Everywhere we look we’re bombarded with tips on how to hustle, how to do it all, how to be a boss. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with doing you, boo, but don’t forget to simply relax and unwind this weekend. Forget about work and enjoy spending time with loved ones. Sometimes taking work home with you is unavoidable. But it’s important to remember to take every moment as it comes, and enjoy each one. So in honor of International Women’s Day this week, I’ve decided to change the pace and share ways to slow down and relax this weekend.
1. Read a book.
Digital screens are everywhere. According to WebMD, computer eye strain can cause dry eyes, headaches, and even neck and shoulder aches. Find time to sit down and give your eyes a break by enjoying a magazine or book this weekend. It could be your Bible, a novel, anything you like. Reading doesn’t have to be boring. If you find that you can’t get through anything longer than 100 pages, try poetry or illustrated books. There’s plenty of books out there; you’re bound to find one you like. Not only is reading a great way to relax, but it can also stimulate your mind and reduce stress. Don’t worry so much about trying to read as fast as possible. Read each page with intention and don’t forget to use your imagination, to visualize the story in your mind. You’ll be reading books left and right before you know it!
2. Do some yoga.
I adore yoga because it’s such a great way to reduce stress and connect with your body. It’s more than just stretching, and once you really get into it, you begin to discover different aspects of yourself. Plus, I burn more than 500 calories simply by taking one 60-minute hot yoga class. It’s awesome! But you can do yoga right in the comfort of your home with just a mat and your intention for the day. Need a routine? Here’s a great early morning yoga sequence to awaken your senses. (Want to take your yoga session to the next level? Try aromatherapy candles or oils to relax you even further.)
Although I’ve practiced yoga for a few years, I never really got into meditation. Recently, I have downloaded a few meditation apps, and I’ve started a meditation journal. Hopefully, it will become a great healthy addition to my life. Simply taking 10 minutes to clear your mind and do some deep breathing can calm your senses and make you feel more at peace. Who doesn’t want to have more peace in their life? Meditation isn’t just mumbo-jumbo. And though it may have Buddhist origins, the benefits of quieting the mind are immense.
4. Have a movie night.
I don’t know about you, but I love movies. They are probably my go-to when it comes to relaxation. Cuddle with your best friend, husband, or pet this weekend and enjoy that movie you’ve been wanting to watch the past few months. Go all out with popcorn, candy, or whatever your movie vice is and indulge a little bit. It’s OK to reward yourself for making it through the work week.
5. Take a day trip.
If you are fortunate to live within driving distance of a super cool town, why not go? I’ve lived in Memphis nearly my whole life. Nashville is about three hours away, and I can count one one hand how many times I’ve been there (three times). Sometimes getting out of your element can be exactly what you need to gain perspective in your life — which leads me to my next suggestion.
6. Explore your hometown.
Get out of your element in your home city. I’m sure there are still places you have never gone and new happenings around town. Try something new and go to an event you’ve never gone to before. I know your city isn’t as boring as you might think it is. You’re probably just used to doing the same thing over and over again. Slowing down doesn’t have to mean you have to be bored. If getting out of your element sounds too scary for you, start small. Go to a coffee shop you’ve been curious about. Visit that cute little antique shop on the corner. Take a camera with you and turn it into a project.
7. Take a scenic walk.
Spring is fast approaching and with it comes warmer weather and beautiful landscapes. I love taking relaxing walks on trails or at a park. We have beautiful flowering dogwood trees here, and they are just gorgeous. I love walking underneath them to take pictures and see the sunlight shine through the flowers. Noticing your surroundings and appreciating them is also one of the many benefits of taking walks. Plus, if you take your dog with you, they’ll love you unconditionally!
8. Create something, anything.
Painting is always the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the word “create.” I am not a painter, not even close. I can’t even sketch. But I like to think that I can appreciate art, especially abstracts. If I could paint, I definitely would. So what’s my crafty medium? If you haven’t already guessed it, it’s creative writing. I haven’t written anything in a looong time. These blog posts don’t count, unfortunately. And I hate that I have let something I love fall by the wayside. I’m sure you feel the same. Not artsy? That’s OK. You can still make something, even if it’s just cooking a meal for your family instead of going out for dinner. (Did you know cooking can be therapeutic? Check out the pscyhological benefits of cooking.)
9. Pamper yourself.
There are probably a million ways you can pamper yourself, so I won’t even try to list them. But here are a few ideas: take a bubble bath or long, steamy shower, wear a face mask, get a pedicure, get a massage, buy one new thing for yourself (going into debt isn’t relaxing), or eat a sweet treat.
10. Have a family game night or a romantic date night.
I realized that almost my entire list has been activities you can do alone. Of course, spending time with your family or significant other is a great way to relax this weekend. If you’re opting for a family game night, try to have fun without so much competition. Sometimes people’s feelings get hurt or they get too competitive playing games. Just remember the point is to have fun. If you’re having a romantic date night, let your significant other spoil you. It can be all too easy to get caught up in the logistics of getting through each day. It’s so important to take the time to give your partner your full attention and enjoy spending time together.
I hope this list has empowered you to be more selective with how you spend your time. It’s not always about hustling and grinding to be successful. Remember, you define your own success.
As always, stay encouraged, friends!
Got any other ideas on how to slow down this weekend? Leave your thoughts or comments below!