The workweek hardly changes. Nine to five, five days a week can feel monotonous and exhausting. Decompressing after a long week is important for your health, but if you’re like me, it can be hard on your pocket book. I can only take so many pedicures, massages, movies, and meals without becoming flat broke. Luckily, a myriad of ways exists to relax on your weekend break without breaking the bank. Here are a few of them to help you have a guilt-free and relaxing weekend.
What doesn’t cost anything and is a great start to a refreshing Saturday? Sleeping in. In fact, sleeping in on the weekends can be a rejuvenating way to get our brains back on track for the next week. Sleep is strongly tied to our health and stress levels. Although you can’t catch up on a whole week’s worth of sleep debt in one weekend, you can increase your mental energy by sleeping in for two consecutive days.
Have an At-Home Spa Day
Self-care doesn’t have to cost as much as a never-ending spa treatment list. Fill up your tub with some warm water and bubble bath, give yourself a mani-pedi, and make a DIY face mask out of items you already have in your kitchen. If you’re the type of person who works hard and puts others’ needs first, it’s easy to get burned out. Don’t overlook the power of self-care on boosting your creativity and helping you fulfill your business goals.
You don’t have to be a runner or hiker to enjoy a nice day outside. Dr. Rubina Tahir says that you should “plan a walk on a nice day with sunshine to get vitamin D, which is a known mood booster. Take it to the next level by taking 10 pictures on your cellphone of things you see on your walk that make you happy or smile. You are teaching your mind to be present and see things that you would have normally overlooked with a stressed mind.” If you aren’t in the mood for a walk, you can have a picnic in a park, take a weekend camping trip, go swimming, or lie out in your backyard and soak up the sun. Take some time for yourself to do the thing you love the most outside.
Write in Your Journal
Successful people have been keeping journals for centuries. They often pour out their stresses onto paper in order to make sense of the world around them. Keeping a journal, especially writing down at least three things that you are grateful for every day, can help you focus on the good in life. Research shows that there is a correlation between gratitude and your well-being.
Clean Your Home
A study out of Indiana University found that people who have tidier homes also have healthier bodies. Clean living spaces have also been found to improve people’s moods, productivity, and anxiety. Set specific two-minute cleaning goals to help you create a relaxing home space without stressing about the amount of work to be done. It doesn’t cost anything to tidy up on the weekend, but it could cost your sanity if you don’t.
Watch a Movie or Read a Book
There’s a common fallacy that we need to be lying down doing nothing in order for our bodies and minds to relax. However, our brain’s neurons are always firing. Instead of trying to shut down our minds for relaxation, we should adjust their focus instead. Watching a movie or reading a book allows your brain to take in information without being exercised. In other words, it’s relaxed. So don’t feel guilty if you want to spend your weekend binging Netflix or rereading your favorite series.
Practice a Hobby or Skill
There is no better time to learn a new skill or work on a hobby than your day off. Whether you’re a musical genius or a beginner to archery, find the hobby that you’re interested in and do it! Clinical Therapist Kimberly Hershenson says, “When we’re focused on creative activities, our attention moves away from constant worrying. This helps the nervous system regulate, allowing our brains to clear space to process difficult issues. It also helps us express ourselves nonverbally.”
Reconnect with Friends and Family
Our pride often tells us that we should be able to handle a stressful workweek on our own, but we depend on each other. One of the best ways to destress from the week is to contact your family or friends for some quality time. Studies show that people with social support in their lives are more resilient to stress on a daily basis.
Sometimes the only way to decompress is to focus your energy on something else. Board games let you reconnect with family and friends as well as practice a hobby (or maybe find a new one). When you focus on a game, you transition away from the stress of your day as well as learn to think logically.
Exercise is great for getting endorphins going. Endorphins serve as a natural anti-depressant, as well as a nonmedical way to combat pain and stress. Running, walking, tennis, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, or any other exercise you like or would like to try is a great way to spend an hour. All you have to do is get out and move your body—it doesn’t have to cost a penny.
Engage in Mindfulness Meditation
Research supports that mindfulness aids in reducing stress. Mindfulness is about grounding yourself to the present moment. If a busy workweek has left you anxious and stressed, you can find meditation exercises online and practice them in your home for free.
The workweek can leave anyone anxious or burned out. But no matter your preference, there is a way to de-stress for everyone, and it doesn’t have to drain your savings. Instead of retail therapy, pick one of these new ways to have a fun and stress free weekend.