Does winding down for the weekend make you feel low? Sarah Barr examines the issue:

Weekend depression is a thing.

Weekend Depression: It can start to sneak up on you without you knowing it. During the week you’re busy with work, children, schedules and activities. Yet when Friday or Saturday comes around, you may begin to feel sad, stressed or down.

Weekend depression can happen when people experience loneliness, after a week of being surrounded by people they may find themselves alone at the weekend.

For others, it can happen if they are in an unhappy relationship. Their weekend can be filled with arguing, fighting and anxiety.

Sometimes the weekend can be a time where you don’t feel secure either emotionally or financially. Scrolling through Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat can further trigger these negative feelings. Often these unrealistic “perfect” pictures can further feed into your low mood.

Our weeks have structure and routine, as we move from task to task, place to place or person to person. Even if you don’t really love your job, you are still busy. Being busy can help keep negative thoughts at bay and take your mind off your problems.

The weekends can often lack structure and social interactions. It can make you want to stay within your comfort zone, choosing to sleep in, comfort eat or to stay at home. When we are depressed we can lack energy to do the things we normally enjoy.

Tips to Help Combat Weekend Depression

1. Plan

Create a plan for your weekend, even breaking it down hour by hour. This will help to add structure to your day and give you things to look forward to. Even by adding one activity to your morning or your afternoon can help to improve your mood. Checking off activities as you do them, such as getting up, eating your breakfast, having a shower, etc. Will boost your mood by giving you a sense of accomplishment.

2. Practice Gratitude

Each morning you wake up take two minutes and practice gratitude. Simply list in your mind  3 to 5 things that you are grateful for in your life. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking the time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for will experience more positive emotions.

3. Join a Group

Joining a group or re-connecting with friends can help decrease negative feelings. It can be tempting to stay inside and isolate yourself from others, but this will do more harm than good. Meeting a friend for a coffee, going for a walk or joining a new group in your community will help you defeat weekend depression.

4. Be Gentle on Yourself

Most importantly, be gentle on yourself. Don’t push yourself too hard and work within your limits. Remember it is about progress, each weekend set yourself a new goal or challenge, but take your time.

If you are feeling low for longer than two weeks and begin to dread the weekend, it is advisable to talk to your doctor or to contact a professional.

I have evening and weekend appointments now available in Letterkenny as well as weekdays. Each appointment is confidential and private. For more details I can be contacted by sending a private message through my Facebook page or calling 0864477867.

Take Care ~ Sarah Barr.