We spend our working weeks in a frantic race against deadlines and battling an ever-growing to-do list. So weekends, especially Sunday should be a time to unwind. Let’s enjoy it!
1. Have a leisurely breakfast or brunch
Cook something you wouldn’t have time to cook on a weekday morning. Go all out, make somecoffee and have some toast, spread out your newspaper like you own the place, grab a book, grab a kindle or whatever else you have to read to hand and read slowly. Don’t rush, savour your brekkie and pretend you’re in a cafe, and especially use this moment to simply breathe and relax. This works for me anyway.
2. Plan ahead
Without checking your phone or firing up the laptop, pick up an old school pencil and paper and make a list of things you would love to do and (equally important) things you don’t want to do over the weekend. We all know the mopey sense of despondency that comes from having wasted your weekend hungover on the sofa, but if you work ahead you can maximise the impact of your time off. You can then slot in relaxation and smaller activities – napping, taking the dog for a walk – around the anchor events, such as meeting a friend for lunch or booking tickets to a new exhibition. By scheduling in things to do at the weekend, you also give it a sense of happy anticipation. And it works on a practical level too.
3. Spend time with your beloved ones or close friends
It’s hardly the world’s biggest mystery that spending time with people we like makes us healthier and happier – yet we are surprisingly remiss at carving out the space to make this happen. Wishing to have spent more time with friends is one of the top five regrets of the dying(as found by a Guardian survey), while countless studies have shown that spending time with loved ones is far more important to well-being and contentedness than say, income or job satisfaction.
In fact, loneliness has been proven to be twice as unhealthy as obesity for older people, meaning social interaction is important to your physical and emotional state as well as being desirable.
We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends. Whatever you do and however you do it, make sure you eek out the time to be with those people who are most important to you, and who make you happy.
4. Do something new
For years, scientists have linked learning to happiness so it’s no surprise that learning new skills and experiencing something different leads to a greater sense of happiness and fulfillment.
Doing something new could be as simple as taking a look around a museum you haven’t been to for ages, volunteering at your local refugee network, helping out on an allotment or setting up a free language exchange to learn a different language, or rediscover a favourite childhood skill such as playing the piano or cycling.
5. Refresh your living space.
Spend some time restyling your living room. There’s no need to buy a thing — just challenge yourself to be creative and work with what you have. Sometimes moving things from room to room, putting up some new art (you can always pull from your stack of family photos) or pulling a few textiles out of hiding are all that’s needed to give a space a fresh look. Of course, if shopping is on your agenda, it’s your weekend to do what you like — but consider checking out a small, local shop or flea market instead of hitting the big stores, as you never know what treasures you’ll come across (and it’s surprisingly satisfying to stay close to home).
6. Evening Ideas
Unlike on a weeknight — when you’re probably already tired from your workday — after a day of rest, relaxation and creativity you should be feeling renewed and ready to have some fun. Make an official start to your evening hours by putting away the to-do list and setting aside your devices.
Put on your favorite music. Music, more than just about anything else, has the power to quickly shift our mood — so put on an album that lifts your spirits. If you have records, play DJ and curate a stack of albums to play throughout the evening. Setting the mood with music, candles and good friends or family to share the experience with is so amazing.
Have a wonderful and relaxing Sunday as you have ever wanted!