A 7 step working parents’ guide to a restorative weekend

Feeling like your weekends are no different from your weekdays? Do the weekdays and weekends just merge on life’s uphill treadmill? For most of us working parents, weekends disappear into a frantic stab at chores, food shopping, mammoth house/garden projects, and ferrying the kids to their umpteen clubs (which includes hanging around in some wretched community centre for an hour making small talk – or not – with other exhausted and frustrated parents).

The list is endless, and it’s all topped off with far too much wine on Saturday night to numb the pain of ITV’s 13th season of The X Factor. Standing on the touchline of your son’s football match at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning, with a head-splitting hangover leaves you thinking, ‘where’s the joy?’ To top it off, when the alarm sounds on a Monday morning we start the week drained and in odd socks (you were too busy to catch up on the washing).

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Sound familiar? Getting the balance right at weekends is a tricky one. Getting chores done and R&R (rest and relaxation), are fighting it out for precious time. However, with a little planning your weekend can be both productive and restorative. We’ve put together 7 smart steps for a restorative weekend, enabling you to start your week feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Here, Dakota Murphey has crafted a seven-step plan to a restorative weekend as part of a project for Wickwoods Country Club Hotel and Spa. – an ideal venue for weekend getaways in West Sussex.

Plan 3 Activities
It’s so easy to get to Monday morning and feel disappointed that the weekend has passed you by. Planning some activities at the weekend will bring structure and enjoyment to your weekend. Having something to look forward to makes you feel good. The experts keep telling us that anticipation brings as much satisfaction as the event itself. So whether it’s a massage at your local spa, a woodland stroll, or lunch with friends, get it in your diary and look forward to the weekend.

Schedule Some Downtime
Do make time to watch an hour of your favourite box set on TV, read a book, or read the newspaper. It’s up to you, but choose something which helps you to relax. Make it ‘me’ time and make it clear to the kids you’re not to be disturbed. The kids can read, play a game, play in the garden or catch up on homework.

Stretching It Out
If you’re spending Monday to Friday hunched over a computer, then making your weekend more active is essential if you want to avoid health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Yoga is a great way to relax, stretch out and address any postural issues. A Friday evening class will help to break the work routine, and it’ll keep you out of the pub so you can start the weekend feeling fresh.

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Put The Love Back Into Your Food
We all know how easy it is to slip into a pretty dull weekday routine with evening meals. Spag Bol, Pizza and a takeaway are pretty much written into the easy dinners’ almanac. Juggling work, kids and chores can take the joy out of cooking, and for many of us food at the weekends symptomatically follows in the same vein.

Taking time at the weekend to try a new recipe, bake bread, put some love back into your salads, or whizz up a soup will help you refocus on the joy of homemade grub. It’s a satisfying accomplishment, and an opportunity to prep something for a week night. You could make it a family activity (or keep it to yourself if you love cooking and want to indulge yourself). Why not listen to your favourite tunes while you cook and bust a few of your funky moves. It’s meant to be fun.

Minimise The Chores
Get more done in the week. Instead of slouching on the sofa after dinner on week nights, clean the bathroom or run the hoover around – it will free up time at the weekend. It’s a good idea to get the weekly shop done on a week night too. If supermarkets deliver to your area, then an on-line shop might work for you (and it saves you from the weekend supermarket hell).

A Little Help From Your Friends
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A trade-off cooking dinner for some help in the garden is a great way to spend time with friends in a productive way. And be sure to cook something simple – you don’t want to make more work.

Car-pooling or calling favours in from friends to collect your kids from their weekend activities will free up some time, and gets you off the hook from the community centre torment.

Unplug The Tech
Getting drawn into inefficient checking of emails, texts and social media sites is easily done at the weekend. Say goodbye to the devices for a few hours and feel the relief. If you’re constantly on call from work over weekends, be clear with your boss that you’re not available between certain times. Instead, take back control and schedule the times that you are. Spend your tech-free time engaging with real people instead.

 

Until Next Time… Charlotte x

 

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