Do you often find yourself wondering where the weekend went, as you prepare for another busy week. This is not an uncommon feeling. As the weekend approaches, most people are looking forward to some quality time to relax and refresh. Weekends are meant to be your time, but if you find that other obligations often interfere with your weekend enjoyment, then it's time to re-evaluate and re-prioritize. In order to clear your mind and reinvigorate your spirits, take time to relax.
If your days are filled with stress, keep in mind that long-term exposure to stress can have negative effects not only to your mental health, but on your physical health as well. Living with long-term, high stress situations may lead to various health problems, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety and even depression. However, eating right and taking time for physical activity can help prevent heart disease and other illnesses.
You deserve to take time for yourself. The good news is that you don't have to take a vacation or spend a lot of money to get away from it all. In fact, you don't even have to leave home. All it takes is some imagination and planning. Invest in yourself and your mental health by using the following tips to plan refreshing and relaxing weekends.
Think About What You Want and Make a List of Relaxing ActivitiesFor those with a hectic lifestyle, maybe some quiet time"away from it all" is what you crave. If you spend your days sitting at a computer, perhaps the great outdoors is what will lift your spirits. Are there friends you want to visit with, or things you've always wanted to do, such as taking a cooking class or learning a new language? Is your budget a little tight? Look in the local newspaper or online for free and inexpensive local events, services and outings that you and your social circle can enjoy. If important obligations or commitments arise, schedule fun activities around them so that you will still feel relaxed and recharged at the end of the weekend. Make your weekend event planning a pleasant experience so that the anticipation of your upcoming weekend plans give you something to look forward to during the week.
Get Away From It AllTreat yourself to a fun weekend getaway. Look through your local newspapers or online for deals on outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, or cycling. Check travel sites for weekend flights, discounts on hotel rooms or car rentals. Wherever you go, remember to leave yourself time to explore, don't pre-plan every minute of your weekend. Give yourself time to check out a charming secondhand store, take photos of the sunset, admire local handicrafts, or simply to relax and read by the pool.
Create or Find a Relaxing Place Close To Home
You don't need to leave home to have a relaxing weekend. We all have different things that leave us feeling refreshed. Whether you love getting a manicure, catching up on the latest movies, or visiting a local arts and crafts show - you can find a way to spend some invigorating time close to home. You can create an oasis for yourself to enjoy alone or with your friends and family in your own backyard.Arrange lawn chairs around the flower pots and listen to soothing music while you enjoy the sunshine. If you're a social butterfly, plan a fun evening at a nearby restaurant with friends or host a dinner party. If you need some 'alone time,' let your family know that this is your weekend to relax so you can have a day or afternoon to yourself.
Take A Break From Your Phone And ComputerFor many, our lives are surrounded by technology. To really break away from it all, turn off your phone and computer. Frantic phone calls and unexpected work emails can send your mind reeling, so turn the gadgets off and give yourself some quiet time.
De-Stress Every Day - The Healthy WayWhile the weekend is a great time to cut back on stress and take care of yourself, you should incorporate healthy lifestyle behaviors every day of the week. Be sure to get enough sleep, eat a variety of healthy foods and engage in physical activity.Physical activity relieves stress by increasing the"feel good" endorphins in your brain. In addition, regular activity can also help to improve your mood and increase your self-confidence. Look for a beach, park, or forest, and go hiking or take a nature walk. Physical exercise will help you feel more relaxed physically and mentally, and finding new places for activity in your area will help you to mix up your activity routine.
Use these Food, Body and Mind tips to help you reduce your stress level and work towards a healthier lifestyle:Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.Eat balanced meals that include a variety of lean protein, whole-grains, fruits, vegetables and nonfat dairy products. Limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol and high-sugar foods.Set limits for yourself and learn to say"no" when you are overwhelmed with obligations and responsibilities.Write"to-do" lists to stay focused and prioritize your tasks at home and at work.Take time to relax- take deep soothing breaths and frequent stretch breaks.Be active each day- set and work up to a goal of at least 30 minutes per day of activity.Find healthy ways to work through your stress, such as talking with a friend or healthcare provider or journaling your thoughts and feelings.
Make Yourself A PriorityTake a look at your calendar and begin planning your next relaxing weekend. Choose one or two things to look forward to during the upcoming week. If you have nothing planned, then schedule time to do something you enjoy. Use the tips listed above to reflect on your current lifestyle. Are there ways that you can improve your outlook on life - not just on the weekend, but every day of the week.