‘You’re Doing Your Weekend Wrong’

“If you don’t feel rejuvenated and keen to face Monday after two work-free days, there might be a reason: You’re doing your weekend wrong,” an anonymous reader writes, citing a Quartz article. From the article: According to University of Calgary sociologist Robert Stebbins, most leisure falls into two categories: casual and serious. Casual leisure pursuits are short lived, immediately gratifying, and often passive; they include activities like drinking, online shopping, and binge-watching. These diversions provide instant hedonic pleasure — quite literally, actually, as all these pastimes cause the brain to release dopamine and provide instant soothing comfort. In a culture where many people exist all week in an amped-up, overworked state, casual weekend leisure easily becomes the default for quick decompression. But serious leisure is a far more beneficial pursuit. Serious leisure activities provide deeper fulfillment, and — to invoke a fuzzy ’70s word — “self-actualization.” Self-actualization is the pinnacle of human development, according to humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow, who describes it as “the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.” In other words, getting self-actualized is the whole point of life, and passive, hedonistic leisure (fun and occasionally necessary as it might be) won’t get you there. Instead, the weekend goal should be “eudaimonic” happiness, which is a sense of well-being that arises from meaningful, challenging activities that cause you to grow as a person. This means spending the weekend on serious leisure activities that require the regular refinement of skills: your barbershop-quartet singing, your stamp collecting, or slightly less dorky, but still equally in-depth, projects. You pursue serious leisure with the earnest tenor of a professional, even if the pursuit is amateur.


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