Check Out The 10 Things You Should Try To Do Every Weekend
Something that trips me out about the two-day break known as the weekend is, when it comes to about 75 percent of the people I know, Saturday and Sunday are just as busy—if not a billion times busier—for them as the weekdays are. And ain't that a shame because, if you're constantly on the go, it's hard to give yourself the time to rest, recalibrate and even push reset on your life, so that you don't feel like you're constantly running on nothing more than fumes.
Let's do something to change this hamster wheel pattern, shall we? While the 10 things that I'm about to share might seem like a lot of work at first, if you start to apply them to your weekend routine, I think you'll find that each tip can actually help you to chill out easier and feel so much better about what is to come—every Monday.
1. Sleep In
Even though I grew up in a denomination where working from Friday sunset through Saturday sunset was an absolute no-no, in many ways, it didn't matter because going to church on the Sabbath meant getting up early enough to get to Sabbath school at church which sometimes meant arising at 7:30-8am. Then Sundays were about getting ready for Monday, so it was kind of a vicious cycle. Now that I am good and grown, I've got my own place and I've figured out how I want to do this whole spirituality thing for myself, I make sure that I rest on the weekends and that includes sleeping in on Saturday/the Sabbath. For how long? Shoot, until I feel like getting up because between writing deadlines, counseling folks and doula-ing, sometimes, I don't get the pleasure of doing this any other time of the week.
While it is a myth that you can catch up on lost sleep, being able to have at least one day when you can give yourself the opportunity to lounge around, even if it's just for a couple more hours than usual, that can make all of the difference in the world. Whether it's Saturday or Sunday, try and make it a priority. You'll notice a big difference if/when you do.
2. Catch Up with a Friend
If you're the kind of person whose body is on a clock and you're not able to sleep later, no matter how much you try, that still doesn't mean that you've gotta jump out of bed. Use the extra time to call a friend who you haven't spoken with in a while. The hustle and bustle of the week can make it challenging to connect with others. The weekend is a great time to really get quiet and focus on what your friend is saying and what you'd like to share too. And since you're not as much in a rush, if the call is about spending real quality time, you won't have to feel bad if you're only able to do this with them, once every couple of weeks or so.
3. Do Something You Enjoy
I can't exactly remember where I heard it but on some podcast that I recently checked out, one of the people said that one thing 2020 surprisingly revealed to them was they didn't really have any hobbies. The main reason why is because they actually enjoy what they do for a living so much that they never really contemplated finding something relaxing to do that was absolutely not work-related. In some ways, I can totally relate. Still, it really is wise—especially the older that you get—to find things to do that have little to do (at least directly) with your career path or even your purpose journey, so that you can de-stress and avoid purpose fatigue as much as possible. Besides, not only are hobbies a lot of fun, they can increase your sense of creativity, make you a more spiritual being, broaden your perspective, improve your memory and remind you of the benefits that come with staying in the present.
Sadly, some of us work so hard and so much that we feel guilty about doing things for the sheer enjoyment of it. Try and break out of that mindset. Hobbies can benefit you just as much as your profession does. Just differently.
4. Eat a “Fun Food”
Back when I had a trainer (many moons ago), something that I definitely looked forward to was having a "cheat day"; you know, the day when you can pretty much eat whatever you want. While I still try and be cautious of not showin' all the way out when it comes to my diet, Saturday is one day when I'm gonna pretty much do whatever I want and not think too much about it. Even if you don't decide to totally wile out over the course of an entire day or even one meal, try and eat something that puts a big smile on your face without obsessing too much about the fat or caloric content. Foods bring pleasure and life is too short not to have some of it in your life. Feel me? Somehow, I know that you do.
5. Pamper Yourself
It can be a mani/pedi. It can be a massage. It can be a facial. It can be purchasing a smell-good that makes you feel amazing. It can be soaking in the tub until you become a human prune. The weekend is 48 hours long and so there is absolutely no excuse for not carving out a good hour to pamper yourself. The reality is that a lot of us feel super burnt out and underappreciated during the week because we didn't make our own selves a top priority during the weekend. I'm sure you've heard that you can't take care of others if you don't take care of yourself. That's not just some self-help cliché. It is the absolute truth, sis.
6. Read a Chapter of a Book
This point right here, I'm actually preaching to the choir on. Ever since I was a little girl, I used to look forward to leisure reading. Now that I write for a living and I'm constantly researching information, sometimes the mere thought of reading a book can wear me out, no matter how much I may want to do it. I'm learning to break out of this mindset, though, since reading is calming, improves communication, teaching me new things, helps me to analyze better and become more of a critical thinker, increases my vocabulary and ultimately makes me a better writer too.
I'm pretty sure you've got a couple of books that you've been meaning to get to for a few months now, at least. If you're waiting to "have" time, it's never gonna happen. Even if it's just for an hour over the weekend, make the time to crack open a chapter or two. I don't know a single person who feels worse after reading a book. Not one.
