In this new world of ours, it can feel like weekends don’t really exist anymore. Boundaries that we had carefully created prior to the pandemic have all fallen to the wayside. When working from home, it’s hard to define when we are working, when we are parents, and when we are just ourselves. Finding even just five minutes of self-care often seems unattainable, and this constant stress can affect your entire body, causing headaches, aches, pains, and insomnia. But, taking time for yourself is essential for your health..
At Nutritious Life, we believe unplugging is a priority; so much so that it has its own spot on our to-do lists (for good reason). If you’re struggling with work-life balance, planning a weekend (and we mean both Saturday and Sunday) to create some boundaries, unwind, or just have fun can be the mental health break you’re needing.
To help you decompress, we’re sharing 10 simple ways to recharge and reset so you can (happily) conquer the days ahead.
Welcome indulgence with open arms by cooking your favorite comfort food or stirring up a sweet cocktail. Rewarding yourself is a form of self-care, and it may even lead to a healthier week ahead. A recent study found that people who associated chocolate cake with celebration lost more weight than those who felt guilty about eating it (we don’t use the word guilt here at NL). A much-deserved treat can put you in a positive mindset, and it’s a pretty tasty way to ring in the weekend.
Skip the Schedule
Don’t make the mistake of jam-packing your weekend. It will only overwhelm you and lead to burnout. Instead, sleep in to help your body recover from those grueling weekday hours. Getting enough sleep boosts brain function, so prioritizing your zzz’s will set you up for a successful week. Try committing to rest rather than a handful of exhausting activities. Your energized weekday-self will thank you for it.
After a long week staring at screens, pulling out a pen can feel therapeutic. On Saturday morning, release any thoughts into a journal so you can get out any lingering negativity from the week. A great method is bullet journaling which helps you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future. This type of journaling allows you to record inspirations, reflections, and entries of progress toward your goals leading to better performance.
Work-heavy weekdays can make us feel disconnected from people and things we love. Nostalgia is a powerful healing tool that can help you find meaning and increase social connectedness. Reconnect by calling an old friend, or dig up objects that spark memories (old photo albums, a high school yearbook, or a family recipe). These purposeful actions will remind you of your passions beyond the everyday, helping you attain a more meaningful life.
Embrace your definition of self-care with a pampering session. While getting a massage may not be in the cards at this moment, there are ways to plan some “me” time. Plan a morning yoga session to release tension, light a candle and soak in a bubble bath, or just relax with a good book. Whatever you choose, plan something special you’ll look forward to all week. It will make your hard work that much more worth it.
This one sounds like work, but it can be really freeing. Organization is a great way to clear your mind and feel in control. Clutter overloads the visual cortex and interferes with its ability to process information, so a quick cleaning session can help you be more productive on Monday (and focus on the weekend fun). Start with something small like your purse, car console, or junk drawer. Enhance the experience by lighting a candle and turning on your favorite playlist. You’ll be surprised how therapeutic it really is.
Turn Off the Tech & Get Outdoors
We know you’ve heard this, but it’s worth repeating. Turn off your tech. How can you truly enjoy yourself if you’re tethered to work emails or random notifications? Research has shown when people “unplug”, they report feeling fresher and more recharged. Spend your time exploring and appreciating the world around you—go on a hike, garden, paint, swim, or stargaze! Just 10 minutes spent outdoors can improve mood and focus.
Giving back will lead to a more grateful, happy mindset. Just performing an act of kindness is the ultimate mood booster. Volunteer at a local animal shelter, bake treats for your neighbors, or teach a free class on something you love. Even better, it will benefit the wellbeing of others, too. You’ll enter the week having gained a new perspective and an uber positive attitude.
Amidst the chaos and stress of everyday life, your personal space should offer comfort and happiness. As we’re spending more time at home than ever, we may be in need of a refresh. Something as simple as rearranging the furniture or adding a bouquet of fresh-picked flowers can make you feel more creative or even clever. Studies have shown that rearranging your personal space can help you identify what you truly love, want, or need—offering relief in times of turmoil or heightened stress. Feeling extra adventurous? Try repainting your wall or furniture with a new color.
Learn a New Skill
If you’re feeling uninspired by the time Friday hits, spend the weekend exploring an exciting new skill. Having a hobby can help you get creative and raise your self-confidence. Pick something that will keep your mind engaged and your body active. Learn how to play an instrument, get creative with cross stitching, walk around your town taking photos, or get adventurous with something physical like parkour or roller skating!
(photo credit: Shutterstock)