It’s the weekend! The time off that I live for! Don’t you? I use the weekends to decompress from the week and spend some much needed time with my family. In today’s society, we are always so busy. Too busy really! Running around shuffling kids from one activity to another, answering emails after work hours, keeping up with our social calendar, and scheduling everything! We live by the calendar these days. Sometimes, you just need some time to reset and the weekend is the perfect time!
Yes, weekends can be used to catch up on chores around the house, grocery shopping, or binge watching your favorite shows, but your mind and body need to recharge their batteries every now and then so you can stay centered. How you ask? Here are some great ways to do for a wellness weekend that I found on http://www.brainmdhealth.com.
Maintain a Healthy Diet – Since people tend to consume more calories during the weekend, resist the temptation to stray from your well-established diet. Pack healthy foods for a picnic or plan out healthy places to eat when heading out of town. Always make sure that you have emergency rations handy to fend off a snack attack. Eating the right foods can help you have more energy, a better mood, and more mental sharpness.
Listen to Soothing Tunes – It’s no surprise that listening to music can increase pleasurable feelings, improve mood, boost energy, raise dopamine levels and help with focus and concentration. Remaining in a relaxed state of mind is easier to accomplish when you have a happy tune running through your head. Listen to brain-enhancing music specifically composed to enhance mood, gratitude, motivation, and inspiration.
Get Quality Sleep – Good sleep is essential for optimal brain and body health. Sleep helps repair and renew all the cells in the body. It gives the brain a chance to wash away toxins that build up during the day. It’s recommended that you get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. For consistent energy, be sure maintain your regular sleep schedule over the weekend.
Keep Pleasure Centers Healthy – Deep inside your brain, your pleasure centers respond to several neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine. When dopamine is low, depression and low motivation are much more common – it can be harder to find your sense of joy and lift yourself out of a funk. Increase dopamine naturally by engaging in meaningful and beneficial activities on a regular basis. Do work that you enjoy and take time to have fun with your loved ones. It’s equally important to avoid wearing out your pleasure centers with substance abuse, gambling, video games, and compulsive eating or shopping.
Burn Some Calories – Physical exercise is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to keep your brain healthy. Exercise can boost blood flow and other positive nutrients to the brain, increase your levels of dopamine and generate new brain cells that can help the brain self-regulate and calm down. Walking can help you clear your mind, decrease anxiety, improve your mood and burn some calories all at the same time.
Take a Tech Break – Taking a break from emailing, texting, browsing the internet and posting content on social media will help your brain unwind. Rather than sitting around staring at a screen all day, spend some time working on a hobby, participating in a quality conversation with friends and family or enjoying the beauty of nature. Or, find a comfortable chair and pick up that book you’ve been meaning to finish. You might be surprised at how many things you can do and how much fun you can have while taking a break from your devices.
Pamper Yourself – Getting a massage can do more than just improve your physical function. Clinical studies indicate that a massage is beneficial for improving mood and coping with stress. Massages can help to reduce the stress hormone cortisol and increase the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors – Engaging in outdoor activities is important for everyone, especially for those who work a desk job. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, horseback riding or just taking a walk with a friend, being outdoors has an overall positive effect on vitality. While enjoying the great outdoors, you’ll get the added benefit of natural sunlight. Daily exposure to appropriate levels (just 10 to 30 minutes a day) of direct sunlight can boost vitamin D3 levels which can help improve your mood.
Preserve Cherished Memories – If it’s been a while since you worked on a scrapbook or photo album, the weekend is a perfect time to preserve your memories (especially if the weather isn’t so nice). Also, editing, archiving and watching old family videos can serve the double purpose of providing hours of enjoyment working on a hobby while also reminding you of some of the happier moments in your life.
Take some time for you! It’s important! You’re important!