7. Meal Prep
Although these days, a lot of people see meal prepping as something that folks who are on a strict diet or work out a lot do, many of us grew up in a household where preparing meals for the upcoming week was pretty much the norm. That said, one thing about the week is, no matter how much you try and prepare for it, sometimes it really can throw you for a loop. So, if you already prep—or even cook—3-4 main dishes over the weekend, all you've literally got to do, come Monday, is put things together in under 15 minutes or heat the food up. It can help to save time and keep you from wasting money on fast food when you're too tired to make anything.
8. Budget for the Upcoming Week
Speaking of wasting money, I recently read an article that was somewhat terrifying. It was entitled, "Survey: 65% of Americans Have No Idea How Much They Spent Last Month". When you add that little revelation to the fact that other reports say that, although roughly 67 percent of people have a budget, 33 percent don't maintain it, I bet you can get why this is on the list. I've actually shared before that I've got a friend whose accountant has had him on a strict budget for a few years now and it's all because he literally wastes thousands a year on eating out.
Think about it. If you spend $10 per meal a day and you do it five days a week, that's $150. 150 times 52 weeks (that are in a year) equals out to be—lawd, y'all—$7,800. You could buy a car for that amount!
When you've got a budget in place, you'll be amazed how much you can make twenty bucks stretch. Without it, it can be gone in five minutes with nothing to really show for it. Yes, a monthly budget is cool yet breaking that down even further into a weekly one (and then actually honoring it) can help you to save a whole lot of your coins.
9. Put Together a To-Do List
How many weeks have gone by and you've asked yourself where did the time go? Sometimes, it can be really easy to feel totally stressed out or completely defeated if you let the week happen to you rather than you choosing to take control over it. This is where a to-do list comes in. If you put down 5-7 things, in order of importance, that you'd like to accomplish each weekday and then you actually follow through on them, you'll be amazed by how at peace you'll feel when it's time to close your eyes at night. Not only that but to-do lists can help you to remain organized and focused, so that when "other things" come up, they won't distract you away from what you've already decided needs to be done.
10. Build Your Vision
Unfortunately, 85 percent of people absolutely hate their jobs. And since we spend most of our waking hours at work, that truly can be a grueling existence. You were put on this planet to do more than pay bills. You were even put on this planet to do more than blow someone else's company up. That's why it's so important to take out at least an hour, each and every weekend, to figure out what you want to do with your purpose, gifts and talents—how you can make them work for you instead of just for someone else. If you devote 60 minutes a weekend, there's no telling how prepared you will be to either leave your current gig or build a platform on the side that can make look at your job as a way to fund your own vision. Whether it's reading a book, finding a mentor, taking a class on a site like Skillshare, designing a website or blog, writing a professional mission statement, putting together a 12-month strategy to leave your current position or coming up with ways to use your social media beyond just laughing at/with Black Twitter—use some down time to put your vision together.
If you do, you could see life really different in a few months. All because you did what you should do on the weekends—make some of that time be all about…YOU.
Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.
Featured image by Shutterstock
- How LIT Brooklyn Founder Denequa Williams Clarke Likes To ... ›
- How Successful Women Spend Their Weekends - xoNecole ... ›
- 15 Ways To Make EVERY WEEKEND An (Affordable) Oasis ›
- Things Successful Women Do On The Weekend - xoNecole ... ›
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
I first moved to Spain in December 2018, bright-eyed and ready to dive into the culture. While I have loved every minute of my life abroad, I definitely received my share of culture shocks in Spain. Some were hilarious, some were surprising, and no matter how many times I was warned about others, they were still shocking!
When I first arrived in Spain, I was so used to the American mode of constant productivity. It almost caused me anxiety how relaxed most Spanish people are about everything.
In the United States, your career defines you; everything must be done correctly the first time and on time, and even your relaxation time should be productive. Spain is the opposite.
I learned to embrace it because if they’re not freaking out about it, why should I? It was an instant release. Spanish people place value on making time to relax, enjoying good company, and being outdoors in the sunshine. My mental health and ability to handle setbacks in stride improved a ton in Spain.
So as I near five years living abroad, here are the biggest lessons the Spanish taught me about chilling the fuck out.
Lesson Number 1: “No pasa nada”
My first day working as an English Language Assistant in Spain couldn’t have gone more wrong if I tried. The bus that took me to the town where I worked never showed up. When I finally got to the town, hours later, I couldn’t find the school. When I finally managed to make it to a class (after missing my first three of the day), the presentation I had prepared didn’t work.
I remember looking up from the computer screen to a class of eager students and my enthusiastic co-teacher (who also happened to be my boss). My heart sank into my stomach, “I can’t open the presentation, Mabel.”
“No pasa nada, just talk to the kids, let them ask you questions.” Just like that? The kids were so excited to meet someone from the USA that the questions just kept coming, and they thanked me for a fun class.
