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April 24, 2017

10 things to do on the weekend to make your life so much easier

How a mindful Sunday can improve your entire week

You may have heard of the "Sunday Scaries," a term used to refer to the anxious feeling that many people feel on a Sunday after a long, lazy and often indulgent weekend, when the return to work or school is inevitable.

It is very tempting to completely shut off on the weekends and, of course, it is healthy to take time for yourself to relax, but "to what extent?" and "at what expense?" are the questions you must ask yourself. In other words, is all of your weekend fun making your weeks miserable?

I had to set some boundaries to avoid shooting myself in the foot during the week. For me to implement sustainable change on my weekends, it took realizing that the less I got accomplished, the stronger those bad feelings were as I entered the week. Sure it’s not rocket science, but knowing what you have to do and actually doing it are two very different things.

With that in mind, I decided to create a plan for my weekends, to see how it affected my weeks. It needed to be realistic and simple, or else I would never stick to it. When I started implementing this routine, I was single and living alone and it really hasn’t changed much now that I am married and live with my husband, so I know it can work for anyone. In fact, the busier you are, the more effective a weekend routine.

Below are the 10 things you can do every weekend to make your week much easier

Schedule Time to Do Whatever You Want

The most important part about weekends for me is still relaxing. I know on Friday nights I really just want to unwind and enjoy myself after a long week and the same goes for most Saturdays, too. I let myself have a very loose schedule both of those days and usually do something like go out to dinner, get my hair and nails done, etc.

The 3 p.m. Sunday Rule

After setting aside time to do what I want to do on Friday night and Saturday, I really do set out to do what I need to do on Sunday. Among many things my college friend Ali taught me was that it is best to be home before 3 p.m on Sundays so you can get ready for the week ahead in your own home. Another thing that Ali taught me…

Never Skip a Sunday Workout

Sunday may be considered a day of rest for many, but a lazy Sunday sets the tone for a lazy week. Maybe you don’t feel like going to the gym, but just get outside and go for a nice long run or walk on a Sunday and trust me, you’ll be happy you started your week off on the right foot.

Sunday Sheets & Towels

As soon as I wake up on Sunday, I strip the bed. Sheets and towels go right in the washer and by the afternoon, they are hot and crisp out of the dryer ready for a good Sunday night’s sleep. It seems like a pain at first but honestly, there is no better way to start off the week than getting into a clean set of sheets.

Update Your Calendar for the Week

Take 10 minutes to look at your calendar and see what is on the agenda for the week ahead. Make sure you have everything plugged in from meetings, to workouts, to events. Fill in the blanks to where you can to take the guesswork out of your week.

Check the Weather & Plan Outfits

Using your updated calendar for the week and a weather app, try to plan for what you might want to wear in the week ahead. Sundays are the perfect time to check the 5-day forecast. I mostly plan my outfits because I like to get ironing out of the way on Sundays, too.

Food Shop & Meal Plan/Prep

On weeks when food shopping and meal prepping feels like too much for me to do in the same day, I’ll shop on either Friday night or Saturday and focus on the planning aspect on Sunday. Either way, Sunday is a time of planning what you are going to eat during the week. Wash and cut your fruits and vegetables, use your calendar to plan breakfasts, lunches and dinners, pre-pack snacks, throw a bunch of chicken breast in the crockpot, roast a tray of vegetables, make a sweet healthy treat. Do whatever you have to do to make weekday meals healthy and accessible. If you are new to meal prepping, here is a tutorial on how to get started.

Make Your Monday To-Do List

Take some time to sit down and make a list of what you have to do on Monday. I find daily to-do lists much more helpful than weekly to-do lists because they are shorter and easier to work through. One piece of advice: never make a to-do list sitting in bed, it's said to negatively impact your sleep.

Clean Out Your Email Inbox

Inevitably, there will be a Monday morning flood of emails into your inbox, so it is good practice to get back to everyone that you can on Sundays rather than leave it until Monday morning when new mail comes pouring in.

Take a Nice Hot Shower and Get To Bed Around 9 p.m.

A good night’s sleep on Sunday will leave you feeling refreshed and recharged on Monday. Unwind by taking a hot shower before bed to relax your body and your mind and you will be primed for a restful night and week ahead.

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I hope you find these tips as helpful as I have.  I would love to hear about your experiences and any tips you may have. Please feel free to share your story here. I'll continue to keep you posted on my health journey. Follow me for updates @christiemandia.

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