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.
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