As soon as the clock strikes 5 p.m. on Friday, you can feel it in your bones — it’s time to relax. Unfortunately, not all weekends go as serenely as we hope. And, while life does sometimes get in the way of our relaxation, it shouldn’t always interfere. That’s why we’ve found eight of the best ways to ensure that two-day break is everything the word “break” implies. Find the one(s) that would make the biggest difference in your lifestyle, put them into practice and voila. Monday won’t even know what hit it when you’re rested and ready for it. Let’s take a peek at these ways to have a relaxing weekend:
1. Set Your Alarm
The early bird gets the worm on the weekend, too. When you sleep in, you lose valuable hours of your break time. Perhaps you have plans to lay by the pool after you get a few errands done. If you sleep in, you’ll miss out on your pool time because you’ll have to make up your errand time in the afternoon.
Sleeping late can also affect your sleeping pattern for the rest of the week. You probably don’t get to wake up at 10 a.m. for work, so don’t get into the habit of sleeping until then or later on the weekends. You’ll end up feeling drowsy all week long, so get up early! Take a nice, relaxing nap during the day if you need to.
2. Get Sweating
A tough gym session might not sound relaxing, but the effects will have you feeling great afterward. Whether you like to hit the trail for a run or hit the weights for a strength-training workout, you’ll feel accomplished enough afterward to take it easy for the rest of the day. A good workout also helps to clear your mind so you won’t feel any type of anxiety about the fact that you’re laying low this weekend, either.
3. Say “No” to Work
Many diligent employees use the weekend as a way to catch up on e-mails or to get started on upcoming projects. This clearly isn’t a relaxing way to spend your two-day vacation. Vow now to log out of work mode as soon as you leave on Friday afternoon. If this means turning off your phone or leaving your e-mail unchecked all weekend long, so be it.
4. Be a Little Productive
You shouldn’t be working, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get things done over your relaxing weekend. In fact, it might leave you more stressed out on Monday morning if you haven’t restocked the fridge, done your laundry or mowed the lawn. Next weekend, give yourself a block of two to three hours to get everything done, and then cut yourself off. You’ll be ready for the week without cutting out too much of your “you” time over the weekend.
5. Go to Bed at a Normal Time
It’s the weekend, and you might be invited out for drinks or dancing; however, you should try and make sure you’re maintaining a seven- to eight-hour sleep schedule — even on nights when you’re out on the town. Lack of sleep can cause anxiety and stress, which isn’t what you’re looking for if you want to relax on your days off. Even if you’re up later than normal, try not to sleep in excessively. Have a nap during the day and go to bed earlier the next night to catch up and get back into your rhythm.
6. Phone a Friend
Though you may love weekend time spent alone, you should also pencil in some time with friends or family members. It turns out that socializing can have a great impact on your mood and your health. You’ll feel happier and generally more connected to the world around you. If you’re worried a friend date might not fit in with the low-key weekend you have planned, try and find a calming activity that the two of you can do together. Perhaps you can hit a yoga class or go for a side-by-side massage. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
7. Minimize Screen Time
You already know you shouldn’t be checking your work phone or e-mail, but you should also try avoiding the TV on your relaxing weekend, too. Many people might consider a weekend spent lazing in front of the tube as the perfect way to unwind, but experts have proven that happier people spend less time watching. The same goes for web browsing. Try and get away from screens and spend your relaxing weekend doing things that relax you.
8. Smile on Sunday
Friday night through Saturday night, you’re a happy camper. It’s not until you wake up on Sunday and realize work starts again tomorrow that you may start to feel a frown forming. Many people feel the “Sunday Blues,” and, often times, this sadness can put a damper on your weekend. Rather than wallow, try and plan things for Sunday that you’ll look forward to. That way, you won’t spend the whole day thinking about what you dread about Monday. Instead, you might notice a skip in your step as you head out the door on the first day of the week because you’re as chilled out as you’ve ever been.
(main photo source: blogs.psychcentral.com)
About the Author: Sarah Landrum