How to Enjoy Your Weekend Like a Minimalist

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Marci Payne

Remember what it was like to be a carefree child on a summer day? Catching lighting bugs. Riding bikes. Exploring creeks. Popping tar bubbles with your toes. Selling lemonade. Days filled with adventure and curiosity.

When is the last time you felt this free? Our schedules are crammed with commitments, chores, errands, appointments, and activities. We dream of vacations and travel.

Why do we wait for vacations to take a break? Isn’t a weekend a tiny vacation? To vacate from our regular routines. To let our minds relax. To slow down.

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Gandhi

Is it hard for you do slow down and relax? Are you ready to take a break but not sure what to do with yourself? Embrace being instead of doing for a minimalist child-like weekend.

I love weekends. Letting go of work. With less on my plate, I can be more in the moment. But I have to make conscious choices to pull a minimalist weekend off:

Relax Like a Minimalist:

  • Unplug – Turn off technology or unplug from your computer for at least 24 hours. Be available for more personal connection, even if you are quietly presence. With less distractions, you will invite relaxation.
  • Make space – Get most of your cleaning, jobs, and errands done during the week. Resist over-scheduling your weekend by leaving pockets of time to unwind. The less you schedule, the more you can go with the flow.
  • Slow down – And, the less you schedule in your weekend, the slower your pace. Everyone needs at least one slow morning a week where there is no time commitment to get ready for. Enjoy this restful pace.
  • Just be – And, foster the art of doing almost nothing. Gaze at the birds. Listen to the wind. Read a good book. Doodle. Journal. Focus on being more than doing. And, in this moment, just be.

Burnout comes from trying to give what I do not possess.” ~ Parker Palmer

Re-Create Like a Child:

  • Work before play – Most of us work hard during the week, both in our job and at home. If our kids get to play after their “work” is done, then so do we. Pick play that refreshes and renews you.
  • Create – Let your imagination be your guide. Create art, crafts, words, photos, movies, or stories with no deadlines. It’s your creation, not your production or project.
  • Explore – Journey to familiar or new territory. Learn and explore. Take in details, textures, sights, and sounds. Make it an adventure.
  • Move and rest – Balance your movement with rest. Engage in the moment then drift with eyes heavy. Take a nap. Sleep in or go to bed early.

Invite relaxing recreation in your weekends. Take at least one day off each week. Be in the moment, go with the flow, and embrace what you love.

What helps you unwind and slow down? Share your favorite thing to do on the weekends.

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Marci writes for Liberating Choices, where she inspires others to break through worry and fear.

 

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Comments

  1. cathy ritter says

    BEING IN THE MOMENT is a skill, that certainly needs to be praciticed; but when it is successful…how special that time is…!!!!!!!!!!

  2. says

    My favorite relaxation is sitting in the garden reading with my husband, or scrapbooking family photos. As I get older and have less energy, these are becoming more important to me.

  3. Paula says

    Marci,
    Very nice post! It’s so hard for me to relax on my weekends. I usually try to get every little thing i can’t do during my weeks on one day and it leaves me exhausted to start off my week. But this is just what i needed to hear! Great advice! “Slow down”, “Move and Rest”. would try that for sure!
    Thank you!
    PAULA

    • says

      Thank you Paula, I do most of my cleaning and errands during the week, so I have at least one weekend day to go with the flow, unplug, and unwind. I think it’s harder if you work a full time job during the week. My a-ha moment was asking myself what i wanting to catch up on and when.

  4. says

    Kicking a soccer ball with my two year old doesn’t exactly slow my body down (he’s fast!) but definitely slows my mind down. Outside in the garden, without my phone or computer, diary or kitchen calendar, I’ve nothing to do but give him my full attention and be in the moment.
    When I catch myself working in my head, I switch my focus back to him and slowly, gradually, I start to relax and enjoy our play time.
    His priorities are kicking, running, throwing, laughing, tickling and being with me. I just need to follow his example!

    • says

      I have a 3 and 6 year old, and yes they are experts in being in the moment and enjoying the small things.I may be an example for them, but it’s mutual. I like to follow all that activity with a movie or nap, a special weekend treat.

  5. says

    Marci – I love this! I’ve already planned to ‘Make Space’ ‘Slow Down’ and ‘Create’ so I’m on the right track.

