Step 1: Relax
First, you need to UNWIND! You’ve had a busy and, hopefully, productive week. Between your work responsibilities, preparing family meals, running the kids to after school activities, washing clothes and cleaning your home, you’ve been juggling a wide range of activities and are most likely exhausted. Be sure to enjoy some downtime and simply just BE! Don’t worry about your “to do list” or things you should be doing, just relax. If this means kicking back with a movie and pizza, or a family game night, or simply enjoying a glass of wine while listening to music or chatting with your significant other or friends, go ahead and enjoy yourself! Clearing your mind and taking a few minutes to stop worrying about everything you should be doing is the first step of your weekend rejuvenation plan.
Step 2: Exercise
Next, be sure to fit in some physical activity. Yep, good ole fashioned EXERCISE! Many of us spend way too much time sitting behind a desk, hunched over a computer all week. Congratulations to those of you who are dedicated enough to keep up a fitness routine throughout the work week! For the rest of us, the weekend is our time to play catch up. Get out and enjoy some fresh air, go for a walk, a run, hit the gym, the park, or the beach. Take advantage of the extra time available to you over your weekend and get moving! “Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning.” says Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Ratey, author of the book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. A little extra exercise over your weekend has exponential benefits!
Step 3: Reflect
Now that you’ve had the chance to unwind and have squeezed in some exercise, it’s time to grow a bit reflective. Take some time to REFLECT on the past week, from a professional as well as a personal perspective. What can you celebrate for pulling off without a hitch? What went well? What could have gone better? There are some days I feel like a rock star at work, but then feel as though I failed miserably while dealing with a family member in the evening hours. This isn’t a time to beat yourself up or have regrets! Reflect, stay positive and make mental adjustments as you plan your upcoming week to ensure it’s the best one yet.
Step 4: Prepare
A very important part of your weekend should be to PREPARE for the upcoming week. While this may not be the most exciting part of your weekend, it’s crucial. Take a look at your calendar. Evaluate your to do list. If you are anything like me, you’ll most likely re-write this to do list more than once! I know some people are able to keep all their lists in one central location – perhaps a digital app or, as one of my close friends has, a large dry erase board displayed in the kitchen. Others might need to compile from a few calendars and lists. Whatever your organizational preference, take a look ahead to your upcoming week. Are there special events at school or work that you need to prepare for? Now is the time! You’ll be able to enjoy a more leisurely trip to the store over the weekend rather than scurrying around after work during your work week. The few minutes spent planning for the upcoming week will be time well spent and you’ll thank yourself later!
Step 5: Prioritize
As you plan for the upcoming week ahead, be sure to PRIORITIZE your commitments and responsibilities. There are some weeks where you will be able to do it all, and others when you won’t be able to make it all happen…and that’s ok! It is easy to lose track of what really matters to us. Only you know what is most important to you; what holds emotional value to you. I love this quote from Steve Jobs, “Things don’t have to change the world to be important.” This is YOUR weekend, do what is important TO YOU.
Now that you are refreshed, rejuvenated and renewed….here’s to a fun, productive, and stress-free upcoming week!