Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Five ways to make use of this long holiday break

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If you’re a life squeezer who crams the most into every moment, give yourself a much-needed break this long weekend. Slow the pace for a few hours, put the world on hold, and help yourself to a few days of pure enjoyment.

1. Take a home hiatus

That feeling of always being on the move, going from one deadline to another, is one we’re all too familiar with during the week, but sadly it often spills over to the weekends, too, as we continue the constant countdown to getting personal To-Do lists ticked off. Being busy all the time can result in exhaustion, so choose one day this weekend where you put all clocks away and step out of time. Try to really switch off – the world will keep turning! – and give yourself permission to just flop.

2. Savour the moment

Try practicing some mindfulness this weekend, bringing awareness to what’s happening in your mind, your emotions, and your environment. 

Start the day off by sitting in silence for a few minutes – observing the light and sounds, like birdsong, and feeling yourself be a part of the collective whole. At mealtimes, bring your focus to the sensory experience of eating. Pay real attention to the tastes and texture of the food and appreciate each bite – giving your brain and digestive system time to register the food. 

Walking is another brilliant way to reconnect with your senses. Take a walk around your neighborhood at an unhurried pace and feel the sensation of your feet making contact with the ground. Breathe the fresh air and focus on the sky, the weather, and what’s around you, allowing your brain to switch off and enjoy the moment.

3. Tune into you

Some form of technology is with us every second of the day, making us feel we need to know about every new Instagram or Facebook update. International researchers have found that spending hours online affects our memory processes which, some experts believe, is the reason why it feels as if time vanishes so quickly when we’re scrolling through our social media feeds. Take a break from tech, work emails, and the news, allowing your mind to unplug from the constant stream of stimulus.

4. Step out of the everyday

If you’re not going away this weekend, you can still reap the benefits of escape by breaking up your normal home routine. Put a temporary halt on your usual weekend chores to make time for fun or fulfilling activities – treat yourself to a meal alone or tag a friend along. Try something different this time, like an Indian, Swahili, or Chinese restaurant. Another option is to go to the movies – a great way to spend time alone or with a loved one, and if you have older children under your care, the movies are always a hit and will be a much-welcomed plan.

5. Free up your mind to relax

If your home is full of clutter or is always untidy, it can have a negative effect on your mental health. Studies have shown that a home that is in disarray causes stress, as clutter makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally. If you suffer from anxiety, a messy home can easily make you feel overwhelmed. 

If you don’t have the time or energy to sort out your home on a regular basis, hire help from the home services company SweepSouth. They have vetted, trustworthy home cleaners who will come in for a few hours to clean and tidy up your home, freeing you up to take a break and relax. The process is quick, reliable and user-friendly. And, by doing so, says SweepSouth CEO Aisha Pandor, you directly create work opportunities at a time when many domestic workers are struggling to find employment.

Beyond this weekend, try to incorporate some of the above into your daily life, to prevent slipping back into the kind of rushed life where days blur into months, and then seasons. Make it an ongoing priority to carve out pockets of time where you consciously relax – allowing your mind to feel calm and renewing your focus to enjoy what each day brings.

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