Weekends seem to fly by faster than the speed of light. Where is that pause button when you need it? It’s instinct… our weekend activities usually comprise of moments spent trying to forget (or push aside) responsibilities at work. From staying out late, to oversleeping – some weekend activities can have an effect on your energy and mental health for the week ahead.
What if you could spend your weekends a little more wisely, by including activities that are going to boost your mental state, and allow a refreshed perspective on the week ahead?
Here’s our best ways to catch your breath, and head into the week feeling rejuvenated:
Turn off notifications
The simple push of a button can revolutionise the weekend – turning it into the mini-holiday we truly deserve. This is why we’ve been taking the time to turn off notifications, or at least, limiting them. Think of your weekend as if you’re going away on annual leave... technically, you’re out of office – and the office are where the notifications and reminders should stay.
If you have a job in which turning notifications off isn’t an option , – don’t be too hard on yourself. Our tips? Plan ahead for the week, to ensure all bases are covered. And perhaps, dedicate specific times throughout the weekend to go through any comms, and emails, if this is something that will allow you to feel better prepared for the week. Think of it as “checking in” and then ensuring that you are able to “check out” again.
Get some sleep, but not too much of it
Spending extra hours sleeping the weekend away may feel good at first (how ‘bout that snooze button!). However, trying to repay ‘sleep debt’ from lost sleep across the week can have more of a negative effect than good – meaning you head into the week feeling tired and lethargic.
Sleep debt is the difference between the amount of sleep you should be getting, and the amount you actually get. The deficit grows every time you skim extra minutes off each night. Like all debt – it can be paid off over time. Take an extra hour or two each night – try go to bed half an hour earlier, and wake up half an hour later – to keep your natural sleep routine in sync.
Read (just not on a screen)
Away from technology, you could be surprised at how easy it is to get engrossed in that book you’ve been meaning to read. Try the first chapter, and see how far you get, or pick up that coffee table book and get whisked away by the colourful imagery and ideas.
It’s a fact… reading relaxes your body. How? It lowers your heart rate and eases the tension in muscles – reducing stress by up to 68%! It’s also known to relax us faster than other relaxation methods such as listening to music, or sipping on a cup of tea.
Create a list of dreams
Okay, so this isn’t just any old list! This is our dream list – one that helps us reach further than the TV remote. As career writer Carolyn Cutrone from Business Insider points out, “create something called 'A List of 100 Dreams,' which prompts you to brainstorm anything you might want to do in life.”
This list prompts us to prepare for the weekend, a good way to escape that routine Netflix binge (not that there’s anything wrong with that…). Whilst your list may consist of ‘visit the Grand Canyon during sunset’ or ‘swim with dolphins in the islands’ – it should also consist of smaller things like visit the new wholefoods store around the corner’, or ‘reconnect with an old friend from school.’
Don’t do everything on the weekend
Maybe you’re the type of person who likes to save their chores for the weekend. But have you ever considered doing it another way? Try shifting your cleaning routine to a weeknight, or break it up into actionable chunks throughout the week. This means you’ll be headed into the weekend with crispy fresh bed sheets, a clean kitchen, and of course – the space to fully enjoy the relaxing weekend ahead
It doesn’t stop there... the same can be applied for all of our activities. Take the weekend into your weekday, grab a bite and a drink with a friend on a Monday after work when you’re more likely to get a table, or grab an early morning breakfast with your other half. Scheduling these simple things during your week, will bring the weekend into your weekday – and make your weekend feel even more fulfilling, and longer.
Taking the time to catch our breath is important – it’s known that reducing mental stress through exercise, relaxation or hobbies will only by benefit your productivity in the workplace. And the best thing about the weekend? It’s a great time to do all of these things.