1. Be with loved ones. Set aside some time over the weekend to enjoy your social connections. That could be hanging out with your family, watching a movie with a loved one, ￼going for a walk with a friend,￼ ￼or meeting your bestie for a picnic or brunch. The trick is to do something that is socially oriented, and carving some time in the day to accomplish that. This creates good feelings, that spill over into Monday.￼
2. Sweat. Even 10 minutes of high interval intensity training will give you the energy you need. You can also go for a hike, or a nice brisk walk. A dose of nature or fresh air is relaxing to body and spirit￼.
3. Do not sleep in. Sleeping late one day, and having to get up early the next day is very dysregulating￼ to our biorhythms. Sleeping in sounds great, especially on a lazy Sunday morning. Don’t be tempted to sleep in for more than an extra hour, otherwise you will get up feeling rushed and anxious with everything rolling around in your mind about what errands need to be done, on top of family and work obligations. The last thing you want or need is an extra undesirable shot or two of the stress hormone cortisol beyond what is needed to get you truly motivated to accomplish the things you need to do. Getting up at pretty much the same time seven days a week actually helps your body run bette￼r.
4. Set intentions for the week. An intention could be any particular phrase or mantra that can help to quite your mind. It can be something like ‘I will have a peaceful day ahead of me,’ ‘ I can get this done,’ ￼or ‘I am grateful for my friends and family’.
5. Meditate. Even for ten minutes every morning before you start your day. Research benefits demonstrate positive changes in the brain even up to 2 to 5 minutes of meditation a day, done on a consistent basis. Learning how to breathe properly can help you feel calmer, center your mind, and maintain a sense of focus.
6. Work. If you must work, aim to set between 1-2 hours over the weekend to organize your emails, respond to only urgent work related matters, and write a list of your work/personal goals for the week ahead with a detailed plan of how you will tackle them. This does not have to be all in one shot. Breaking the time up will be quite easier. Designating some work time will prevent you from feeling more blue, or anxious later on in the day on Sunday, so you can truly relax. That sense of control can be quite powerful, and uplifting.
7. Read. Read something that is not work oriented, preferably before bed, or early in the morning if you are one of the first to wake up in your household. It is a healthy escape to indulge in, and might subconsciously help you relax as an alternative to screen time.
8. Meal prep on Saturday/Sunday. This makes planning your meals throughout the week a lot more manageable, less time consuming and more economical as well. Even something as chopping up many vegetables to be sautéed, or added to any side dish to a weeknight meal will be quite helpful for your meal planning strategies throughout the week.
9. Organize for the week ahead. Finish laundry, do online shopping, pay bills, clean the house. That way those things will not be in the back of your mind as the week starts.
10. Explore. At least once or twice a month, plan something that is out of the ordinary. Getting out of your mental set, going somewhere new, trying new food, hiking somewhere novel, going to an art show. Try activities that you don’t normally do. It recharges the brain.￼￼
(Art: G. Benson)