Woohoo It's a bank holiday weekend! I believe you are so excited and figure out the way to relax and spend it productively, don't you? That's why today I would like to answer the most common question: how not to waste the bank holiday weekend? I always look forward to it myself, and at the same time, I rarely manage to organize it in such a way as to feel fulfilment when it's over. Not anymore!
First of all, did you know that if we sleep off all week on Saturday, we only sleep off the Friday? Secondly, did you know that longer sleep makes you lazy all day long? Did you know that a productive weekend can help you get through the next week? Of course, on condition that it is well-timed and properly arranged. Do you know that a person doesn't need so many hours of lazing around? It's all our excuse to stay at the bed and waste such a lovely time as the weekend!
It's not uncommon for weekends to leak through my fingers. For example, instead of being ready to leave at ten o'clock, I drag myself on until noon, which is an optimistic version. I wonder how it is possible that from Monday to Friday I could leave the house at eight o'clock, and at the weekend I magically lose this skill. I could multiply examples of a limping organization, but the text is not intended to focus on them, but on how to improve the "weekend" operation. For this purpose, I have compiled a list of advice-signposts, those heard, found and learned from my own mistakes.
Plan ahead and enjoy waiting for the event
This point is first because it is extremely motivating for me. I like it when we plan something specific, for example going to a concert, dinner in the place we have never been, weekend getaway. Let's say it takes place in three weeks. During these three weeks I will be shuffling my feet and organizing everything i.e. how I dress, look for lovely cafes and photography spots etc.
Celebrate weekend rituals
Whether you are single, in a relationship, have children or a cat, you can find one thing that will remind you of weekend relaxation. Make it a fancy - it could be a polished Saturday hairstyle that you don't have time for before going to work, or a family baking on Sunday. Let it be something you want to wait for. Something that becomes a permanent item on the agenda, and if you additionally do it with another person, this habit will bring you closer because it will only be "yours". I dream of a common Sunday walk, just like that. Sometimes it works, but… still too rare.
Don't get sucked into the cleaning whirl
Weekend cleaning, I think everyone knows it. What we don't have time to put in order during the week accumulates and explodes over Saturday and Sunday. So we unravel the dirty laundry, ironing a pile of shirts and polishing floors and windows. We can spend the whole weekend like this… unless we have a good system. Write down on a piece of paper the plan of all cleaning activities during the week. You can determine it verbally, but what is on paper is much easier to assimilate, but also to enforce. If there is no way you can clean up during the week, ok, take over the house on the weekend, but please don't spend two days on it! Set a time limit, for example on Saturday from 11:00 to 14:00. Let the music sound in your apartment, put on rubber gloves on your hands and off we go!
Exercise in the morning
Yes, I also feel lazy in the mornings and the only thing I dream of is coffee and cosy bed. However, when I manage to get a grip I feel soooo good for the whole day! By training in the morning, you fill up with energy for the whole day, stimulate your nervous system, increase the secretion of hormones, and increase the efficiency of the brain. As a result, you don't need a few hours of start-up or 3 coffees to jump into high gear. Your daily chores become more enjoyable as morning training releases adrenaline and endorphins faster. This makes you more creative and ready to face new challenges. Besides - morning jogging in the open air is a really cool experience!
Discover the charm of your city
Do you live in a small or big city? In the countryside? Do you know your surroundings well? Could you advise a foreigner coming to your town where he can eat well, where to play, where to go for a walk? I have had a problem with it more than once. When you live in a given town, you think that you have thousands of opportunities to get to know it better, and thus you always put them off until later. Meanwhile, such a simple curiosity about what surrounds us is worth having and satisfying on a regular basis. I know very well that Birmingham still hides a lot of charming places that I have no idea about, many great restaurants and squares worth visiting. The weekend is the perfect time to target one of them!
Go through your vacation photo album
I am sure, if it weren't for lockdown, we'd all be sitting on the plane right now. However, we can recall our memories by going through photo albums. Are of your photos properly organized? If not, now you have some time to check them out. Usually, many photos are taken during a trip, but it is worse to organize and choose the best ones later. Try to group your photos into appropriate folders to keep things organized. You can also select photos to print or create a photo book with the best photos for your loved ones.
Cut off the internet and the mobile
I don't know about you, but for me, the internet is a tool that allows me to rest. I would not like to cut myself off from it for a long time, but a few hours without checking the laptop and the phone is a decent idea. It is then worth focusing on something else 100%. Zero distractions, only you and your friend, for example, on a park bench, in the same place not only with your body but also with your thoughts. It may seem to you that receiving a text message or scrolling Instagram for ten seconds do not affect the quality of your discussion. Nothing could be more wrong.
Make time for yourself
It is so important to find a time that you devote only to yourself. You need to spend it on activities that make you relaxed. You have to because every person wants to be refreshed, happy and in a great mood. Taking time to relax regularly makes you react more calmly to various stressful situations and to toxic people. It is also basic hygiene when it comes to mental health, i.e. no neuroses, phobias or depression. Stay calm and cheerful with the help of weekend relaxation! It could be a coffee and favourite book, motivational podcasts, a long walk, or a massage. Even small things have a big effect.
Don't sleep for the half of the day
Get up early to make the most of the long weekend. In the past, I was completely unaware of the argument that getting up early allows us to enjoy the day more because it simply gives us more time to get things done. On Saturday, I preferred to heat my bed until 10 am, considering that after a week of work I deserve it and that's it! Silly argument, isn't it? When I happen to sleep late, I feel more distracted than when I get up early.
It is a great way to manage stress and anxiety. I know it can be tough to sit still and relax your mind, the only way to get better at it is to start. There are a lot of apps like Calm that make it fun and easy to meditate. The apps will help you developing everyday habits that will bring invaluable results over time. Meditation is a long-term investment. You’ll be surprised by how relaxed and inspired you to feel once your session is complete.
The Internet gives us a huge choice! We can decide on something that will be useful for us at work (e.g. SEO or Accounting course) or will be related to our interests (e.g. sewing or yoga course). You can also choose the popular e-lessons for learning foreign languages. Courses can be paid or free. Some end up with a certificate that you can later show off in your CV. My favourite platform is Udemy, which offers over one hundred thousand on-line courses in such areas as business, design, photography, programming, personal development, music, health and fitness.
Bank holiday weekend is a perfect time to catch up with your family and friends! Relationships are the basis of every level of our life. A good one will give you a lot of happiness and allow you to achieve more in an easier way! Isn't it something better than a lunch with your friend in the new, cosy spot or dinner with a glass of wine or two with your family? Definitely not! If you live in Birmingham, I truly recommend The Plough Harborne and Dishoom.
I hope you found this post useful! Let me know how you are going to spend the bank holiday weekend in the comments below. Have a great, productive time!