Weekends can be a lot of things: relaxation station, hangover nation. But one thing they should never be is a “stress-cation.”
Instead of trudging through a laundry list of chores and weekend work to-dos, why not try to take two full days to yourself? You’ll not only reap the benefits yourself, but you’ll also score major brownie points with your boss when you show up to work on Monday refreshed, rejuvenated and empowered from a weekend of intense self-care. Put that on your to-do list!
Whether it was the deadlines on your calendar or the meetings at your office, this past week has been full of demanding tasks — and the stress you’ve felt with having to accomplish all of them. Although it’s fair to want to meet your expectations, the truth is that many of us fall into the unfortunate cycle of attempting to finish everything on our schedule while overlooking our physical and mental health in order to do so.
Regardless of the amount of coffee you’ve ordered or the number of late nights you’ve endured, the practice of self-care is one that’s just as crucial as crossing tasks off your to-do list. Even though making time for yourself may seem difficult, your commitment to self-care is one that will help you overcome such taxing moments. To refuel your energy and refresh your mind this weekend, here are 15 acts of self-care you can try:
1. List three things you like about yourself
Along with being grateful for the people who are a part of your life, it’s always nice to remind yourself of the most important person in it — you. By jotting down the reasons for why you’re proud of who you are, you’ll not only reinforce your abilities but also be thankful for them.
2. Spend the afternoon reading outside
Grab your sunglasses and find a reading spot because the weather is warm and the book choices are endless. From books that are turning into movies to books that are inspiring, pick one that sparks your interest and enjoy a day soaking in the sun and sinking into a new story.
3. Visit your favorite place in your city by yourself
There’s something satisfying about being your own company — so indulge in this feeling by going to your favorite coffee shop with the delicious lattes or your preferred spot in the park with the pretty view of the skyline. Through this time alone, you’ll have the chance to be with your own thoughts and the opportunity to make more sense of them.
4. Contact a friend you’ve lost touch with
Maybe it’s time to send a text to your college roommate who moved across the country after graduation or make a call to your coworker who transferred departments because of a pay raise. Despite who you choose to reach out to, it’s great to reconnect with people who once played an important role in your life and reminisce on the memories you’ve had because of them.
5. Create your own at-home spa experience
When in doubt, pamper yourself (no shame). Instead of dealing with the potential costs of going to the spa, avoid it altogether by bringing the spa to you. Recreate your at-home spa day by tending to your nails, running the bath, turning up the music, and letting yourself relax.
6. Make an effort to compliment a stranger
Another way to invest in yourself is to be kind to someone else. Whether it’s the person sitting next to you wearing a beautiful trench coat or the person standing in front of you pulling off a bold haircut, the simple act of complimenting him or her will be enough to make their day better and your mood happier.
7. Cook and eat a healthy breakfast
Nothing says #adulting like waking up and doing something other than searching for the keys and rushing out the door (it happens). Start your day off right by (finally) having enough time to cook a healthy breakfast. After all, avocado toast with a side of freshly squeezed orange juice isn’t only meant for Pinterest boards — and this is your morning to prove it.
8. Disconnect from your phone for the day
In a society where information about others is available by opening an app and validated by the double tap of a finger, it can become overwhelming to witness the highlight reel of everyone else’s lives, while trying to not compare it to our own. To avoid this unnecessary feeling, unplug for the day and allow your notifications to be silenced and your world to go quiet.
9. Take a nap — without feeling bad about it
We take the naps we think we deserve — and after such a long week, this one is much-needed. Although it’s easy to feel guilty for napping instead of participating in an activity that’s deemed more productive, remember that your mind needs to rest in order to function fully and think positively.
10. Write a letter and send it to someone you love
Bring it back to a time when paper and pen overruled texting and emojis by writing an unexpected note to someone who is important to you. Send it through the mail and revive the personal connection that we tend to forget about in the midst of our technology-focused lives.
11. Try a different type of workout
Get active this weekend with a workout that you’ve been meaning to try. From the yoga class you walk by every morning to the pilates class you hear about from your friends, choose a new workout to challenge yourself. If you’re not someone who works out regularly (because same), sign up for a class or try one at home to get your body moving and your inspiration flowing.
12. Update a certain area in your home
Take a break from your spring cleaning (translation: wondering if you have to clean the remote control) and enhance your home this season with an easy update of your choice. Put together that mood board you’ve always wanted or rearrange the accessories on your bookshelf to give your home a new look with the same feel.
13. Call a loved one and have a conversation with no distractions
We’ve all been guilty of picking up the phone while cooking dinner, turning on the TV, folding our laundry, putting on a face mask, and doing everything but actively listening to the other person on the line. Break this habit by making the decision to give this person your undivided attention and value the connection that forms from this simple act.
14. Listen to an inspirational podcast episode
If you’re anything like us, you already know how motivational a podcast series can be. With so many podcasts to choose from, it’s no wonder that tuning in to the stories of others and listening to them unfold is a convenient way to stay motivated and remain humbled.
15. Focus on the moment while you’re in it
Even though it’s always smart to prepare for situations beforehand, an effective way to reduce stress is to avoid dwelling on issues that may or may not happen in the future. In addition to doing this, remember to focus on the present and take comfort in the fact that you’re right where you’re supposed to be.