There’s nothing worse than finishing a stressful week of work and not being able to unwind during those two glorious days we call the weekend. Taking our work home with us is an easy thing to do, but it’s important we give ourselves time to switch off and rejuvenate before we start another crazy week.
If you can’t get work responsibilities off your mind and you’re struggling to de-stress, here are five things you should try to get the most out of your next weekend.
Get up early and exercise
It’s tempting to sleep in after a busy work week, but waking up early to fit some exercise into your day will help you clear your mind and use those precious work-free days to the best advantage.
Exercise is a tried and tested, scientifically proven form of stress relief and will help you focus on the day’s tasks while having some extra endorphins in your body. Plus, going for a walk or run is a great distraction no matter what’s on your mind, so you have nothing to lose except that lingering work stress.
Unplug and unwind
Technology is kind of like a new born baby. On the one hand we’re incredibly blessed it exists and without it our world would be entirely different. On the other, it constantly demands our attention, takes up all of our time and can, let’s face it, be extremely irritating.
Turning off your phone and computer will stop you from reading work-related emails, wasting time and energy mindlessly scrolling through your social media channels, and will give you the space you need to truly breathe after a chaotic week.
Grab coffee with a friend
Your friends can be the perfect distraction when you can’t seem to switch off, and even better sounding boards when you need to vent about work. Grabbing a coffee or a bite to eat with a friend will get you out of the house and talking to someone other than your work colleagues. Plus, focusing on someone else’s life is a great way to forget about all the things that are stressing you out.
Spend time on something completely unrelated to work
Finally start that veggie garden you keep putting off or try your hand at some DIY candle making. Whatever it is, spending time on a project outside of work will keep your mind busy and give you something completely unrelated to work to focus on. And, for those of us who aren’t very good at doing nothing, it’s also a great way to unwind while still staying productive on the weekends.
It may sound shallow, but research has proven that occasionally treating yourself actually makes your brain happier. While you probably shouldn’t treat yourself all the time (even though you deserve it), mixing up your everyday life by doing something you usually wouldn’t is a legitimate way of relieving stress.
So, in case you needed an excuse to take a four-hour long bubble bath or buy those shoes you’ve been staring at through the shop window, now science has given you one.
What’s your favourite way to de-stress at the end of a busy week? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Penny Robinson-Brown