Self-care: 10 things to do this weekend to re-charge and get ready for the week ahead
Friday – finally.
We all love that Friday evening feeling, knowing that the working week is behind us and having the luxury of two whole days off stretch out in front of us.
It can be tempting (we know!) to just collapse in a heap come the weekend, and plan for little else than to sip wine in your pj's and spend hours catching up on Netflix. The thing is – sure, we all need to chill out on the weekend, especially after a hectic week. And we're not suggesting you don't.
However, there are some clever ways to make sure you make the most of your precious weekend, things you can do that will only help you decompress, but that will also help you get energised and ready for the week ahead.
Are you ready for the best weekend ever?
1. Don’t sleep-in (too much)
Yes, we know you have been up early all week and you're dying for your lie-in, but did you know that not only are you wasting a lot of your weekend by sleeping in, but also, oversleeping messes with your circadian rhythm – meaning you'll feel completely out of whack come Monday morning and will struggle to get back to your normal bedtime/getting up routine.
Instead, try to only have a little bit of a lazy morning on Saturdays and Sundays, and instead incorporate a little nap into your afternoon. Why? Because naps, my friends, are, in fact, all sorts of good for you, helping to purge negative emotions, increase alertness, and enhance your abilities to learn.
2. Limit time spent on technology
Yes, we know you are dying to catch up on Netflix and see what everyone else is up to this weekend on Instagram, but guys – your brain needs to unplug, and the weekend is the perfect time for this. You have no doubt spent a lot of time over the week glued to your devices, and now it's time to switch off and be present for everyone around you –including yourself.
3. Spend with family and friends
Human connection (hugging, touching) is vital for your well-being, and in leading increasingly busy lives, so many of us neglect making enough time for our family and friends. Heck, you barely have enough time for yourself and work and laundy and the kids' homework, so it's no wonder that we down-prioritize other people.
However, make a point out of reaching out come the weekend. Reply to texts you have been meaning to reply to, call your mum (or sister), invite your friends over for a night in. Make sure you get in touch with people not only when you need them, but also just to let them know you are thinking of them and that you want to see them and hear from them.
Sick of your messy house and always having to spend your weekend putting it back together again after a busy week? I think we are ALL in that boat. However, so often, we have far too much stuff in our house, hanging onto clothing and things we no longer use or need just becuse we struggle with the idea of throwing things out or getting rid of them.
The thing is, surrounding ourselves with clutter is not only stressful because you feel like you are forever trying to get things to look tidier and more organized, but more and more, experts are letting us know clutter is literally giving us anxiety and making us feel down and even depressed.
The solution? Declutter. You don't have to tackle your whole house this weekend, but make a start. Pick a room and start there. Sort through your things, and be ruthless. Donate or sell things that you no longer use or wear, and toss things that are broken. Once you see the result in one room, you'll be inspired to get started on the next one, trust me.
5. Slow down your meals
During the week, we so often eat on the go, rushing to get to work or make it back from lunch or racing to get dinner done once the whole family is back home. On the weekend, make sure you slow things right down when it comes to eating your food – and you will no doubt feel the benefit of it come Monday.
Sit down to eat without distractions like TV or a screen. Chew each mouthful properly. Savour the taste and smell of what you’re eating. Enjoy it. Simply be in that moment without putting your mind in overdrive again and thinking already of what you’ll be doing next.
6. Break a sweat
If you struggle to have time to work out or be active during the week, make sure you make some time for this come the weekend. You will feel so energised and fired up, and going for a walk or a run will release tension you have built up over your hectic week that you might not even be aware of.
If running isn't your thing, try a yoga class, ideally on a Saturday morning, and you will no doubt feel so much more present and centred for the entire weekend.
7. Make a plan
At some point over the weekend, sit down and write out next week's agenda on your calendar. Fill in meetings, appointments, stuff the kids have to attend – everything, even make notes on what you are going to cook for dinner each day and if you are planning to make it out to the gym or any social outings.
Having a visual plan of what your week ahead will look like will make you feel more prepared and therefore less likely to dread the onset of Monday and a new week once Sunday evening rolls around. Writing things down also means you are more likely to actually get them done, which will do wonders for your productivity.
8. Express gratitude
It's hard to remember to feel grateful in a world and a time where we are always made feel like we never have or am enough. But gratitude must be practised – and will change your entire outlook on life.
Be grateful for your family, friends, health, for the food you put on the table, the clothes you wear and the roof over your head. Just try to avoid comparing what you have with other people – something, in the age of Instagram – we know is not easy. Gratitude is one of the main sources of happiness, and when you’re happy, you radiate it on all those around you.
9. Spend time outdoors
Studies have shown that taking a stroll in a natural space can boost your mood more than walking near traffic or in very urban areas. So make time to take a family walk through a park or a forest to lift your spirits – and raise your heart rate. Breathe in the fresh air. Anything goes, from a simple walk on a nearby beach to a full-on hiking trip.
10 Cook (or bake) something
Cooking and baking are two of those wonderful activities that are not only benefitial as you do them (as they make you feel relaxed, productive and like you are accomplishing something), but that also deliver a bonus in the shape of whatever it was that you cooked or baked that you now get to enjoy.
Get into meal-planning and set yourself for a much healthier and easier week ahead. Bake something and bring over to some new parents your know, or someone who just moved into your estate. Invite your mum over and have her help you with the Sunday roast – it doesn't matter, really, what you make, as long as you make time for spending a couple of hours in the kitchen this weekend. You (and your family) will no doubt thank you for it.
How to YOU try to make the best of your weekend, guys? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @Herfamilydotie