    My typical must-have on the weekend is to try and schedule one day with no to-do’s. It’s important for my balance to let go, rest, and reflect on life. Otherwise I feel frazzled!

    Great addition to BMWL. Hope you have a relaxing long weekend!

    Best,
    Amanda

    • says

      Amanda, Thank you for the warm greetings. I’m honored to be here.

      No to-do’s sounds like a great way to relax. For me, turning off the computer hides my to-do’s and time traps. That, and not over-scheduling my kids in loads of activities. This weekend, I have nature and family scheduled, so looking forward to it.

  6. says

    I totally agree! I’ve begun what seems “retro” to so many people now & have a “day of rest”. For me, this generally is more easily accomplished on a Sunday, when there are no school commitments, no extra-curriculars, and I do as you suggest, too, and get all the housework & errands done beforehand.

    Though it took some getting used to (and even reminding myself not to do work), I sooo look forward to my Sundays now :)

    • says

      It does seem out of the norm, but worth it to me to make the habit stick. I have little mental reminders too to slow down and unplug. I think it’s a day for me to just be, more than do. You sound like you’ve found the perfect day for you to just be too. Enjoy!

  7. says

    Work hard, play hard. Yes, hubby and I try to play hard. We walk the 4 mile boardwalk at Long Beach, NY, just about every Sunday morning and then go out for our favorite blueberry pancakes. We also love to ride our bikes in Central Park around the 6 mile loop through the entire park. Hopefully doing that this Sunday. And since Saturday is our Sabbath which we observe as a day of rest, it’s a day of complete ‘unplugging’. It’s a day for prayer, leisurely walks, reading, and total relaxation on the home front.

    • says

      Harriet, Your description of the Sabbath sounds lovely. A day of activity and a day of rest to reconnect and recharge. Do you get most of your mundane tasks, errands, chores done during the week to have this amazing weekend?

  8. says

    I am loving your blog.. I am trying to learn the art of relaxing and it is a HARD HARD thing to do, letting go of DOING and just BEING. I work an odd schedule so I am off on Sundays & Tuesdays. Tuesdays I spend creating art (greeting cards, which I sell in 2 local markets) so that is still really kind of a “work day” for me. Sundays I schedule NOTHING. I liveo n the MS Gulf Coast so I spend my some time on the beach (sometimes I make the sunrise, usually the sunset tho). I take a book and a camera… I wade in the surf and watch the stingrays play tag… I watch pelicans fly in formation to the wharf when the fishers come in… I watch seagulls ebb & flow across the beach… and then I try to NOT feel guilty because I “DID” nothing all day long. Progress, not perfection.

  9. Shruthi says

    Great blog! Profound, but put in such a simple & elegant way. I am a total believer in trying to do the chores (groceries, cleaning etc.) during the weekdays and having the weekend off. My husband and I reserve one day for hanging out with friends and the other (at least the morning & afternoon) for ourselves doing nothing. The “do-nothing” day starts off late (‘cuz we sleep in) with a cup of coffee and a long chat about anything and everything under the sun with no specific decision/goal to reach! I continually discover new things about myself and my husband in these chat sessions. Very relaxing and rejuvenating. It’s a spa day for the mind :-)

    • says

      Thank you for sharing your post. There have been a lot of tornadoes in Missouri lately with quite a lot of loss and devastation. So, this holiday weekend is quite a powerful reminder to remember what we have and be grateful for the life and loved ones we have with us.

  10. says

    Nice article.

    I strongly believe slowing down is vital both to creating a more enjoyable lives, and also for the world – as we need to break cycles of production and consumption . . . but I find it a struggle personally. I’m far too much of a sleep-deprived workaholic for my own good, and the idea of a technology fast is my worst nightmare! This is obviously something I’m going to have to tackle at some point soon :)

    Saw a very thought provoking TED talk about work-life balance recently : http://bit.ly/lHuQpi

    -STEVE-
    http://www.nextstarfish.com

  11. says

    This post is a great reminder for me. I love my to-do lists and feelings of accomplishment, but it was quite a wake up call when one of my son’s added playing with him to my list. I’m good at the work part, still learning on the play part.

  12. says

    I stumbled upon your article when I Googled “unplugging from technology” – or something like that. I find it so easy to be swept up in work activities that it is very difficult for me to even schedule time for myself to unplug. Your article is perfect in a world full of “busy” – thank you.

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