#TGIF may be the popular end-of-the-week anthem scrolling across Twitter feeds, but in reality, studies show that working Americans aren’t the greatest at taking a break. As a generally workaholic nation, we see rest as synonymous with laziness, and wince at the thought of wasting an hour without doing something productive. Although some working Americans may be plan on relaxing on the couch and watching the game this weekend, 30 percent will be clocking in to work. And with considerably less paid vacation time than other foreign nations, Americans don’t have much reason to value taking time off. In reality, no matter how many cups of coffee you chugged this morning, humans can’t expect their bodies to keep running on empty. Work-life balance is necessary to maintain a healthy mind and body, and it will actually increase your productivity. Here are six healthy habits to promote a better health of mind and body and make your weekends count.
Take advantage of the weekend to begin a workout routine with your family, friends, or spouse. Choose an activity that appeals to you and keeps your mind active as well. Explore the hiking trails in your area, sign up for a membership at a rock climbing gym, or try a yoga class. Download an exercise app, like C25K or Nike+ Training Club, to track your progress over the weeks. Make it a goal to be active for at least 2 hours over the weekend.
Please sleep in this weekend! As employers, we know that when our employees slack on sleep, they slack on performance and attitude as well. Sleep is some of the best medicine you can take and has many health benefits including improved memory and creativity. It’s also a key part of a healthy heart, weight, mind, and more.
3. Turn off the tech
Some families practice “unplugging” on the weekends in order to spend more time together. Take a break from the extra distraction of texts, emails, and work calls to focus on the people closest to you. We challenge you to put down the phone, tablet, remote, laptop, etc. for one hour this weekend. Next weekend go for two hours – build up until you can handle an entire day without getting on social media. You might collapse, but the world won’t. Pay attention to how much extra time you have when you’re not spending all of it glued to Facebook.
4. Educate yourself
Take time on the weekends to learn something new about a topic that interests you. Stroll through an art museum, enroll in a cooking class, or visit a historical landmark. Learning something new stretches your mind and invites you to look at the world differently. You may be surprised how your new knowledge will pop up at your work next week, even if it’s just sharing what you learned over a lunchtime conversation.
5. Spend time with others
Spending time with your family or making new friends has proven to lower stress, decrease loneliness, and improve healthy eating habits among other benefits.
With all the extra time you have from putting down your phone, and the added energy from all the sleep and exercise you’ve gotten, use Saturdays and Sundays to spend quality time with those you love. In the end, what really matters is all that matters.
Along with spending time with others, spending time investing in your community can improve your health by boosting your self-esteem. Express gratitude to your community by taking time to give back. There are many different options including tutoring kids at an after school program, serving in a soup kitchen, or visiting a nursing home on your weekends. Volunteer experience often helps you learn valuable job skills and is a great addition to your résumé.
Becoming healthier requires more than physical exercise and eating well. Doing activities that bring enjoyment, refresh your mind, and allow you to invest in others has reciprocal benefits that will carry over into your work. So go ahead, hit that snooze button. Take a walk. Read that book. Hang out with friends. Breathe deeply. Do whatever you want this weekend to unwind and rest. We give you permission to enjoy this weekend!
Looking for a new position – to fill the days between your weekends? Contact Springborn Staffing. We match our candidates with top companies in Bangor and Portland, Maine.