How To Actually Relax During The Weekend

There’s nothing that feels better than 5 p.m. on Friday. It means a long week of working hard and getting things done is officially over, and it’s time to relax for two days until Monday morning hits. However, it’s very common for weekends to fly by, and all of a sudden you’re back in your swivel chair at your desk on Monday feeling exhausted and wondering where the past two days went. Anyone, anyone?

It’s a very common sob story, and it just doesn’t seem fair. Some people say that we really should have a three-day weekend in order to fully feel relaxed. But in my opinion, I think people won’t feel relaxed no matter how many days of rest there are. I think the problem is how we choose to rest and rejuvenate ourselves before another long work week.

I’m going to put it straight, my lovely readers: Television isn’t going to relax you. Sure it’s fun, but you are not going to see any type of binge-watching on this list. Watching a movie or a few episodes of your show at night is very different than spending your entire Saturday watching the screen. TV does not relax me in the slightest, and I feel more relaxed after taking time to actually check in with myself and prepare for the following week ahead.

Now “rest” can look different for everyone, and I’m not saying you have to follow this exact formula below. However, for me this checklist is a sure way for me to feel absolutely ready to get to work by Monday at 9 a.m.

So if you constantly feel exhausted from your weekend, and feel like you need “a weekend from your weekend”, maybe picking up a few of these practices will help:

Wake up at a reasonable hour

I know we all love to sleep in, but waking up at odd times during the weekend is only going to make you feel more tired during the work week. Now I’m not saying you should sleep in at all, but I think you should pick a reasonable time to crawl out of bed. For example, Oliver and I typically wake up between 7 and 7:30 every day (I know, we’re late risers, but it works for us). So on Saturday’s we sleep in a bit, and typical wake around 8:30 or 9. Plus, we wake up earlier on Sundays, so this is our only sleep in day. Yes it is nice to sleep in a bit on the weekend, but I find waking up after my given “sleep in” time just makes me feel groggy.

Go to an actual fitness class

Sunday mornings I hit up Jaya Yoga Center near my apartment for a 7:15 a.m. yoga class, and it’s my absolute favorite. It totally zens me out for the rest of my Sunday, and helps me to feel centered come Monday. After a week of working out in our apartment, it’s nice to actually step into a fitness studio and workout for longer than my allotted 30 minutes. If you also workout at home, or even by yourself at the gym, treat yourself to a fitness class on the weekend. The earlier the better! If you wake up and get it done, you still have the rest of your day to do as you wish.

Get coffee with a friend

Or wine, whichever works. I typically don’t see friends during the week, so I try to set something up with a friend on the weekend. It also helps me to be intentional with my friendships in the city by actually seeing them face-to-face. Hit up a friend you haven’t seen in a while and set a coffee date for Saturday afternoon. Not only will it be life-giving for you, but it will feel great to get out of your apartment and support a local coffee shop.

Work on a creative project

Weekends are my time to write, and I absolutely love it. I’ve always wanted to be the type of person to sit down and write every day (outside of my job, of course), but after getting home from work and doing my workout I feel absolutely exhausted. So weekends are my time to get creative. What’s a creative project that you’ve been wanting to work on? Learning to knit? Scrapbooking? Maybe also writing a blog or a short story? Take time to actually do what you love, because you’ll feel way more rejuvenated compared to an extra hour or two in front of the television.

Plan and prep your meals

How did you not see this one coming from me? If you haven’t hopped on the meal prep train yet, I highly encourage it. It makes your week so much easier because you don’t have to worry about food at all. Plan out your meals, prep some lunch bowls and a few breakfast snags, and make sure to grab a few healthy snacks. If you have no idea how to get started (or think it’s going to take a bajillion hours), don’t worry, I have a little guide on how you can meal prep your entire week in two hours time. Yep, it’s really that easy!

Cuddle up and read in bed

Another shocker coming from me. I am a voracious reader, and fully believe that bliss looks like a warm blanket, a piping hot cup of tea, and a good book. If you have a book that’s been yearning to have its’ spine cracked, nows the time. Spend a night in (or a morning in) and cuddle up with a new read. If you have no idea what to read right now, I highly recommend Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Gone with the Wind by Margarett Mitchell, or The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller.

Make time for spirituality

This is probably the most important part of my weekend, hands down. Every Sunday morning at 10:30 you’ll find me in Park Slope with the rest of the congregation at Trinity Grace Church. It is my time to check back in, to hear good teaching, to pray, and to leave with intentions for my week. Maybe you believe in Jesus, maybe you don’t. But I do think the weekend is a good time to check in with your heart. Where does your spirituality lead you? How can you explore that? What would it take to learn more about what you believe? Who would be a good person to discuss these topics with?

15-minute cleaning session

Every couple of weeks I do a deep clean of our apartment, but on an “off” week I try to tidy up the place in a quick 15 minutes. Put on some jams, break out the all-purpose cleaner, and attack those dust bunnies. I find it relaxing to come home (or even wake up) to a clean apartment every day. So having a quick cleaning session stops me from feeling so overwhelmed every time I get home from work.

Take a bath

Sunday night is spa night, always. After dinner, I hop into a sudsy tub, light a few candles, and listen to some relaxing tunes. Actually taking time to shut my brain off centers me in a way that sometimes yoga can’t. When I started this little ritual, I found my Mondays were feeling less hectic and I even felt happier to my core. Also, spa night means doing my nails. And if you’re a female, you can understand the healing powers of a fresh new manicure.

Put down the phone

Last, but certainly not least, get off the phone. Social media is great, and it’s fun to see how others are spending their time. But how are you going to enjoy your weekend if you spend it watching everyone elses? I find social media can have the same draining effect like television does, so I set a healthy limit for myself. I recommend setting some boundaries for your phone during your weekend as well. Set specific “check-in” times (maybe 3 or 4) where you can scroll for 15-20 minutes before putting it away.

I hope these tips help you to feel relaxed and rejuvenated for Monday morning! What do you do on the weekend to feel relaxed? Share in the comments below!

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