By the end of the week, everyone is counting down the minutes until the weekend is officially on. We dream of a luxurious two days filled with rest, fun, adventure, and great meals, and Friday afternoon is the official kick off point. After all, there's a reason Fri-Yay has become such a popular catch phrase. Yet somehow, every weekend, the time between Friday evening and Sunday night zooms past us and we're even more exhausted come Monday morning. If you're in need of some deep rest and actual relaxation, these five easy ways to practice self care are your official go to guide.
1. Say No To Something.
We're going hard right out of the gate but if you want to feel the effects of self care, you have to dig deep and do the tough work. For most of us, saying no is akin to a mortal wound. Making ourselves unavailable is something only "selfish" people do, right? Wrong. Saying no to things, situations, people, and drama gives us the space we need to say yes to all the right things. When you say no to a lunch date with someone who drives you crazy, you open up your afternoon to spend time painting and playing pretend with your little. When you say no to a 7am hike, you say yes to sleeping in a little later and making a slow breakfast with your partner. Need some help? Look at everything on your calendar for the rest of the month and eliminate three things. Send that text or email right now so you don't put it off a minute longer. Think about your true priorities and make cuts based on what (and who) actually matters to you.
2. Turn Off Your Phone.
I know, another truly shocking suggestion, but go with us here. All day, every day, there is a tiny electronic device basically running your life. We use our phones as computers for email, shopping, tracking, reading, and as a music and entertainment source. Not to mention the seemingly endless phone calls, text messages, and voicemails all from people who need something or need some of your time. If the phone beeps, vibrates, or rings, we reach for it - which isn't hard considering it's probably already in your hand, back pocket, or resting next to you ready to spring into action. It's exhausting, it's habit forming, and it's physically demanding on your hands, wrists, neck, back, and more. If you have a house phone that loved ones can reach you at, create the habit of turning off your cell for the whole weekend. Let friends know you'll be off the grid and trust they'll respect your boundaries. If you don't have a house phone and feel unsafe turning your cell phone off, switch it to silent (not vibration mode, totally silent). Put your phone upstairs in your bedroom and then leave it there all day. Seems impossible? Ask someone you trust to hide it for the day and not give it back until an agreed upon time. Decide you want to be present more than you want to scroll social media for ways to feel bad about yourself, and switch that phone to off.
3. Focus On Health.
Now that you've cleared your calendar a bit and turned your phone off, you've actually got time to focus on your health! We're not suggesting you only juice greens and zip off to a meditation retreat (yet), just that you spend a little time taking care of your health this weekend. Take inventory of how you feel and what areas of your health you want to boost. Before you get overwhelmed, pick one item from your list for the month. For example, maybe you want to boost your endurance. Decide that's February's goal and then go for it. Break down ideas to build endurance and start where you feel comfortable. Schedule in a walk with your bestie every Thursday evening, and a half walk half job with your pup every Saturday morning. Keep track of how you feel and adjust accordingly for the following month. If food is your health goal, let your little goal be to meal prep for the week every Sunday. Baby steps truly change the whole picture. If it's easier, simply let every weekend be when you focus on health. Schedule a work out class, eat super healthy, stretch, get deep rest, and drink lots of water - only on Saturday and Sunday! Watch as these habits slip into the rest of your week.
4. Journal It Out.
Since you have your journal out to take inventory on how your health is feeling, leave it out and use it this weekend to get in some quality self care. Journaling is proven to help you feel better, sharpen that mindfulness we all keep reading about, elevate happiness levels, bring about healing, and more. If you create a habit by journaling each morning, you're also boosting your ability to commit and honor your goals. Speaking of, writing goals out actually helps them come to pass! The act of writing, goals or otherwise, tells your brain that this is something worth paying attention to. Journal daily by free writing, writing your goals for the day, capturing your dreams from the night before, or write out your biggest dreams for your life. If daily seems like too much, pull out your journal on the weekend and do longer entries about your previous week and where you want to go from here. Whatever you choose, know you're doing something good for you in many ways.
5. Do What Makes You Happy.
Last but not least, while it seems so simple, doing what you love is something you have to intentionally make time and space for. If you were to write out all the things you do daily and then write a separate list of everything you truly love to do, would anything on those lists match? As children, we instinctively know what makes us happy and pursue those skills, events, and playtime with wild ambition. We run hard and fast at fun. Yet as adults, we hardly make any time for what brings us true joy. Forget trying to figure out why and just jump in with both feet. What makes you happy? YOU, not your kids or your spouse or your friends or your parents, just you. What makes you happy? If this question finds you staring off into space, think of what you loved as a child. Loved puppies? Find a local shelter or rescue group and volunteer as a foster or at adoption events. Was painting your jam? Sign up for painting class or buy a bulk pack of canvases from your local craft store and paint every night after the kiddos go to bed. Did you love for baking? Get out that dough, girl! It really is as simple as it sounds. By doing what makes you happy, your mood raises and your stress reduces.
Self care is often misconstrued as selfish but trust it's anything but. While it's hard to choose taking care of yourself over tending to others, it's crucial for you and those you love. By filling up your own self-care cup, you're able to care for others better. If you're ignoring your own needs, how can you be there for the needs of loved ones? Life can be hectic but by making time on the weekends to seek space, pay attention to yourself, relax, rejuvenate, be kind to yourself, and draw boundaries, we can approach each week with patience, joy, gratitude, and focus.
How will you practice self-care this weekend? Leave us a comment below or on instagram - once your phone is back on, that is. Enjoy the weekend, friends!
This photo was in collaboration with Mom's The Word. All opinions expressed are my own.