No pasa nada translates to something like no worries, or it’s not a big deal, and I must’ve heard it at least 10 times a day every day in Spain. If something ever goes wrong, “No pasa nada.”
You can’t control everything all the time. Is anyone bleeding, dying, or injured? No? Then it’s not worth losing your head over. Just come up with the best solution you can think of at the moment and roll with it.
Courtesy of Ambar Mejia
Lesson Number 2: “Teacher, Did You Not Have Time for Breakfast?”
When I was working in the U.S., I often had all sorts of meals at my desk. Breakfast, lunch, coffee breaks. It wasn’t uncommon for me to sit in front of a screen, clacking away on my keyboard while taking bites and sips in between thoughts.
One day, in Spain, I showed up to school with a thermos of coffee and was sipping away while I led the class. One student raised his hand, “Yes Miguel?” “Uh, teacher, did you not have time for breakfast?”
Count on children to call you out! I thought he was just being an 11-year-old until later that week, a teacher asked me to go get coffee in between classes. When I went up to the counter to ask for it to go, she looked at me like, “What are you doing?” I said I was just grabbing it to go so we could get back to work. She said, "Yeah, we don’t do that here." And in fact, they didn’t even have a way to give me this coffee to go.
She later explained to me that it’s not usual for Spanish people to drink or eat while they walk or work. “Certainly you have 10 minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee and relax.”
(ENJOY my coffee? Interesting concept. I was just going to consume it for energy.)
In another instance, a Spanish friend of mine saw someone walking while eating a sandwich and said, “How depressing that they don’t even have time to sit and eat a sandwich.”
And actually, if you think about it, that is sad, but it’s not out of the ordinary in the U.S. But our bodies need food, and when we don’t even take those 10 minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee or actually chew a sandwich, we’re saying work is more important than caring for our bodies.
Even taking those 10 minutes to just focus on your coffee and be present can help you slow down and relax throughout the day.
Courtesy of Ambar Mejia
Lesson Number 3: “Y la sobremesa?”
I learned over the years living in Spain that food and meal times are sacred. It’s not just about getting something in to carry you throughout the day. Meal times are a moment to pause, relax, and unwind, and it’s always at the table!
Meals are also a time to gather with family and friends and have rowdy conversations about any subject under the sun (except work, as they consider this stuffy conversation).
This tradition of chatting after a meal is so important, it even has a proper name 'sobremesa' (over table). Long after the plates are cleared, the sobremesa will continue over drinks, coffee, or dessert. It can last several hours! (I once had lunch for five hours, four of which were just the sobremesa.)
If you try to get up without it, someone might ask, “Y la sobremesa?” like “What about the after-meal conversation?”
There is so much emphasis on connection in Spain, whereas American culture is more individualistic. Now, while I’m not suggesting all Americans have 5-hour lunches or do everything in pairs, there is something therapeutic about prioritizing your meals, not rushing, and being in good company.
Courtesy of Ambar Mejia
Lesson Number 4: Go have some sangria, walk on the beach, and try again.
In my second year teaching English in Spain, I moved to a different city in Spain and had the strange luck that my new boss was the strictest Spanish person I have ever met to this day.
When I couldn’t get an appointment to renew my residency card in time, she told me if I didn’t have it sorted by January 1st, she wouldn’t be able to let me stay in the country.
I made an appointment in a nearby town, but when I showed up for the appointment, the police officer told me I had to do it in the town I lived in. I started bawling. As a child of people who had immigrated to the U.S., I was in panic mode.
He tried consoling me and begged me to calm down, but I only started shaking and crying more, “My boss won’t let me stay if I don’t have my card renewed.”
And I will never forget his next words, “It’s okay. It’s okay. This isn’t the U.S. We’re not going to come looking for you.” (In retrospect, it is kind of funny.)
“Why don’t you go have some sangria, walk on the beach, and try again.” This did not feel like the time for this “no pasa nada” attitude, but I took his words of advice.
I had the sangria. I walked on the beach. And I went home to try again, and guess what? I did in fact find the appointment.
Courtesy of Ambar Mejia
Lesson Number 5: Sundays are for soaking up the sun.
Everything in Spain closes on Sunday. Everything except restaurants. So you couldn’t even run errands if you wanted to. This is usually a day for family and friends to gather on the beach, in the park, at a restaurant, or out on the plazas underneath flowering trees.
Sunday is just about connecting with loved ones and enjoying the sunshine at your leisure. I’m sure you can notice a theme here, Spanish culture is all about letting things flow.
Something that struck me most about Spain was how much less they complained about their mental health. It feels like almost all of my friends in the U.S. are struggling with anxiety or depression, and not without good reason. American lifestyle can feel like a pressure cooker, but what I think we can learn from the Spanish is to slow down, take life as it comes, have moments throughout the day and throughout the week where we can just be, and always make time for good company.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image courtesy of Ambar Mejia