A stressful, chaotic weekend can throw your entire week off. Saturdays and Sundays are meant for recovery and relaxation.
So how can you ensure that you’re not sabotaging yourself during your time off?
The key is practicing self-awareness and taking the time to check in with yourself. Try experimenting with some weekend rituals to see what gets you in the right state of mind.
Here’s what successful people do on weekends to make sure they start the new work week without too much stress:
1. They unplug
What’s worse than allowing technology to drain all of your precious free time? Don’t fall into this trap — actually put your phone and laptop away for at least for part of the weekend. Successful people cut back on their gadgets over the weekend in order to sleep better and prevent technology-induced stress and burnout.
2. They do a little bit of nothing
“With the breakneck pace of business all week long, many successful people do plan — but sometimes those plans include a little bit of nothing,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behaviour and Thrive in Your Job. “The workweek is about deadlines and meetings, so successful people enjoy having a block of time, or a day, to be uncommitted and unscheduled.”
Use that free time to rest, relax, and recharge your batteries.
3. They get outdoors and enjoy nature
If you’re like many people, you’re trapped inside for the majority of the workweek. Successful folks use the weekend to go out, absorb some sunshine, and see the great outdoors. In fact, as the Atlantic previously reported, a Stanford University study found that going on a quick stroll outside can reduce stress and prevent depression.
4. They exercise
Successful people understand how important exercise is to their physical and mental health — so they don’t get lazy and skip their workouts over the weekend. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, physical activity can seriously boost your mood and relieve stress.
5. They don’t think about work
This is a big challenge for a lot of us — but the most successful people don’t stress about that upcoming presentation, or that missed deadline from the previous week. Instead, they focus on enjoying whatever it is they’re doing now.
6. They make healthy choices
You’ve done it — you’ve finally reached the weekend. Especially when you’re young, it might be tempting to reward yourself with lots of junk food and booze during your time off. However, this can leave you lethargic and sluggish on Monday, which definitely won’t help your stress levels.
Successful people know how to treat themselves once in a while, but they never overdo it over the weekends. They don’t use the weekend as an excuse to make unhealthy choices and for the most part stick to “low-fat, high-fibre, carbohydrate-rich meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables,” which The Physicians Committee reports is the best diet for reducing stress.
7. They don’t dwell on negativity
For some folks, it’s easy to wallow in anxiety during quiet moments. If you’re prone to negative thinking, make a conscious effort to really stay in the moment during weekends. Spending two days worrying about the future or the past will just stress you out and waste your valuable free time.
8. They meditate
A great way to decompress and de-stress is to meditate.
Many successful people use the 10 minutes before bed on Sunday night to do this.
Dale Kurow, a New York-based executive coach, says it’s a great way to relax your body and quiet your mind.
9. They don’t over-commit
We really don’t get a lot of time off, when you think about it. As a result, it’s easy to stretch yourself too thin and commit to too many activities over the weekend. Spending all your time off running around can be seriously stressful. Successful people are always good about prioritising various different commitments. That way, they can get done what needs to get done and still have time for themselves.
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