We all need to take a break every now and then, and the weekends are often the perfect way to slow down and be more mindful about creating relaxing moments to enjoy days that are less structured and busy.
Here are some ways you can make the most of the weekend and give yourself time to truly unwind.
Pause Social Media
It’s okay to take a break from social media. It’s called a social media “feed” for a reason; just like meals, you only feed at certain times, not all day long. So give yourself permission and set your intentions to take breaks from social platforms. Do your best to only check in at set times. If you take some fun pics over the weekend, save your photos and post to social media at the end of the day. This way, you can hang on to the feelings and emotions for longer instead of taking yourself out of the moment and rushing to social media.
Turn off notifications, and turn your ringer/vibrating off. We’ve become almost Pavlovian to the notifications of our smartphones, having them constantly tell us someone needs us, or something is required of us. It can be so freeing to just leave your phone charging for the day without taking a glance, and go about your day without being tied to your phone. If this makes you feel anxious, try ignoring your phone for just an hour or two, and then extend from there.
Breathe In, Breathe Out
Explore quick mediations – most mediation apps have simple 2-3 min mediations. If you don’t have access to an app because you have switched off your phone (which we hope you have!), spend 2-3 minutes focusing on your breathing. Try counting your exhales:
- Breathe in, pause, exhale 1, pause
- Breathe in, pause, exhale 2, pause
- Breathe in, pause, exhale 3, pause — and so on.
If you mind wanders, which it will, either start from the beginning or where you left off. This technique is great for getting back to sleep, or trying to unwind from a stressful moment.
Focus on The Now
Become aware of your surroundings, and be present in the moment. A great way to do this is by doing some “grounding work” and focusing on touch:
- feel the chair you are sitting in; where is your body being supported by the chair?
- take off your socks and wiggle your toes; what does the ground feel like beneath them?
- stand with your back to a wall or flat surface, and stretch; how does it feel to be supported?