Routine throughout the workweek can be enough to keep us on the straight and narrow when we think about our eating and exercise habits.
Then Friday rolls around and for many, the weekend brings a detour…Ultimately undoing the efforts, you’ve tried so hard to enforce during the week.
How do we overcome these unhealthy behaviours that may simply be auto-pilot reactions from habits formed once upon a time? How do we intervene in the cycle of thoughts, and the ‘I’ll get back on track on Monday” mentality?
Let’s do the sums.
If we add up the weekends in a year, it is equal to nearly to 30% of the year. Yes, 30%! So, if you have goals in mind then rethinking how you spend your weekends is a great way to potentially fast track your goals.
Firstly, for whatever reasons you justify letting down your guard on weekends, it’s important, to be honest in asking yourself if there is a truth behind the patterns of your mind. Sometimes we run ourselves so ragged during the week, it leaves us chasing balance. Whether it is through rewarding ourselves with a block of chocolate, binge drinking or shunning self-responsibility through lack of sleep or too much couch time The hyperarousal tone that is set during the week, it often a catalyst for the brain to search for homeostasis on the weekends, often self-sabotaging.
Fast Track Your Goals
Weekends are such a useful way to get the jumpstart on your week, by feeling organised and planned, so rather than waking Monday to regretful thoughts, here are 5 tips you can take on the weekend.
- Take more time during the week for activities that help balance emotions. This could mean creating time for movement whether it is for stress relieving purposes or promoting feel-good hormones. Fitness is a side benefit of creating an initial step towards doing something for its feel-good factor.
- Replace alcohol. Notice the reframing of words from reducing to replace. This helps us on a subconscious level, so we are not left with the thoughts of going without. Weekends are times of socialising and unfortunately, society tells us this includes wine, so if you do plan to indulge in a few alcoholic beverages, make every other round sparkling water to wake the next day with energy. The same can be said with food. Be smart when dining out and choose meals that are vegetable-based, and those that are promoting your weekly choices.
- Let your hair down in healthy ways. Do you crave relaxation? Take a picnic blanket and hike in the hinterlands. Feel like a treat? Find bliss ball recipes you can make a freeze for weekday snacks. Plan to meet friends over a coffee rather than a late-night drink. Choose to fill your weekends with quality activities rather than self-defeating ones is the key.
- Use the weekend to plan for the week ahead. I have mentioned before how being organised on a Monday leads to making healthier choices for the entire week so use this finding to your advantage. Plan your meals, get the groceries done and schedule time in your diary for movement, just as you would anything else that is important to you.
- Create some rituals. The weekends can be great for not having a routine, but having a structure increases the chances of getting stuff done. Perhaps Saturday could begin with relaxation mindful intentions and Sunday mornings could involve a bike ride along the coast, stopping by a healthy café for brunch. Choose to catch up on sleep rather than add to possible deprivation.
So, have plans, plan big and allow your 30% reflect how you would like to feel the remainder 70% of the year.