Waterlilies reflection

Downtime Dillydallying: 15 Tips for a Stress-Free Weekend

Cynthia Herron Downtime 6 Comments

Waterlilies reflection

Image Credit: Peter & Ute Grahlmann/PhotopinCC

Come Friday (or Fried-Day) I think most of us would agree the weekend can’t come quick enough.

And let’s be honest—when noon rolls around on this delightful day of the week, who doesn’t start watching the clock? (If your hand went up, lean forward. I’m whipping out my wet noodle.)

While I love what I do, I work hard. During the week, downtime is a luxury. I’m a wife, a mom, a writer, a blogger, and chief-cook-and-bottle-washer around our little abode.

Our summer’s been particularly busy and rather difficult. We’ve met ourselves coming and going. We had an unexpected detour and one our family is still recovering from.

Recently, school started in our area so add to the general busyness a new kind of busy. You mamas will know what I’m talking about: school functions, meetings, tennis practice, tennis games, church commitments, various appointments, and other schedule-fillers. I enjoy it, but whew! Sometimes, it all runs together and I feel like Lucy at the candy factory. (Remember that episode?) Yeah, that would be me. And maybe, it’s you.

Well, that’s life in the grown-up world. (You know—the very one we wanted when we were about fourteen—when we couldn’t wait to live the glamorous life of adulthood.)


As adults, we have schedules, priorities, and commitments. And, too, sudden events happen and those are unavoidable.

Sometimes, though, we allow other things to hijack our days. Days—those precious hours and moments we can never get back again.

As I’ve matured (gotta love that word), I see downtime differently than I might have ten years ago.

Downtime is essential for a well-balanced lifestyle. That’s the truth. We need time to de-stress, dilly-dally, and take a load off.

It’s healthy. It’s necessary. And God ordained it.

With that in mind, kick your feet up and take note. Here we go.

15 Tips for a Stress-Free Weekend:

1. Kick it off with scripture. (A favorite Bible passage or a verse. Something that speaks to your heart and brings peace of mind.)


2. Do your least favorite things first. Understandably, some chores can’t wait. Do the time-suckers and must-dos first. Shift the unimportant to Tuesday. (Mondays are hectic enough. The mundane can wait.)


3. Indulge in your delights. Old movies. Books. Baking. Backpacking. Whatever puts a smile on your face. Those fun things that you don’t do enough or have time for during the week.


4. Off with the old, on with the new. Try something you’ve never done before. Make playdoh. Create art. Wash an elephant.


5. Go for broke. Stay in your PJs. Play music. Run a bubble bath. Eat truffles.


6. Ditch the telephone, cell phone, and doorbell. It’s okay! Really. Disconnecting for a while is a good thing and that’s what Caller ID is for anyway. Remember—you’re in stealth mode. (If it’s an emergency, whoever it is will keep trying. Then and only then may you answer.)


7. Be selfish. I know. Sounds terrible, right? But it isn’t. As a mom, I know I have an invisible How Can I Serve You? stamped permanently on my forehead. Sometimes, however, we need to nurture us so we have something leftover for our families.


8. Order take-out. I like to cook, bake, and concoct, but sometimes, I wear out. Our family isn’t big on fast food, but we do enjoy a good take-and-bake pizza or some cashew chicken occasionally.


9. Nix negativity. Surround yourself with positive thoughts and cheerful people. Retreat to your happy zone—that place that gives you comfort and makes your heart soar.


10. Say “No, thank you.” It can be done. Tactfully. Gracefully. And without guilt. (Sometimes, we have to let go to move forward.)


11. On the other hand—try “Yes, please.” Say yes to all those things you would like to and normally don’t. Extra dessert. That leisure walk. A nap. A new outfit. Glow-in-the-dark stars.


12. Get goofy. Laugh! Gather your friends/family for a game of charades. Twister. Board games. Anything to tickle your funny bone.


13. Give yourself permission. Linger in the library. The bookstore. The toy section. A coffee shop. Somewhere fun, fanciful, and freeing.


14. Stop the madness. Limit the evening news. Don’t watch depressing shows, scary statistics, or angry rants. Do you really want to know how much bacon causes cancer or why the angry shopper karate-chopped the mannequin? I didn’t think so.


15. Waste time. That’s right. As in—do nothing. You’ve worked hard this week. A little dillydallying is good for the soul. A lot is even better because next week is just around the corner!


Here’s to a restful weekend, friends! *Clink* (My coffee mug to yours!)



R&R is essential for a stress-free weekend. 15 tips to get you started:

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Do weekends leave you breathless? Here’s what you should know:

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Is downtime difficult for you?

What are your tips for a stress-free weekend?

*I’m taking a blogging break on Monday. Please join me again Wednesday!

Blessings Always,

Comments 6

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    I really like #2 and #14.

    Getting the hard things out of the way makes the time following seem so much more enjoyable!

    And stopping the madness applies to the whole week. When I last looked at the local news, I realized how little of that information I really needed.

    Even the weather…it’s like, it’ll be there anyway, and I have to deal with it.

    So now I do a quick news check on line, and leave the local and national talking heads to their own devices. I don’t miss them., and I’m sure they don’t miss me.

  2. Melissa Tagg

    I adore downtime but I confess that I have very little of it these days. However, this weekend I am deadline free and have only minimal to-dos. I’ve also been sick all week, so I have more excuse than ever to just laaaze around. And believe me, that’s exactly what I plan to do. I’m going to read…and sleep…and watch movies…and sleep…and take bubble baths…and sleep. Can you tell I’m excited? 🙂

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    Cynthia Herron

    Andrew, honestly I turn on the news about once or twice a week. (I do have certain news apps pushed to my phone, but no way do I go to every story.) You’re so right—some of what passes as “news” is baffling. And your last line made me smile. I mean—you have your writing community. Who else do you need?

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