I’ve always dreamt of indulging in an elaborate self-care retreat-like weekend. It’d be full of nourishing food, relaxation, yoga, sunshine, skincare, and all the things that make me feel good and present.
However, it has yet to happen. I doubt it ever will, and I’m okay with that. Not only would it take away from time with my friends and family that usually fills weekends (though I could include them), but it also feels like a band-aid approach to self-care.
Don’t get me wrong, a weekend can definitely work wonders for your mood, energy, and general well-being, but it’s not a cure-all solution. It can temporarily “fill your cup,” but once real life hits, without sustainable self-care practices, that cup will drain pretty quickly.
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What’s a Self-Care Weekend?
Maybe a self-care retreat will happen one day, and I’m not opposed to planning an amazing, indulgent weekend at some point, but until then, I’m taking a different approach.
A self-care weekend is dedicating time to and prioritizing self-care activities.
It can be done each weekend.
A self-care weekend is balanced, fun, and practical. Keep reading to learn why the weekends are a perfect time to build new self-care routines, how to get started, and a list of weekend-approved self-care ideas.
I’m not saying that self-care should only be practiced during the weekend by any means. It should be a part of each and every day. But, the weekends offer a prime opportunity to put a little more time and focus into checking in with yourself.
During the week, your schedule is likely packed with work, errands, and other obligations. It’s hard to prioritize your own needs. On the weekends, there’s usually more time and flexibility to slow down, take a break, and do something for yourself.
On the weekends, we usually don’t have to work or deal with weekday obligations. The 8+ hours per day that are typically spent at work can be used for a balance of events/plans and self-care practices.
During the week, it’s easy to get caught up in our daily routines and never-ending to-do list. On off days, it’s a chance to take a break to be present and intentional.
Some weekends offer endless opportunities to have fun and explore new things. Embrace not being bound to a schedule for a few days.
For those of us who struggle to prioritize self-care during the week, the weekends are a perfect place to start. Look at it as a chance to start putting yourself first and to set yourself up for success for the week.
By taking the time to prioritize yourself on the weekends, you’ll feel recharged and ready to take on whatever the week ahead might bring.
4 Self-Care Weekend Tips
To ensure that you make the most of your rejuvenating and nourishing self-care weekend, here are four important tips to keep in mind.
- Prioritize self-care that you both need to and want to do.
This means that instead of jumping into 90 minutes of hot yoga on Saturday morning, spend a minute taking an honest look at what’s going to be best for you. What type of self-care are you struggling with most right now? If you’re short on time, what will be the most beneficial?
Check out my post on the Self-Care Wheel to help you sort through these questions and strategize. Don’t forget that self-care should be fun and enjoyable, so be sure to choose activities that you actually want to do.
- Set aside the time.
Even when you have one of those rare “nothing going on” weekends, time always flies by. Once you’ve decided what self-care practices you want to include in your weekend, decide when you’ll do them.
You don’t necessarily have to schedule them, but if that helps hold you accountable for taking the time for yourself, you might want to give it a try.
- Unplug from technology.
This will help to reduce stress and clear mental space. Consider setting boundaries around your phone and computer, because we’re on these too much during the week anyway. If anything, think of it as giving your eyes a break!
You can turn off notifications, put your phone on airplane mode, or maybe take a break from social media.
- Involve others.
This will give you extra accountability to follow through with your self-care plans and make it more fun. Plus, it’s a great way to practice social self-care. You might also need to ask for help if your weekends are usually spent running errands or caring for others.
30 Self-Care Weekend Activities
Now that you’re all set up and ready to add self-care to your weekend, here are 30 self-care practices that are perfect for your weekend.
Weekend Physical Self-Care
- Do Yoga
Whether you’d prefer to sign up for a local class or flow at home, yoga is a great way to improve flexibility, strength, and balance.
- Go for a Hike
If the weather permits, take your movement outside! Explore a trail or park to enjoy nature and get some steps in.
- Get a Massage
Book a massage to relieve tension and relax your muscles. For a budget-friendly alternative, a tennis ball self-massage can be great!
- Meal Prep
Spend time preparing healthy meals for the week to nourish your body. Try making a few days of breakfast or lunches, portioning out snacks, or prepping ingredients for quick dinners.
- Treat your Skin
Take care of your skin with an extended skincare routine with exfoliating, serums, masks, and sun protection.
Weekend Emotional Self-Care
Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal to clear your mind and process what’s going on in your life at the moment. Here are some great journaling prompts if you’re not sure where to start.
Laughing is an incredible way to boost your mood and release stress. Choose a classic movie, or favorite comedian, or listen to a comedy podcast.
- Practice Gratitude
Take time to reflect on and appreciate the good things in your life. One of my favorite activities is the Three Good Things exercise.
- Listen to Music
Blast your favorite music to lift your spirits and put you in a good mood all weekend long.
- Be Happy
Spend time doing something that brings you joy. It could be a hobby, spending time with loved ones, or simply playing (something most adults don’t do enough of).
Weekend Social Self-Care
- See Friends + Family
Connect with those you care about to celebrate a family event or just because. Try making an effort to see someone you haven’t in a while.
- Coffee with a Friend
Support a local cafe and spend quality time checking up with a friend. Don’t drink coffee? Opt for a refreshing, energizing tea on a hot day!
- Date Night
Take time to connect with your partner, a special someone, or even on a solo date with yourself!
- Meet New People
Though they’re not always the easiest to seek out, meeting new people and expanding your circle is always rewarding. Think about joining a sports team or signing up for an event on meetup.
Give back to your community and feel good about making a difference. Look for organizations that help with environmental clean-up, animal shelters, homeless shelters, non-profits, or senior centers if you’re not sure where to start.
Weekend Occupational Self-Care
- We’re skipping this one! It’s the weekend – occupational self-care is taking a break from work on your days off. Resist the urge to answer emails, work ahead, or think about work. It will be there for you on Monday.
Weekend Spiritual Self-Care
Take some quiet time to reflect, meditate, or pray to connect with your spiritual side.
- Get Outside
There’s something about being out in nature that helps us to feel a part of something larger than ourselves. It could be a forest, beach, mountains, or any local park that inspires you.
- Attend a Service
Connect with your faith community by attending church or religious service.
- Read a Spiritual Book
Consider taking time to read a religious text or a book that resonates with you. If you’re not religious, Man’s Search for Meaning is a classic.
- Deeply Reflect
Explore your personal values, meaning, and purpose in life. Take time to reflect on what matters most to you and what gives your life meaning.
Weekend Intellectual Self-Care
Curl up with a good book to get lost in a story or to expand your knowledge.
- Learn Something New
Take a class, workshop, or explore a new hobby to challenge your mind and learn some new skills. This can be a great way to connect if a friend or family member has some skills to show you.
- Play a Game
Have fun and challenge your brain with a board game, puzzle, or card game.
- Take an Online Course
Learn something new that interests you and has nothing to do with your job. Maybe a foreign language, DIY project, or recipe.
- Be Creative
Tap into your creativity with a project or arts and crafts. You could draw, paint, write, sculpt, color, sing, …. There are unlimited possibilities to express yourself.
Your Next Steps
A self-care weekend is a great way to prioritize your well-being and recharge for the week ahead. When you take just a few minutes throughout the weekend for self-care, you’ll feel so much more refreshed and ready to handle the challenges of the week ahead.
Remember, a self-care weekend is not at all about indulging in a weekend retreat but about building sustainable self-care practices. If you’re looking for a place to start, join my 7-day self-care challenge to jumpstart your self-care journey.
Sign up today and discover how small changes in your self-care routine can make a big difference in your life, one week at a time!