What are your weekend plans? It’s a question many of us often ask our colleagues as a way of connecting with them. 

Not any more! With people working from home over the past few weeks, suddenly we don’t know what weekends are anymore. And instead, many of us are now asking the question the snobbish dowager countess played by Maggie Smith asked in Downton Abbey: What is a weekend?

As we enter the third leg of the 21-day lockdown period, we’ve all fallen into a rhythm. Our days have started looking alike; our mornings have a routine, our workdays have a schedule, and our evenings are spent looking for things to do to keep ourselves occupied, and also mentally prepare ourselves for the next day. 

Each day looks the same. And the days just blur into one. Most of us don’t even remember when it’s a holiday or a weekend anymore. 

Weekends and holidays, once associated with having fun and switching off work, are just any other days now. Friday night? What’s that? Oh, is it Sunday today? 

But with working from home and social distancing the new normal, it’s important to reclaim your weekend and holidays. You might be living in a work-from-home bubble, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking holidays just like you would otherwise. 

So, if you’re doing a nine-to-five workday from your dining table Monday to Friday, go ahead and take your weekend off. So what if you’re indoors and can’t go for a long walk in the park with your family, you can play a board game with your housemates or little kids. Or just throw a frisbee in the garden. Maybe even spend your Sunday cooking that dum biryani you’ve been meaning to make all these years.

It’s particularly important because working from home means working much more for many of us. For those of us in the field of education, especially digital learning, this is a busy time. With most schools and universities pushing their classes online, we’re working extra hard to try and keep at the top of our game. 

Many teachers from brick-and-mortar schools have also moved online. Moving to a new medium is never easy, and they’re having to do this with barely any notice or training. They need to take weekends and holidays off to ensure they don’t burn out.

While #WFH is a new reality for many of us, this lockdown has also given many others in this country a long due paid holiday. Let me explain. For my lawyer friends, for instance, work has come to a screeching halt because the courts are shut. They now enjoy their spring-summer mornings deciding what else to add to their culinary repertoire in the kitchen. 

Working from home and the lockdown might have redefined the meaning of holidays and weekends. But, on the flip side, celebration isn’t just a weekend thing anymore. Some people dress up and video call their friends and family and join them for a virtual meal. Any day of the week. 

Just because we’re apart, doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate together, right? We don’t have to let our crazy work schedule consume every aspect of our lives. Just because we’re working 14-hour days, doesn’t mean we have to put fun on hold. 

The best we can do is not push ourselves too much to work, and take the day off. Even if we have nothing else to do and nowhere else to be.

Suha Gangopadhyay is a Specialist in the Curriculum team at Harappa Education. A graduate from University of Oxford, she wants to contribute to the growth of education studies in India, and dwells in a world where books are almighty.

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