With the long weekend ahead, many of us will be getting ready to settle into spending time with family and friends, coming together to celebrate the Easter break.
And while this break from our regular routine can be a welcome change, it can be all too easy to forgo the wellness habits that help us keep balance in our lives. Although only for a few days, this can be enough to create a fracture in the habits you have put time and effort into building and can derail your progress mentally, physically and emotionally.
However, this does not mean not enjoying a well-earned break to your fullest ability. Healthy and balanced rituals should not be seen as a chore – rather a way to reinforce the time you have to rest, relax and recuperate.
To help align your priorities with the best interest of your health first and foremost, we have created a checklist that you can refer to whenever you have some leisure time to help you maintain your positive rituals.
Restful sleep and slow awakening
While it might be tempting to snooze your alarm and enjoy that extra bit of shut-eye as sunlight gently creeps into your room, we encourage you to reconsider. Research shows that inconsistency in your wake time confuses your circadian rhythm, which can lead to that heavy sensation of morning grogginess and make it all the more difficult to feel energised and motivated to start your day.
Whether or not you’re a morning person, it’s important to allow our tiredness to play out in its natural form. Not many of us bounce out of bed ready to take on the day at full force – we all go through a period of sleep inertia. During this time, we experience around 30 minutes of tiredness, lack of concentration, and a heavy desire to go back to sleep.
Although the temptation to doze off again is strong, it’s important that this period is allowed to play out naturally. This means abstaining from waking your body unnaturally by resorting to a strong coffee straight away or reaching for your electronic devices, which can have potentially negative repercussions for the rest of your day.
Instead, treat this time as the perfect opportunity to take some time to practise mindfulness or think about what you want to achieve from the day ahead. Enjoy a calm start to the day by slowly opening your blinds, stretching, making your bed, and letting your mind naturally wonder about the possibilities that a new day holds.
Incorporate some movement into the day
The benefits of an active lifestyle have been proven time and time again in fortifying body, mind and spirit.
To make sure that our body gets all the movement it needs, use this time to connect with nature. This might involve a swim in the ocean, some yoga in a park, or a walk through a rainforest. Expending this energy during this time is a wonderful way to appreciate all the natural beauty of nature and reconnect with our inner state of calm.
In the weeks leading up to Easter, the supermarket shelves are filled with an array of oh-so-tempting chocolate arrangements which seem to become more and more inviting every year. And we say – go for it!
We will always encourage and preach balance, and if enjoying chocolate treats in the spirit of Easter brings you joy (as it does for almost all of us!), then you should feel no guilt or hesitation in indulging.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that balance works both ways! Over-indulging in sugary sweets not only negatively affects your health (physically AND mentally), but it will more often than not leave you feeling sick and regretful – a lose-lose situation.
Instead, strike a balance between healthy foods that nourish our bodies and tasty Easter treats.
If you’re feeling extra determined to stay away from excess sugar over Easter, try substituting your usual chocolate bunnies with high-cocoa, low sugar chocolate, or try your hand at creating your own tasty Easter treats with a dark chocolate recipe that’s packed with goodness.
If you have tasks you know need to be done over the weekend – no matter how small – we encourage you to be productive and tick these off first thing in the day. Yes, this long weekend is a break for you to relax, unwind and enjoy the company of friends and family, but procrastinating on your to-do list will hinder you from completely letting go and enjoying your time off. Completing your to-do list straight away will leave you feeling accomplished and with peace of mind to fully embrace your downtime.
Enjoying a long weekend looks different for everyone. Perhaps you’ve packed your schedule full of social arrangements, or perhaps you’ve cleared it completely.
Whatever you have organised, self-care should be number one on your weekend wellness checklist. This means doing the things that bring you happiness, make you feel balanced, and equip you with everything you need to charge into the week ahead. Even social arrangements can be draining, so it’s important to schedule time that’s just for you.
In doing so, allocate some time to being separate from your devices. A short digital detox can be a blessing to your state of mind and productivity, helping you to relieve stress and provide greater mental clarity.
And most importantly, take some time to do what you love! Be it a catch up with friends or a solo adventure into the wilderness, doing whatever feeds your soul is time well spent.