8 Ways to Make Your Weekend Feel Longer

What's not to love about weekends? The stresses of work fade away and life seems almost limitless. In fact, the only bad thing about weekends is their duration. Forty-eight hours isn't nearly enough time to decompress, recharge, and prepare for the coming workweek.

So, how do we make those two precious days feel longer? Turns out, the trick is to try new things. As David Eagleman writes in his book, The Brain: The Story of You, pursuing novel activities provides our brains with fresh data and "stretches" our perception of time. In contrast, doing the same old things (like binge-watching Game of Thrones) doesn't supply our noggins with new input and makes our weekends seem fast and forgettable. So on Saturday morning, resolve to break out of your routine and embrace the unfamiliar. Here are eight ideas to get your started.

1. Rise and shine

Expand your weekend by expanding your day. Wake up earlier than usual — perhaps even earlier than you do during the week — knock out a few household chores, and treat the dog to an extra long walk. By the time most folks are dragging themselves out of bed, you'll be energized and ready for a new adventure. (See also: 9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person)

2. Try a different mode of transportation

No matter where the weekend takes you, get there in a new way. Choose a slower pace by biking or walking to your destination. Make the journey part of the experience. Stop for coffee along the way, wander through a used bookstore, or explore a local farmers market. For longer trips, engage with fellow travelers and avoid parking hassles by taking public transportation.

3. Coordinate an escape room event with friends

Escape rooms are themed adventure games that require participants to solve a series of puzzles or riddles in order to "escape" from a room within a set period of time. To be successful, everyone has to work together, follow clues, and strategize. Enlist a group of friends and build a fun evening around this adrenaline-filled experience at your nearest escape room venue.

4. Browse yard sales and estate sales

Besides phenomenal bargains, yard sales and estate sales offer buyers a chance to hear the story behind each item they select. It's an interactive experience that just can't be matched in any other way. If you've never whiled away a Saturday wandering block-wide yard sales or strolling through a house where literally everything you see is for sale, give it a try. You'll be hooked.

5. Get out of town

Shake up your routine with a spontaneous weekend getaway. Pack the essentials, grab a friend or two, and see what other parts of your state have to offer. Many bus and train lines offer daylong excursions to nearby areas of interest. Bring a book and let someone else drive for a change.

6. Host a game night

When was the last time you devoted an entire evening to just having fun with friends and family? Hosting an informal game night puts people face-to-face again, gets them talking, and promotes something we all need a bit more of — unbridled silliness. If weather permits, try lawn games like ladder golf, cornhole, or badminton. If you're stuck inside, Jenga, charades, and Pictionary are classics that everyone loves. (See also: How to Host a Great Game Night)

7. Go screen-free

Digital devices have a way of keeping us tethered to work, wrapped up in social drama, and consumed with mindless media. Oh, and in the process, they suck hours from our day. Encourage new thinking and new experiences by making at least part of your weekend completely screen-free. (See also: 10 Important Reasons You Need to Cut Back on Screen Time)

8. Volunteer

Not only does volunteering make a difference in the lives of others, it helps us learn new skills and deepens our connection to the community. Consider donating your time and talent to a local animal shelter, youth organization, or food pantry. Just a few hours every weekend can change your whole perspective.

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8 Ways to Make Your Weekend Feel Longer

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