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A Little Something to Lift Your Spirits

By Wendy Coleman.

Completing a thorough job search is hard work!  It takes time and requires exploratory and research skills to learn about companies and find relevant job postings, communication and interpersonal skills to connect with networks and employers, and intellectual energy to target your job search documents to apply for the role you want.  We know it can sometimes feel all consuming.

In addition, persevering through this pandemic has added stress, pressure and a sense of isolation to the job search journey and to life in general.  So, the article “Lillördag: Sweden’s Workers De-Stress with Little Saturday” offered a great idea to promote inserting a little bit of fun, anticipation and opportunities to relax into the middle of each week.

The article notes “a few colleagues started meeting on Wednesday nights to break up the workweek … the get-togethers, replete with good food and lively conversation; help keep spirits up by consistently having something to look forward to.” The gatherings are an “example of ‘Little Saturday’, or lillördag. It’s a Nordic cultural tradition in which Wednesdays are regarded as opportunities for little weekend-like celebrations.”

“The pandemic has blurred the line between workdays and weekends … borrowing this Nordic tradition can be a way to calibrate the week, and even infuse a little bit of celebration and relief into the mundanity of yet another day at home.”

Employees are not the only ones who experience this – job seekers can find week days and weekends run together. Establishing this practice to celebrate achievement of small goals mid-week could result in a greater sense of accomplishment and increased energy for the rest of the week. Taking “some extra time to treat ourselves to Little Saturdays is a good start to looking forward with optimism” and to creating greater “work-life balance.”

Little Saturday can be as simple as taking time to pamper yourself – by making and enjoying good food, taking a hot bath, listening to your favorite music, or you could video with friends and share a meal, play a game, share the successes of the week so far, or enjoy a distanced visit outdoors.

Constanze Leineweber, Associate Professor at the Stress Research Institute of Stockholm University states “perceiving Wednesday as Little Saturday can make the workweek more bearable – especially ow when our days in isolation seem to blur together.  Little Saturdays can be quite wise in helping people to create structure and fulfilment even when they’re feeling lost” … people 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.”

It’s the little things “like borrowing the Nordic lillördag practice that (can) help us look forward to something each week as a pleasant break to the monotony.”  So, make plans for this coming Wednesday to celebrate: savor your favorite beverage, food, dessert or treat, relax with time alone or spending time with friends, and enjoy Little Saturday your way!

And … if you need assistance with your job search, contact the YWCA Job Search Program today!