Weekend at last! Something you’re so looking forward to after a brutal week at work. Because there are so many things to do during weekends to help you either decompress or get energized for the week ahead. Whatever your plans are, it’s important to make the effects last as long as possible to improve your life in the long run.
Here are 13 tips of how you can make the most of your weekends.
1. Don’t Oversleep
As tempted as you may be, oversleeping affects your biological rhythm. We all need that beauty sleep, but don’t overdo it. Otherwise you’ll feel exhausted and cranky Monday morning. Make a habit to always wake up at the same time every day. Include naps in your weekend routine as well, whether it’s for 10 minutes or 45. Why? Because naps help purging negative emotions, increase alertness, and enhance your abilities to learn.
2. Spend Time With Loved Ones
Reconnect with family members or friends you neglected lately. Don’t do it out of guilt or because you have to. Do it because you want to. Reach out to them to see how they are doing. Don’t call them only when you need them. Return their calls if you were busy when they last tried to reach you. Talk to them. Listen to them. Be there for them. The importance of human connection (hugging, touching) is vital for your well-being.
And if — for whatever work or life circumstances — you don’t have the family around you and not too many friends either, reach out to people who share your interests. Get to know them. Hang out with them even if it’s just over a coffee or dinner, or plan a group city break. You’ll feel so much better and rejuvenated than spending time by yourself or worse, wallowing in loneliness.
3. Apply The “No Technology” Rule
Stay away from TV, iPad, iPhone and any other electronic devices. Unplug! Your brain needs to clear up from all the stress you’ve put on yourself during the week. Why not read a book instead? A paper one. Seriously, when was the last time you did that?
4. Spend Time Outdoors
Make friends with nature again. Pay attention to its beauty. Breathe in the fresh air. Anything goes, from a simple walk on the beach to a hiking trip. Just look for the best outdoor pursuits in your area for the weekend.
5. Take Time for Your Meals
There’s no rush to go to the next meeting or finish that presentation by the end of day. You’re not on schedule. Feel 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. Speaking of Food – Eat Healthy
Did you miss preparing yourself that green juice because you were always on the run to get to work? Now you have no excuse. It only takes a few minutes.
All you need is: organic celery, a peeled cucumber, some romaine, kale and a pear. A push on the juicer’s button and off it goes. When you’ll see how tasty it is, you’ll turn green juicing into a habit that will last longer than a weekend. Other than that, eat more fruits and veggies. If you don’t feel inspired, NYT Best-Selling author and wellness activist Kris Carr has some of the best and healthiest recipes for you on her blog.
7. Declutter Your Home
If you still have some energy left from the past week, try simplifying your environment a bit. That closet door won’t shut? Is your paperwork all over the place? Is the bathroom piled with tons of products? A few suggestions should help, even though you may not be able to sort everything out in one weekend. What matters is that you’ll make great progress.
Look at what your favorite clothes are. This should make it easier to consider what to toss and donate to a charity. Organize your paperwork in filing cabinets and try to build some additional storage space if needed. Next, get rid of old bath and makeup products in the bathroom. Get more organized by using a simple glass containers set, or a woven basket strategically placed under the sink.
8. Stop Being a Chronic Worrier
Put that “what if” mindset aside. Refrain from worrying over things you can’t control like the government shutdown, the economy, the weather or anything like that. Instead you can control yourself. List the things that worry you and set an action next to each of those you can control. Have you gained too much weight lately? Make a plan to do something about it. Struggling with a deadline? Write down the steps you must follow to get that project done.
9. Meditate or Go to a Yoga Class
You don’t have to be a practicing Buddhist to meditate. It’s all about paying attention to the present moment. Meditation improves your creative thinking, helps you focus and find happiness in your life. The regular practice of meditation is the best way to handle your stress and energy level. Yoga is also a form of meditation that helps tremendously fighting stress and achieving peacefulness of body and mind.
10. Pause and Pay Attention to Your Thoughts
What are they telling you? What is the vibe that you’re feeling? It can either be a positive or a negative one, never both of them in the same time. If your thinking falls towards the negative side, try change the words you use in your thoughts. Michael Losier, the author of Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t, recommends we should stop using the words no, not and don’t to attract more of the things we want. Our response to the words we use instead will change completely. “Stay calm” sounds way better than “don’t panic,” right?
11. Laugh, Laugh and Laugh Again
Best. Medicine. Ever. You can never have enough of it. Humor improves mood in so many ways. It helps you cope with stress, strengthens your immune system and you are 40 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke, says Richard Wiseman in his brilliant book 59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute.
12. Express Gratitude
This is something you should be doing every day, not only on weekends. 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. You can be grateful for so many little things: a new beginning, the sunshine, the air that you breathe, a baby that smiled at you. Just try to avoid comparing what you have with other people. It neither helps you nor them. Gratitude is the main source of happiness. When you’re happy, you radiate it on all those around you.
13. Cultivate Your Hobby
Whether you like snapping photos, baking bread, painting, writing poetry, playing piano or gardening, give yourself the benefit of spending time doing something you find enjoyable. You get the much needed mental relaxation and the satisfaction of pursuing your interests, which leads to a sense of fulfillment.
There you are. 13 things to do during weekends that will have a positive long term effect on your life. Put them into practice and you’ll beat the Monday Blues!
What are other ways to spend the weekends that work for you?