Weekend vibes: 10 simple ways to make the most out of your weekend
Yay, it's the weekend!
For most of us, we spend a lot of time all week waiting for Friday – I mean; is there anything as delicious as a Friday afternoon, knowing that you have a whole weekend ahead of you?
The only problem? So often, the weekend just goes by in a total blur, and before you know it, it is Sunday night again, and you are there ironing shirts and wondering what the heck you are going to pack into the lunchboxes this week that the kids will actually eat.
I know. Which is why I am now trying to really make the most of my Saturdays and Sundays.
Want to do the same? Enjoy that weekend vibe for all its worth? Here is how:
1. Get up at your normal time
Yes, we know – it's the WEEKEND. And you are wrecked from the week, for sure. But hear me out: Oversleeping affects your biological clock, and messes with your circadian rhythm, meaning instead of feeling refreshed at the end of the weekend, you'll feel just as tired as you were at 5pm on Friday afternoon.
Instead, opt for getting to bed at a sensible time on the weekend too, ideally before midnight, and try getting up no later than 30 minutes after the time you normally get up during the week too. Instead, as a little weekend treat, schedule a little nap into your afternoon, even if it is just a 10 minute snooze on the sofa. Naps are great for our health, studies have shown, and much healthier for your routine than sleeping in.
2. Turn off your phone (or at least, leave it somewhere out of sight)
We are all spending far too much time on devices these days. And it is not doing our health – both physical and mental – any favours.
So unplug! Your brain needs to tune out and clear up from all the stress you’ve put on yourself during the week. Switch off your phone, or leave it somewhere where you won't be tempted to look at it. And instead, if you fancy reading something, make it a magazine, or an actual book.
3. Break a sweat
Yes, it's the weekend, but trust me; you'll feel so much better if you schedule in some time to be physically active over the weekend – ideally in the morning, leaving your metabolism and energy on a high for the day. You'll feel better, sleep better and wake up again feeling super-refreshed.
4. Reflect on your week (and set a goal for next week)
A great way to start the weekend is to take 10-15 minutes to reflect on what you accomplished during the week. Let your thoughts flow and write down everything that comes to mind. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small.
This doesn't have to take up a lot of time, but try to spend a few moments identifying one thing you really want to accomplish next week. Then think about what you need to do to make this happen. It can be cleaning out the spare room, organising the wardrobes, a work project – regardless, if you make a plan, you are far more likely to make it happen.
5. Spend time with loved ones
Being around people you love and who love you back is so good for our health, both our mental health and actually our physical one too. And remember – sometimes people aren't great at reaching out and saying they miss you or want to see you, so make a point of calling or popping in anyway – don't only call when you need them. Return texts and calls, listen, talk – human connection, and especially the connection we have with those who matter most in our lives, is vital for our wellbeing.
6. Get some fresh air
Most of us spend far too much time during the week inside, and the thing is, not getting enough daylight and vitamin D can actually play havoc with our health on many levels. Getting out during the weekend will refersh you, whether you opt for a hike, a stroll around your local farmer's market or a run around the block.
7. Cook healthy food
Whether you are into meal prepping or not (really, it is such a time-saver during the week), take some time during the weekend and cook up some healthy, nourishing food. Visit your local farmer's market if you live near one, and spend some time choosing fresh, local produce, and then head home to spend some quality time in your kitchen preparing it.
Cooking is actually proven to be a great way to relieve stress, and preparing food for others is such a lovely feeling of kindness and community. So with that in mind, this might be a good time to pick up the phone and invite your parents/siblings/neighbours over for some delicious home-cooked food.
Clutter and mess is bad news for our mental health and our energy levels. One weekend might not be sufficient to get your entire house organised, but you can make a start. Pick a room, and once you see how great it feels to have that one done, chances are you'll be wanting to tackle the next one come next weekend.
9. Practice happiness
The weekend is such a great time to focus and all that is good, and to leave the worries of the week behind. Try to train your mind to ignore negative and stressful thoughts that pop into your head, and instead focus on what you can do something about – and try to remember to be present and live in the moment.
Remember that laughter is the best cure for everything – in fact, studies have shown that laughter can not only lower stress, it can also protect your against heart problems and give your entire immune system a boost.
10. Treat yourself
Because, look – it's the weekend. So whatever will make you feel special and spoilt, schedule in a little of that. A glass of wine after the kids have gone to bed, a massage, a long, candle-lit bath, some fresh flowers from the market – do it. Having something to look forward to is what weekends should be all about.