By Ocean Noah
Cheers to the weekend!
It feels great to reach the end of the week. It’s also a relief. On Fridays, I sometimes reflect on my biggest challenges of the week and feel excited to move into the weekend. Yup, Fridays are often a time to celebrate – celebrate me.
What does celebrating yourself look like for you?
Sometimes for me, celebrating myself involves allowing myself to let go of my self-discipline. I want to eat junk food and spend hours streaming movies and TV shows…I’m getting excited just thinking about it! Doing this for two days in a row, however, would not make me feel like I’m celebrating anymore. Why? Too much of anything is unhealthy.
This doesn’t mean you can’t unwind over the weekend. By all means, give yourself permission to relax and do fun things. You deserve it. But it’s also important to take care of yourself over the weekend. Here are six ways to have a relaxed and healthy weekend.
1. Eat Well-Balanced Meals
As I said, it’s the weekend! If you want to eat things you might usually avoid, go for it! Indulging in good food is one of my favorite things about life. But moderation is key. You can balance out your indulgences with well-balanced meals. A balanced meal satisfies the three core food groups: carbs for energy, protein for growth, and vegetables for metabolism. Healthy carbohydrates can be found in foods like rice, quinoa and potatoes. Protein is found in foods like eggs, seafood, red meat, cheese, tofu and nuts. And, of course, don’t skip out on the veggies. Meals with these three components will give you the energy you need to do the fun activities you have planned for the weekend.
2. Do Some Yoga
If you’ve been practicing yoga all week, you might feel like you need a break on the weekend. But you can set a new intention with your weekend yoga that will serve you well. For example, perhaps you want to feel compassion for yourself or celebrate yourself through yoga. Or, maybe you’d like to feel more relaxed with a restorative practice. So, make a point to set the tone for a relaxing weekend with yoga.
According to Yoga Journal, some of the benefits of legs-up-the-wall include:
- Alleviating headaches
- Boosting energy
- Relieving lower-back pain
- Helping relax your body and mind
3. Go for a Hike
With busy schedules and heavy workloads, it can be easy to forget to connect to nature throughout the week.
Hiking is a great way to get in some weekend exercise and interact with nature. You can find a local trail and set an hour aside to walk, climb, and breathe deeply. Pack some granola bars and some sunscreen and get out there this weekend!
4. Volunteer with an Local Organization
Volunteering is a rewarding way to spend spare time on the weekend.
You can volunteer at an animal shelter, go to a food bank to help package meals for those in need, run a clothing drive, serve food at a soup kitchen, or find another organization or cause close to your heart.
When I volunteer, I feel a strong sense of connection to my community. It’s an amazing feeling to give a little of your time or resources and receive meaningful experiences and connections. Even one hour of your time could make a huge difference in the lives of others. Bonus: You can take your family with you for an even bigger impact!
5. Teach a Yoga Class
If you’re a yoga teacher or Pretzel Kids yoga instructor (or both!), why not teach a yoga class over the weekend? If you don’t want to commit to teaching say, every Saturday, perhaps you can offer to sub or run a class series in a local park for eight weeks on Sunday mornings.
Not only will you feel good about giving back, but you’ll help your students find serenity and improve their health. Teaching a class can also help you improve your yoga skills! You know what they say… you really know something if you can teach it to someone else. It’s also a great way to connect with your local yoga community. You may forge new friendships with the moms of your students or find some inspiration!
6. Go Out with Your Friends
Have some fun on the weekend and set up a date with some friends. You can catch a movie, have brunch, get manicures, or plan something else enjoyable. Making time to be with friends can be difficult when you’re busy. But carving out time to hang out with your friends is a great way to support each other and connect.
Also, if your family depends on you, it’s nice to let loose a bit with your friends and take care of yourself. So, make some time this weekend to recharge and enjoy yourself.
This Weekend Be Happy and Healthy
You’ve made it through another busy week. By all means, you should celebrate yourself!
While celebrating yourself means letting loose and relaxing, it also means taking care of yourself. So eat well, do some yoga, go for a hike, volunteer, teach a kids yoga class, or go out with some friends. Your body, mind, and heart will appreciate it.
About Ocean Noah: Ocean is a content intern at Pretzel Kids yoga. Originally from Los Angeles, Ocean moved to San Francisco to study creative writing at San Francisco State University. She writes fiction, blog posts, and op-eds. Ocean is thrilled to write for Pretzel Kids, as her mother is a yogi too!