In a fast-paced world that tends to lean towards the glorification of ‘busyness’, we have a lot of explaining to do when it comes to switching our minds off work mode when we leave the office.
We just can’t seem to do it successfully — even on weekends.
We run ourselves into the ground from Monday to Friday, meeting colleagues, deadlines and expectations, only to continue to fill Saturday and Sunday with tending to more responsibility — and even more work.
Perpetual to-do lists guilt us in to sneaky Saturday morning emails, which, despite providing our ‘office brains’ with temporary satisfaction, deny our souls of much-needed downtime — and fun.
This is why we need to try a little harder to clear our calendars and create slow, meditative and purposeful weekends that leave us feeling refreshed, clear and energised for the week ahead.
We need to give our mind, body and spirit a break, otherwise we find ourselves starting yet another week feeling depleted, resentful, overwhelmed, unorganised — and trapped in a vicious cycle of Sunday Night Blues and Monday-itis.
Whether it’s as simple as enjoying copious cups of hot tea, staying in our PJs past lunch, a slow brunch or that yoga class we just never seem to get to after work, introducing just a few healing rituals over these two sacred days can actually make us more effective and productive during the working week.
Most people have about 60 hours of weekend available to them, so there’s a chance you can make time to introduce at least some or all of the following rituals into your weekend to recharge yourself for the week ahead!
1. Stock up on nourishing food
Having an abundance of fresh and healthy produce on hand is the best way to fuel you during a busy week. Take some time while you’re enjoying your morning coffee to plan a rough menu for your week. This means you won’t be staring at an empty refrigerator or reaching for a takeout menu after a long day at the office.
Take a stroll around your local Farmers’ Market, savour the atmosphere and suss out what’s in season. Fill your basket with a rainbow of fruit and veg.
When you get home, take a little time to precook some grains to stash in the fridge for quick lunches and dinners or prepare some nibbles for that 3pm snack-attack.
2. Cleanse your living space
You could call this ‘housework’, but the key here is to not allow this ritual to become a chore, or for it to take up your entire day.
Rituals should feed the soul, so focus on the joy and satisfaction you receive from creating a clean, neat and sparkling sanctuary to come home to every night.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
Fresh flowers, clean sheets and a little decluttering goes a long way towards a zen living space — and mind.
3. Get organised
Without getting too sucked in to work mode again, set aside a short space of time to map out a plan for your week ahead.
Keep it as high level as setting some goals you’d like to achieve or some intentions you’d like to honour in both the professional and personal areas of your life.
How do you want to feel this week?
What could you do to ensure you feel that way?
Have a glance at your calendar, jot down any important appointments, events and tasks that align with your goals and do a quick brain dump of your more pressing to-dos. Getting these tasks out of your head and onto paper allows you to clear your mind and be fully present to a blissful weekend.
4. Nourish and move your body
Now that the more practical (but necessary) rituals are out of the way, it’s time to focus on self-care.
Take the time to cook, savour and enjoy some slow, nutrient dense meals. Enjoy a delicious and sustaining breakfast at your favourite café. Sip on herbal teas, fresh juices and smoothies. Replenish your cells with nutrients that will supercharge your energy levels for the week ahead.
Do some exercise. Physical activity is often sacrificed during the work week due to exhaustion and long work hours. So check in with your body and start or end your Saturday and Sunday with some movement that aligns with how you’re feeling.
If you’re enjoying the slowness of your days off, do some gentle yoga or stretching. Take a long walk in the beach or in the mountains. Alternatively, if you need to let off a bit more steam, pick up the pace and go for a run or smash out a high-intensity power sesh.
5. Be still
If you find yourself rushing from commitment to commitment during the week, now is your chance to stop for a couple of days and recharge your batteries.
Catch up on sleep. Turn inward with some guided meditation or your journal. Rest on the couch or in the sunshine.
Simply do nothing for a little while.
Stillness is good for you — don’t feel guilty about a few hours of ‘laziness’.
6. Be adventurous
How much do you really know about your city or neighbourhood? How often do you jump in the car and head an hour or two out of town for a day trip?
Don’t take for granted the natural beauty of where you live. Get out there and get amongst it.
Explore. Swim. Hike. Bike ride.
Be a tourist — if only for a few hours.
7. Engage your right brain
Unless we’re in a creative role at work, we spend the majority of our week tapping into the more logical and analytical side of our brain.
Take time out on the weekend to reactive your creative mind and free yourself from some of your more mundane thoughts.
Get arty or crafty. Do some DIY. Read books that stir, stimulate and expand your way of thinking.
Get out of your Monday to Friday headspace and engage the muse.
8. Do a digital detox
Technology can because a rabbit hole that distracts us from some of the more important things in life. Especially the things we don’t have time for during the week.
If you can’t unplug your phone and computer for a full 48 hours, try just 24. A couple of hours, even!
Just turn them all off: Facebook. Instagram. Emails. The lot.
Instead, be present and focus on real-life connection.
9. Pamper yourself
Ahhh you can picture it already, can’t you. Kicking back in the tub with some essential oils or Epsom salts. An exfoliating mask that, quite literally, scrubs away the remnants of the week that was.
Have a massage. Rub some coconut oil into your skin. Paint your nails.
Treat yourself to something that relaxes, invigorates and makes you feel damn good.
10. Get loved up
We don’t often get to choose our colleagues, and yet we still manage to spend more time with them than anyone else in our life.
During the week, we usually sacrifice precious time with loved ones in the name of work commitments. We rush past our partner on the way out the door in the morning only to meet them again at the dinner table for a rushed meal. We forget to return phone calls to parents and send fleeting, distracted text messages to good friends.
So take the opportunity to spend your weekend surrounded the very people who uplift you. Prioritise family time. Hang out with girlfriends.
Reconnect. Laugh. Catch up on each other’s lives. Engage in meaningful conversation.
Give love and receive love.
What are some of your favourite weekend rituals? Share with us in the comments below!
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Articles written by our internal Daily Guru writers, who are certified & qualified growth & development professionals.