We know your weekends are absolutely precious. For most of us, they’re the only respite from that 9 to 5 grind, and we value every single second we get from clocking out on Friday evening to that awful Monday morning alarm. You might not think about all the life-changing things you can do in one weekend.
It’s especially hard to think about changing your world in two days if you typically spend your weekends binge-watching your favorite show or ordering way too many margaritas at happy hour. We’re not going to tell you not to do those things. In fact, you should sleep in on the weekends if that’s what makes your heart happy, and enjoy those cocktails with friends. But there are plenty of things you can do in one weekend that will seriously change your life for the better.
Trust us: the long-term effects of these weekend projects are worth their weight in gold.
1Deep clean your apartment.
Ugh, we know. The last thing you want to do on your precious day off is go all Danny Tanner with a mop and a broom, but hear us out: Spending one weekend cleaning out your entire abode will provide serious benefits for your mental health and well-being. When you live in a house filled with clutter, your stress levels tend to rise, and no one needs to be stressed after an already long week at work.
In a 2011 study, women were found to have higher stress levels and report a depressed mood when they came home to find mess and clutter. Yikes. Plus, clutter hinders productivity, and high levels of dust do no favors for your respiratory system. Take a few hours over the weekend to do a thorough cleaning of your home, and you’ll reap the benefits for months to come.
2Organize your closet.
Be honest: When was the last time you cleaned out your closet? If your closet looks like a tornado tore through it, a thorough wardrobe overhaul is likely long overdue. It can be totally overwhelming to go through your entire wardrobe, so start small. By starting in the sock drawer, you’ll begin to feel the momentum and continue going through the rest of your closet. Plus, you’ll feel so much better once you’ve gotten rid of those low-rise jeans you haven’t worn since the Britney-and-Justin era.
Some tips on how to know what to keep and what to toss: If it doesn’t fit you perfectly right now, toss it. If you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it. Is it damaged or stained? If so, commit to having it cleaned or fixed; If you can’t do that, toss it. Do you absolutely love it? Keep it. Get rid of anything that you don’t love, but make sure you find a reputable charity to donate everything to. Your post-shower Monday morning self will thank you immensely.
3Clean everything else.
We promise, this is the last thing we’ll ask you to do that involves cleaning. Spending some time one weekend taking care of the things that never get cleaned will make you feel so much better. When’s the last time you got rid of those empty water bottles in your car? How about cleaned your makeup brushes? Organized your files? These little steps are easily done on a lazy weekend morning and you’ll be so glad you did them.
4Break up with your phone.
If the thought of turning off your phone for an hour — let alone an entire weekend — is enough to send you into a state of panic, we feel you, but consider this. Taking some time on one weekend away from your phone (even a day is fine) can be enough to totally reset your brain and allow you to fully, truthfully relax.
Studies have shown that when you take a “digital detox” — which includes the use of your phone, computer, and even TV (we know it’s hardcore) — you can reap health benefits almost immediately, as well as in the long term. Your posture becomes better (no more hunching over a keyboard), your memory begins to improve, you can sleep better, and your friendships and relationships improve, all just by hiding that phone in a drawer from time to time.
Give it a try — even one day is enough time to help your brain clear and refocus.
5Start a journal.
If you haven’t written in a journal since the days of LiveJournal, you may want to start now. Even if you’re not the best writer (and no shame in that!), keeping a journal and using it consistently is such a good way to be in touch with your thoughts and emotions, and all it takes is a few minutes a day. Starting the journal on a weekend and committing to weekly Sunday morning writing sessions (or jotting down a few sentences before bed each night) can help you organize your thoughts, help you to be more mindful, help you heal from traumatic events in your life, and allow you to learn more about yourself through your own words.
It’s incredibly cathartic to write your feelings down, even if no one ever sees them. Plus, nothing gets those creative juices flowing quite like journaling. So go grab yourself a cute journal you’ll love to write in, and take some time on a weekend to simply put pen to paper.
6Create a vision board.
Vision boards get a reputation for being like Pinterest come to life, but they’re actually a great way to create a visual for what your dream life looks like. The cool thing about a vision board is that you can truly make it yours, and you can add anything that speaks to you. Do you love inspirational quotes? Fashion inspo? Photos of women that inspire you? Add anything to it that lights you up and makes you happy, whether it’s a ticket stub from your favorite play or a thoughtful handwritten birthday card from your bestie.
Make it colorful, make it organized, make it fun. There truly are no rules when it comes to a vision board, and if you take the time to create it one weekend, you’ll have it as inspiration for years to come. Light some candles, turn up the music, and have fun with it.
The last thing you likely want to do on your weekends is more work, but taking some time to volunteer even just once brings innumerable benefits and feel-good vibes your way…really! There are so many health benefits to volunteering, such as an increased sense of purpose and fulfillment, lower levels of depression, and reduced levels of stress.
If you don’t have time to commit to volunteering regularly, that’s OK. Research shows that even volunteering just once can have a positive impact on your mood and levels of satisfaction. Find a cause that you feel connected to and spend a weekend giving back. You’ll never regret it, we assure you.
8Take a wellness retreat.
We know it sounds a bit hippy-dippy, but taking a weekend away doing an activity such as hiking or yoga is good for your body and mind. You don’t have to spend thousands on a weekend retreat, either. Simply taking a day or two to spend connecting with nature or exercising in ways you’re not used to is such a good way to recharge and relax, which will boost your mood for weeks to come. Taking some time for yourself is the best thing we can do for self-care, and what better way to do that then by spending a weekend away. Get a massage, practice meditation, or even taking some yoga classes will help keep your zen even as the Monday morning rush inevitably creeps back in. And what could be better than that?