Sometimes our weeks get so busy that it is difficult to find time to keep ourselves healthy. I get it. But we are nothing without our health, so it is important to find the time to improve our health – and take that time wherever you can.
For most people, the weekends are a perfect time to focus on health. Schedules are generally less hectic, the family is usually together, and free time is a little more plentiful. Now, obviously, some jobs have rotating days off or shifts that require alternative days as a weekend.
Regardless, here are the top four things you can do for your health this weekend.
1. Get proper sleep.
No, this doesn’t mean being lazy. Well, maybe it does. But getting enough sleep is vital to being productive the rest of the week. If you are constantly playing catch-up, you will constantly be tired, and that is no way to go about your business.
But catching up on sleep is more than just sleeping in. You need to be sure that you are getting good quality sleep as well. That means no snacking or alcohol right before bed. If you exercise, make sure that you finish at least three hours before your bedtime, giving your body time to wind down.
Most importantly, keep work and bluescreens out of your bedroom. Think of your bed as a sanctuary from the craziness for a few days. Don’t check emails or social media and read a regular paper book instead of your e-reader. Use the time to reconnect with your partner on a personal level as well.
And no! Lying in bed with each of you looking at your phones is not reconnecting!
Alternatively, you may be one of those people who needs to stick to a schedule regardless of the day because changing your alarm clock wreaks havoc on the rest of your system. That’s okay too. If you must get up at the same time as during the week, plan for something fun like breakfast with friends. Anything to show your brain that this is break time.
You may feel that you must get to the gym during the week and that may be part of your everyday schedule. That’s fine. But the weekend is a great time to look at other exercise options, especially if you can get outside and do something fun with the family.
Spend the day at a zoo or the beach. Find a nature reserve and go for a walk. If you are a more adventurous family, go kayaking or canoeing.
By getting outdoors, you are breathing fresher air, hopefully spending more time with family, and reminding yourself that nature exists and is beneficial to your mental health!
3. Indulge (but not too much)
Sticking to a strict diet during the week might be easier for some people because it just becomes part of the schedule. But even on the strictest of diets, cravings can sometimes creep in. The weekend is a perfect time to indulge those cravings. The key is to do it correctly, so you don’t throw off your entire diet.
Consider having a cheat meal instead of a cheat weekend. Maybe it’s a Sunday brunch with close friends or beer and wings with college football on Saturday. Associating the cheat meal with a fun activity makes it easier to get back into your diet than randomly eating cheat foods throughout the weekend.
Plus, you’ll feel satisfied that you took care of your craving, which will make it easier to stick to your diet in the upcoming week.
4. Plan for the week ahead.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you find yourself stressed throughout the week, some simple planning during the weekend before can go a long way toward relieving that stress.
Meal prep for weekday lunches and dinners can be a huge stress reliever, especially if you have busy weekday schedules filled with team practices or extra-curricular activities. Having a menu planned out and everything prepared and ready to go will not only relieve the stress of trying to fit in prep during a busy schedule but also keep you from giving up and heading to a drive-thru because it’s “easier.”
Gather the family and look at everyone’s schedules together. That way, everyone knows who is supposed to be where and when. If you have that in mind, you will be in much better shape to handle unexpected events that may pop up during the week.
In short, you should use your weekend to keep yourself balanced, both by catching up on the previous week and planning ahead for the upcoming week. There are many factors that can affect your health, and being in the right frame of mind about the surrounding weekdays can be highly beneficial to your general health.
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