The weekend is here! For some of us, this means a couple days of sleeping in and vegging out, while for others, it means jam-packing all our hobbies, appointments and chores into a narrow window of time. But are either schedules really good for your health?
Like most things in life, it’s all about balance. These simple steps for improving your wellness are meant to help you take a holistic approach to your down time and bring harmony to your whole entire week. Keep reading for my five tips on taking the end out of weekend and making it the beginning of a fun and restorative experience.
Be a Wellness Warrior
Why be a part-time weekend warrior when you can be a full-time wellness warrior? Weekend warriors are known to make up for a busy Monday-Friday spent in the weeds and out of the gym by cramming a week’s worth of activities into two days. While it’s better to get some physical activity rather than none, overdoing it in a quick burst and then being sedentary for the remainder of the week can be taxing on your overall health.
Try incorporating movement into your everyday lifestyle so that your weekend workout doesn’t have to feel so extreme. Walk to places you can reasonably get to on foot, or just park a little farther away to ensure you get a little activity. Take breaks from your computer to stretch, practice some quick and moderate body weight exercises, or just walk down the hallway and back. Then when you have more time on a “day off”, you can work out without feeling like you’re going from 0-60 and having to push it to the max… and possibly risking an injury. Because who has time for that?
Don’t Stray Far From Your Sleep Schedule
Of course it makes sense to want to catch up on the Zzzs that we miss during the weekdays, but messing with our regular sleep routine can really throw off our body’s internal clock, making it harder for us to fall asleep at our usual bedtime and wake up at a normal hour when we get back into the workweek.
Practicing better sleep habits throughout the week will help prevent that sluggish Friday feeling (read more about that in Peter’s Rx for Self Care) but if you’re really needing some Saturday shut-eye, try just giving yourself just an extra hour of rest rather than sleeping in until noon. You’ll feel better in the long run, and won’t be left wide awake trying to count sheep into the early hours of the morning.
Check One Thing Off Your To Do List
Have you ever felt like it was impossible to get everything done? Did you not know where to begin and, in the end, got nothing done? We’ve all been overwhelmed by weekend agendas that seem packed with unchecked boxes.
My trick is to look at my to do list and just pick one thing that I know I can accomplish. Maybe it’s sorting the recyclables or taking the dogs for a walk. It doesn’t matter how simple; the point is that you can put a check on that box! The best part is that once you do that, it’ll feel so much easier to start tackling other items. Action motivates action.
If you can’t find one thing that you think you can accomplish, then try breaking down your to do list into smaller, actionable goals. Maybe you can’t read the 10 books that have been waiting for you on your nightstand in one weekend, but you can certainly choose one book and set an easy target of, say, five pages. Take this habit with you into the workweek and see where you go from there!
The best way to feel young at heart is to continue challenging yourself. Over the weekend, think of one thing you’ve been meaning to do and set out to do it. Maybe don’t start with climbing Mount Everest — although kudos to you if you do — but consider a small action that you can surprise yourself with. Maybe try cooking something new, listening to an album or an audiobook you haven’t heard before, or visiting a part of your city that you’ve never explored.
Being open minded helps us be more present in the day. Try breaking from your weekend routine with a little adventure and see if this creative flow continues along past Sunday!
Have Fun With Friends
Sometimes after a busy week, you just want to stay in and chill out. But spending time with friends can not only be rewarding and fun — it can be beneficial to your health and can have a positive impact on your workweek.
I fully support you doing whatever it is you need to do to practice your self care, even if that means not being a social butterfly on the weekends. That’s okay! Try just scheduling a short visit with that close buddy who always makes you laugh, or spend time with someone you care about who you know could use a little pick-me-up. Your mood and productivity will really be rewarded by this, especially during the workweek when it’s back to the grind.
Most importantly, do what feels right and don’t feel guilty about wanting to do too much or too little. Thinking holistically about how you can take small steps during the entire week to have a weekend of wellness will have a big impact on your overall health.
How do you practice a healthful weekend? Leave a comment and let us know!
If you want more self care tips, subscribe to our newsletter and receive our wellness wisdom right in your inbox.
Patti Rugg is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Co-Founder of Rugg Wellness, PC. with Peter Rugg.