Embrace the Concept of ‘Little Saturday'

Lillördag gives people a small taste of the weekend in the middle of the week.

Little Saturday is family time.

(Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com)

Weekends are a time to relax and recharge with friends and family. It’s a chance to leave your work behind and have some me time instead.

But working from home has tended to blur the lines between people’s personal space and work space and many people are feeling stressed by the middle of the week, according to TODAY. That’s why embracing the Swedish concept of lillördag or “little weekend’ might be the answer to getting through the week.

Taking a pause
Lillördag is one of those wonderful Scandinavian traditions like hygge (comfort) or lykke (happiness) that help cultivate a balanced healthy lifestyle. Embracing some self-care in the middle of the week can be a big stress reliever.

This midweek celebration is not a vacation day, it's more like a pause or break after work on Wednesdays to do something weekendish like enjoying a meal with your family or just watching an uplifting TV show. it doesn’t have to be a big blowout celebration.

“You let yourself enjoy something,” Stockholm resident Hanna Hedenius told TODAY. “You can see people celebrating on social media. On Instagram, you’ll see a picture of a glass of prosecco and some cheese, or ice cream, on Wednesday because people have a reason just to do it.”

There is a national radio show that plays popular music on Wednesdays and there is a podcast with topics that connect to the celebration of “little Saturday.”

While not every Swede practices lillördag, those that do see the pause as a way of recharging their batteries and getting through the workweek.

A mid-week break is good for your heath
Besides WFH burnout, the pandemic has added many additional stresses. That’s why self-care is even more important for people’s physical and mental health.

Paula Gill Lopez, PhD, an associate professor and chair of the department of psychological and educational consultation at Fairfield University in Connecticut, told Everyday Health that the need for self-care is obvious. “We have an epidemic of anxiety and depression,” she said. “Everybody feels it.

Self-care wellness activities can range from eating healthy, to exercising, to taking time to relax in a bubble bath. Many people do not make time to care for themselves and that’s where lillördag comes in.

“Something like Little Saturdays can be quite wise in helping people to create structure and fulfilment even when they’re feeling lost,” Constanze Leineweber, associate professor at the Stress Research Institute of Stockholm University told the BBC.

“You can become motivated with smaller goals within the week which you can reach and get a reward for… and not totally lose the context and structure that we need.” So if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, give yourself a pause, and have a happy lillördag.

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