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Plan a Refreshing Weekend
Do you frequently find yourself wondering where the weekend went as you prepare for another busy week of work and daily responsibilities? We can all relate to the feeling of anticipation as the weekend approaches, looking forward to some quality time to relax and refresh alone or with friends and family. Weekends are meant to be your time but if you find that other obligations, whether personal or professional, often interfere with your weekend enjoyment, then it’s time to reevaluate and reprioritize your time. In order to clear you mind and rejuvenate your spirits, it is important to take time to relax.
If your days are filled with stress, keep in mind that long-term exposure to stress can have negative effects not only your mental health, but on your physical health as well. Living with long-term, high stress situations can lead to various health problems, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety and even depression.1
You deserve to take time to rejuvenate. The good news is that you don’t have to take a vacation or spend a lot of money to get away from it all. In fact, you don’t even have to leave home. All it takes is some imagination and planning. Invest in yourself and your mental health by using the following tips to plan refreshing and relaxing weekends.
Think About What You Want
Start by making a list of activities that you enjoy doing and that help you to relax. With a hectic lifestyle, maybe some quiet time “away from it all” is what you crave. If you spend your days sitting at a computer, perhaps the great outdoors is what will lift your spirits. Are there friends you want to visit with, or things you’ve always wanted to do, such as taking a cooking class or learning a new language? If your finances are tight, then look in the local newspaper or online for free and inexpensive local events, services and outings. If important obligations or commitments arise, schedule fun activities around them so that you will still feel relaxed and recharged at the end of the weekend. Make your weekend event planning a pleasant experience so that the anticipation of your upcoming weekend plans give you something to look forward to during the week.
Get Away From It All
It’s easy to find fun weekend getaways. Look through your local newspapers or at online websites such as www.recreation.gov for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking or cycling or check online at www.kayak.com for weekend flights, hotels or car rentals. Wherever you go, remember to leave yourself time to explore so don’t pre-plan every minute of your weekend. Allow yourself time to stop and browse in that charming secondhand store, to take photos of the sunset, to admire local handicrafts at an open-air market, or simply to relax and read by the pool.
Create or Find a Relaxing Place Close To Home
You don’t need to leave home to have a relaxing weekend. We all have different things that leave us feeling refreshed. Whether you love getting a manicure, catching up on the latest movies, or visiting a local arts and crafts show - you can find a way to spend some invigorating time close to home. You can create an oasis for yourself to enjoy alone or with your friends and family in your backyard – arrange lawn chairs around the flower pots and listen to soothing music while you enjoy the sunshine. If you’re a social butterfly, plan a fun evening at a nearby restaurant with friends or host a dinner party. If you need some ‘alone time,’ let your family know that this is your weekend to relax so you can have a day or afternoon to yourself.
Take A Break From Your Phone And Computer
For many of us, our world is more technologically connected than ever. So, if you really want to take a break from it all, keep distractions to a minimum. Turn off your phone and computer and avoid or limit watching television. Since frantic phone calls or unexpected work emails can send your mind reeling, give yourself time to enjoy some quiet time.
De-Stress Every Day - The Healthy Way
While the weekend is a great time to cut back on stress and take care of yourself, you need to incorporate healthy lifestyle behaviors every day of the week. Each day, be sure to get enough sleep, eat a variety of healthy foods and be physically active. Physical activity helps to relieve stress by increasing the “feel good” endorphins in your brain. In addition, regular activity can also help to improve your mood and increase your self-confidence.2 Look for a beach, park, or forest and go hiking or take a nature walk. Physical exercise will help you to feel more relaxed physically and mentally, and finding new places for activity in your area will help you to mix up your activity routine.
Use these Food, Body and Mind tips to help you reduce your stress level and work towards a healthier lifestyle:1,2
- Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night
- Eat balanced meals that include a variety of lean protein, whole-grains, fruits, vegetables and nonfat dairy products and limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol and high-sugar foods
- Set limits for your yourself and learn to say “no” when obligations are unrealistic or the timing is just not right for you
- Write “to-do” lists to stay focused and prioritize your tasks at home and at work
- Take time to relax – take deep soothing breaths and frequent stretch breaks
- Be active each day – set and work up to a goal of at least 30 minutes per day of activity
- Find healthy ways to work through your stress, such as talking with a friend or healthcare provider or journaling your thoughts and feelings using the online journal at www.jennycraig.com
Make Yourself A Priority
Take a look at your calendar and begin planning your next refreshing weekend. Choose one or two things to look forward to during the upcoming week. If you have nothing planned, then schedule time to do something you enjoy. Use the tips listed above to reflect on your current lifestyle. Are there ways that you can improve your outlook on life - not just on the weekend, but every day of the week? Remember that your Jenny Craig Consultant is always available to help you to create strategies and plan ahead for upcoming events.
1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, WomensHealth.gov. Stress and Your Health. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/stress-your-health.cfm. Accessed June 13, 2010.
2. Mayo Clinic. Stress Management. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise-and-stress/sr00036. Accessed June 13, 2010.
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