Life is tough!
Sometimes we're busy, working 5,000 jobs, taking care of 10,000 kids, stressing about money, or worrying about when we'll finally live the kind of life we want to live; a life filled with love, joy, connection, passion projects, travel and free time.
When we're exhausted, drained, and depleted, I think we tend to engage in activities that don't necessarily help to recharge our batteries, to replenish us, or to nourish us.
Since the weekend is approaching, and many of us are less busy during the weekend, I wanted to explore which activities are actually healthy and helpful for us, so that when Monday comes again, we feel beyond amazing and ready!
Here are some activities that many of us engage in during our time off: binge watching TV, laying on the couch or in bed for hours, scrolling through social media for hours, having arguments with strangers or loved ones on social media, binge drinking with loved ones, or using other substances. What am I missing? What are your go to behaviors on your days off?
But, when we engage in those activities, I think we might realize that we feel even more depleted and tired afterwards, and possibly even depressed. What we know, though, is that what typically makes us feel good is when we engage in tasks that have enough of a challenge for us, but also we feel that we have enough skills to overcome that challenge; this is what psychologists call flow. We also know that some of what truly brings us joy include: social connection, free time, being kind to each other, and feelings of gratitude.
Some of the questions we can ask ourselves are: who do we want to spend time with? How do we want to spend our free time in a way that we feel challenged, but also skilled, competent or efficacious? How can we be kinder to ourselves and others? Which activities can we engage in that makes us appreciate and feel grateful for our life even more?
As you answer these questions, the answers might give you some ideas about how you can spend your days or time off more adaptively.
New activities might involve: going on a hike with loved ones, volunteering with a close friend, drinking alcohol and using substances in a mindful and slow way so that you're still able to connect and be present with the close friends you're spending time with, taking a cooking class in an effort to learn new skills and meet new people, talking to loved ones about whether they'd like to have a book club, finding activities through meetup groups, or making a plan before the time off comes.
This plan can entail checking in with yourself and asking yourself: what do I need? How can I be kinder and practice more gratitude this weekend? What do I wish for this weekend? How do I want to feel this weekend, and what do I need to do for myself and for others, to feel what I want to feel? What's preventing me from doing what I need and want to do for myself and others? How can I start facing and pushing through the obstacles that are in my way?
These questions encompass a process that psychologists have come up with called: WOOP. What's your wish? What's your dream outcome? What are the obstacles? What's your if-then plan to face those obstacles and get your wish? You can WOOP often! You can WOOP every minute and every hour and everyday! Lol! Here's to you WOOPing so that you start to more readily engage in the self-care activities you wish you could engage in more.
I hope you find some incredibly, nourishing activities to partake in during your days off! Also, if you're looking to meet new people in NYC, you might enjoy the joy list.
Take good care of you and those around you.