get out and spend more time in green spaces, suggest a Saturday morning activity instead of a Friday night pub sesh.
Not only are you doing yourself a favour, but you’re more than likely to open up your friends' world to different weekend experiences. Plus, you’ll be more likely to want to venture back over into what your friends enjoy doing if they meet you over in your territory more often. With a little give and take and trying out new activities to feed your souls, everyone wins.
Looking for some inspo to get some booze-free mate dates locked into the calendar? Check out our top reccos for weekend activities without the hangover, over here.
Image credit: Urban List
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