Well-Being//

17 Creative Weekend Routines For a Happier, More Successful Week

Stargazing, “plogging,” rom-com marathons –– which of these activities will put gas in your tank this weekend?

Image by AnnaRise/ Getty Images

Your weekend routine can often set the tone for your upcoming week, so it’s important to spend your time doing what recharges you.

Oprah Winfrey, for instance, has said: “I always give myself Sundays as a spiritual base of renewal — a day when I do absolutely nothing. I sit in my jammies or take a walk, and I allow myself time to BE — capital B-E — with myself.”

We asked the Thrive Global community what they choose to do to prepare for a happier week ahead, and we’re seriously inspired to try a few of these fun, calming and downright creative weekend rituals. Pet-itation anyone?


Stargaze

“On the weekends, I look forward to an evening walk to observe the stars. Late in the evening, we bring along one device and use a stargazing app to locate planets, constellations, satellites and the International Space Station. The world fades away as we look to the skies, and our hassles seem less important when beholding the big picture. It’s our own form of grounding for the week ahead.”

—Marti Ouellette, life and business coach, Phoenix, AZ

Declutter your home

“I love to get chores done! Working from home can make it really hard to keep a routine, but knowing that I’ve cleaned on Saturday mornings prepares me mentally for the week. It’s amazing how much clearer my head is for the week when my home is clean. Working in a cluttered home makes my whole week feel scattered!”

—Michaell Johnson, blogger, Los Angeles, CA

Keep calm and watch rom-coms

“On the weekends, I like to keep calm and watch rom-coms. My Saturday mornings start at about 8 a.m. I wake up to a glass of water and write for a couple hours. But once that session is over, the onslaught of binging romantic comedies begins. It makes me smile, keeps things lighthearted and puts everything in a strange kind of perspective. A world with rom-coms can’t possibly be all bad.”

—Kern Carter, writer and author, Toronto, CA

Try device-free Sundays

“Weekends are gas in the tank for my week. Every dinner at our house is device-free, but we try to add to the equanimity by having a device-free Sunday. That just creates more space for naps, games and long walks. We don’t always stick to our ideals, but we give it our best every week.”

—Donna Carlson, life coach, Monument, CO

Prep your meals

“When it comes to preparing for the week ahead, I love to meal prep. Shopping, cooking and packing for the week ahead is not only a time saver, it’s also a health saver. Having meals prepared in advance that can either be eaten on the go, heated up or frozen until later in the week saves precious time and money. It also reduces the urge to grab stress fillers or meals that won’t fuel you properly. Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live in.”

—Joshua Miller, author and executive coach, New York, NY

Take a solo nature walk

“My weekend routine that makes my weekend happier is a solo walk by the lake — usually taking photographs. As we move into the autumn season, the colors are so very beautiful.”

—Karina Saakyan, journal development specialist, Lausanne, Switzerland

Put away the to-dos

“During the week, there is always something lingering that needs to be done. I used to spend time relaxing and then the whole time felt anxious about everything else I ‘should’ be doing. That killed any chance of feeling refreshed. Eventually I realized that recharge time, whether it’s extra time strolling in the park, in front of the TV or curled up with a good book, has to be prioritized equally as getting work tasks done, or you’ll never feel rested.”

—Allison Graham, keynote speaker, author, business coach, Ontario, Canada

Enjoy an at-home happy hour

“My weekend routine is all about time with the people I love most. Fridays I enjoy HHH (home happy hour) with my husband. We throw on records, open a yummy bottle of wine and sit outside on the patio with our pups to discuss our week. It’s a great opportunity to reconnect after a busy week of brief encounters.”

—Caitlin Root, strategic account executive, San Diego, CA

Exercise with your family

“One of my best weekend routines is a Saturday morning at the gym. Our gym does a great Kids Fit club, so my husband, my 6-year-old daughter and I all go off to the gym and do our own thing. Sometimes I’ll spin, sometimes yoga, sometimes weights. Once we’ve finished our classes or workout, we come back together for a quick snack and then hit the pool for a swim and a play. By lunchtime, we’ve got a good work out in and shared some quality time together.”

—Angharad Boyson, coach, Lincoln, UK

Quiet the work-talk

“I like to keep Sunday evening work-free, to make sure I’m really ready for Monday. I always make sure there is time out on Sunday. As soon as we’ve had Sunday dinner as a family there is no work/school talk, a complete switch off. Allowing time for us all to unwind before the week starts again on Monday and keep the weeks apart.”

—Tina McDonald, youth career coach and leadership facilitator, UK

Keep it unscheduled

“On the weekends, it is important for me to have unscheduled recreation. I love live music, dancing and the great outdoors, so my weekend rituals include these at some point. My intention is to not be scheduled with these right brained activities, and the truth is these activities fuel my spirit. By allowing my unscheduled passions to happen on the weekend, I feel more creative and open as the week unfolds.”

—Cathy Reinhold, business coaching, Houston, TX

Try “plogging”

“I recently replaced jogging with ‘plogging’ — picking up litter while I run. I thought the stopping and stooping would annoy me, but the burn in my leg muscles from lunging and squatting tells me I’m working them, which is satisfying. However modest the effect on the environment, it takes no extra time, makes me more fit and helps clean our world.”

—Joshua Spodek, author, speaker, and professor of leadership, New York, NY

Pet-itate

“Beyond quality time spent with friends and family on weekends, I have a Sunday evening ritual that sets the tone for my week. I meditate with my dog. It sounds silly but it is a sort of bonding experience for us; sitting in silence, no disturbances or distractions — just a moment in time to reconnect, relax from an active weekend and set intentions for the upcoming week.”

—Jennifer Giamo, health and fitness expert, New York, NY

Take a restorative bath

“Every Sunday evening I begin my bath ritual in a way most people wouldn’t define as relaxing: I grab a Clorox wipe and clean my bathroom sink and tub. Clearing the space of empty shampoo bottles, soap slivers and rusted razor blades is the first step in relaxing for any recovering perfectionist. Once the space is prepped, I fill the bath with epsom salts, light scented candles and fire up my classical piano for relaxation station. During the bath I make a point to be mindful of my body and connect to it.”

—Rebekah Storm, body confidence coach, MN

Celebrate your successes

“Every Sunday evening, I take some time to celebrate my successes from the week. Sometimes there is a lot to celebrate, sometimes less but there is always something. I recommend listening to a relaxing soundtrack, closing your eyes and reflecting on all the good things that have happened during the week. Ending the week on a positive note helps me to start the next week happier.”

—Yasmina Hedhli, life and executive coach, London, UK

Write in a bullet journal

“Every Sunday evening, I take one hour to go though the following in my bullet journal for the upcoming week: Last week’s accomplishments, my remaining to dos, upcoming priorities and important events. I also ask myself, ‘What did I learn from last week?’ This routine keeps me on track with what actually matters in my life.”

—Marie Claire Bourque, MD, FRCPC psychiatrist, Calgary, Canada

Connect with the outdoors — and your creativity

“My routine is to go one day on the weekend technology-free, without my iPhone or laptop. I avoid tech as much as possible working on weekends, as this is my family time. Instead, I try to incorporate something that rejuvenates and opens my mind to allow my creative energy to flow, such as a visit to the beach to take in fresh air.”

—Anne Clark, business and life coach, Melbourne, Australia

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