No need to sugarcoat it or provide a fluffy intro – there are five easy, simple ways to de-stress THIS weekend. No special equipment or material is required. No wild costs. The only requirement? Follow through!
Say “no” to something.
Having less on the calendar, and fewer obligations to run around to, does in fact lower our stress. While we sometimes think we “should” go to every social gathering or activity during the weekend so that we have our social time and let loose, it can actually be more stressful to have to show up for everything. Say no to just one thing this weekend, and get some time back to do nothing. (Don’t replace the activity with something else!)
Sit in the sun (or fresh air if the sun is hiding) for 5-10 minutes.
Close your eyes and feel the sun’s warmth on your face, or focus on what your other senses feel. Is there a breeze? Can you hear something you didn’t notice a minute ago? Just feeling the sun’s rays and a fresh breeze can be healing.
Go for a walk around the block.
Move around a bit, and try to notice things you haven’t before. Walk around an area of the neighborhood that you don’t typically walk down.
Take email and notifications off your phone.
One weekend last winter, I re-activated email on my phone. I don’t even know why, and I then spent the whole day checking my email (for nothing, I wasn’t even expecting anything) while I was snowboarding. I realized that I was in the snow on the mountains, but my brain was still at work. Ugh. Not a break.
Get some sleep.
Between work, school, family, friends, and so on during the week, we are frequently sleep-deprived Monday through Friday (or whatever our work week may be). On the weekend, we stay up late, maybe drink, etc. We never actually get good sleep and don’t feel restored. Not to sound like your parent, but get some real sleep.
BONUS TIP: Treat yourself to something that is comforting and feels good.
We are simultaneously a culture of restriction and indulgence. There are multitudes of things we don’t actually need that we buy all the time (clothes or random products for the kitchen or house, for example) yet we then restrict comfort items so much that it actually punishes us.
When I was stressed and lonely in grad school, I dedicated Saturday mornings to treating myself to a buttery croissant and my favorite espresso. I looked forward to that every Saturday, and it was one of the first ways in my life that I truly treated myself nicely. It was a guilt-free treat, that I had earned, every Saturday. Saturdays were my favorite not because it was the weekend (to be honest, I dreaded the other parts of the weekend) but because I had this one hour of being so nice to myself.
Be nice to yourself. Maybe it’s a red velvet cupcake, maybe it’s a soak in the bath, or maybe it’s a literal breath of fresh air… give yourself a comforting treat!
There are myriad other ways to de-stress this weekend, but this list should get you jump-started if you’re dragging your feet or making excuses. If you need more help, give us a shout.