5 Ways to Have the Best Weekend Ever



The weekend is officially upon us, friends! We can almost taste the freedom.

If you’re about to head into the days ahead without a plan of attack, allow us to offer some suggestions. See, last weekend, we posted a guide for how to use your Sunday wisely to set yourself up for a great week ahead. So while you’re fresh off the high of an awesome week, we thought we’d gin up a companion piece for your weekend. To wit: Our advice for five ways to have the best weekend ever.

We’re not talking about specific things to do. (For this weekend’s events, check out our guide here.) We’re talking about measures you can take and advice you can heed to create for yourself a few relaxing, yet productive days off. And while you don’t have to hit all these points in one fell swoop, working one or two or three of these tips into your weekend will help you maximize your off-time.

1. Get in a good, solid workout … 

There’s a reason so many runners save their long runs for the weekend: They actually have time to do them on their day off. Follow their lead by carving out some quality gym or outdoors time. Instead of blowing through the same tired 20-minute treadmill workout you tackled on Tuesday, use your free time to try something new—and maybe a bit more challenging. Does your gym have a pool that you’ve never used? Swim some laps, or take a water aerobics class. Haven’t stepped foot in the weight room in months? Make a date with your biceps this weekend. Always wanted to try indoor rock climbing? Make this the weekend to do it. The idea is to get creative, do something different, and spend some real, quality time focused on your fitness and goals. Hey, you might even discover an activity you didn’t know you loved.

2. … But take a rest day.

By the same token, rest is good. I would encourage you to use either Saturday or Sunday to fit in a tough workout–but not both. Spend one of your days off from work physically and mentally recuperating.

While we’re on the subject of rest, let’s talk about your sleep schedule. Experts say you shouldn’t stray too far from your normal weekday sleep schedule, because it could mess you up—and poop you out—in the week ahead. And while I agree with that (you know, maybe staying out ’til 3 a.m. isn’t the best thing to do), I am a huge proponent of naps, as are a lot of experts. For many people, naps can improve brain function and boost creativity, and they’re incredibly restorative to boot. So if you’re feeling snoozy, feel free to get some midday shut-eye.

3. Make plans, but don’t over-plan.

It’s easy to fall into one of two traps on the weekend: Either you plan every waking second, and spend your entire two days running around from event to event. Or you don’t plan a single thing, and spend the entire time parked on your couch (un-showered and in your bathrobe, if you’re anything like me). So it’s important to find a balance. Plan one or two main events or outings to anchor your weekend, but be sure to include some downtime, too, when you can catch up on anything that makes you feel happy and relaxed, like thumbing through magazines, baking or reading.

4. Don’t waste your mornings.

This one goes hand-in-hand with both #2 and #3 above. Sleeping in until noon will not only blow your day, it’ll wreck you for sleep later on. Plus, you’ll burn precious “you” time that could have been better spent on activities you actually enjoy doing. I like to spend the first hour after waking up sipping coffee and catching up on the news or Twitter. But after an hour of lounging, I like to get my day underway. If I don’t set a limit to my morning lounge, I’ll totally end up bumming it in front of Netflix the entire day and kicking myself for it later.

5. Don’t completely blow your diet, and remember to hydrate. 

Regular Be Well readers know that I’m a huge advocate of the whole everything-in-moderation thing. I don’t foresee myself ever being able to stick to a very strict no sugar, no carbs, no whatever diet plan for any substantial amount of time. The challenge is remembering the moderation part of the equation. On a weekend, when you’re not on a set schedule, it’s easy to overdo it on cookies or chips—I find I’m tempted to snack a LOT more when I’m not parked at work all day—so while some indulgent snacking is okay, be sure to set a limit on it, and do it mindfully, instead of mindlessly.

The other trap has to do with my weekend water intake. I have a nice little system at work that includes a 24-ounce glass Ball jar that I put right next to my computer monitor as a visual reminder to fill it and drink up throughout the day. But on the weekends, I just tend to forget. The easiest way to make sure you meet your hydration needs is by starting your day with a big ol’ glass (or two) of H2O. Chug it while your coffee is brewing. Doing so puts you ahead of schedule, water-wise, and sets you up to remember to keep sipping all day long.

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