Learn to relax!

10 March, 2019

That's it! Spring break is coming to an end. I hear conversations in family homes; we tell ourselves that we haven't seen the week go by, we have the impression that we did not take advantage of this available time, at least, not as we would have liked. Very quickly (too quickly), we will find the demanding frenzy of weekdays and we will start to dream of our next weekend. What prevents us from taking full advantage of our days off? When we are parents, we live our weekends in a strange duality, as if our role as a parent and its requirements prevented us from having real moments of relaxation. On the one hand, we want to freeze time and make the most of it, and on the other hand, we want to use it to be more productive and organized. A teacher friend told me, at the start of my break, how difficult it was to reconcile obligations and desires. On the one hand, there was this stack of proofreading copies waiting for her, and on the other, the children with whom she wanted to have a good time. Not to mention that she would also have liked to get ahead in the preparation of meals and put some order in her pantry. My experience as a mother made me realize that the biggest challenge is learning to manage priorities, not time. The time available will always remain the same, it is our way of occupying that must be managed. In this sense, the use of our days off requires us to do real work on ourselves. As journalist Katrina Onstad says in her book Where did my weekend go?  "At weekends, it’s when we ease off to remember what matters." In other words, this is the time to focus on the things that are most important to us. Unfortunately, several social constraints often make us lose sight of what is really important and fill our weekends with new obligations. We need to take our son to hockey or to swimming lessons, we need to have a clean house and an environment instagramable, we have to receive people by offering them a culinary experience worthy of a great restaurant or we have to frequent this renowned tourist site in order to share our experience on social networks. When you think about it "objectively", the weekend is a tiny 48-hour gap in our professional life. Unfortunately, the feeling of Friday evening "finally the weekend, I will be able to do a lot of things", is unfortunately often followed by the disappointment of Sunday "everything went too quickly and I did not have time for everything tick on my to do list ".

How to make your weekend a success!

   There is of course no magic formula for living the perfect weekend. That said, here are some ideas that may make you think about how you spend your free time. Take what suits you to create weekends that look like you. Remember that vacation weeks, such as spring break, are really just long weekends!

Create a festive atmosphere

 Start the weekend in a party atmosphere. Friday evening and Saturday morning are special times. Put a little fantasy, music, candles, an atmosphere that makes this moment special and differentiates it from weekdays.

Experience itflow state

 Find a hobby that will allow you to experience theflow state. Theflow state"Is an optimal psychological state" which occurs when one practices an activity for his own pleasure and one then has the impression "to go out of oneself, to go out of time". Practice a sport, do a sport or artistic activity, cook or read, but allow yourself to please your brain! Attention, screens and video games keep us in a state of flow, they really make us lose any notion of time, but does not bring us any psychological benefit.

Do less cleaning

 Give the household a set period of time in advance and stick to it. For example, book the Sunday morning period from 8h to 10h to polish the house. If you can, adhere to the principle “One day, one room” of blogger Erin Doland. Each day of the week, spend half an hour cleaning a room instead of cleaning up on weekends. Do not forget to do the family chores, it is more pleasant, it goes faster and it frees up family time for leisure.

Disconnect from your devices to connect with real humans

 Disconnect your electronic devices for a period of 24 hours if you feel you can. Prioritize the human connection. Call your friends rather than text them. It has been proven that intercourse can increase life expectancy, it even boosts the immune system and can aid healing when you are sick. Not to mention that our body reacts to each notification received releasing stress hormones when it sounds.

Make plans, but not too much

 Make your friend unexpected and embrace him! Dealing with uncertainty and learning to live with it rather than fighting it is the best way to avoid disappointment. Admit that the funniest parties are those where we hadn't planned to have fun. Besides, kids love last minute plans and the surprise they bring.

Receive people, but with modesty

 People are not that complicated! Don't waste a full day making them a meal worthy of a restaurant outing. Nowadays, people sometimes seem to find it too demanding to receive because they tend to want to do too much. The warmth of a house and the welcome of the hosts is most important. A very simple chili to prepare is an easy meal and you can add a touch of whimsy like margaritas and voila!

Release the supervision of children

 There is no shortage of enriching activities for children! That said, too many activities can lead our children to overwork. Studies prove it: children who lack free time are more prone to experience stress or anxiety and to develop an unconventional spirit. Do you want to stimulate your children and wonder if you are overdoing it? It's simple, if organizing your kids' schedules is exhausting you, it's a sign that you are overdoing it and that their schedules are overloaded. Do not be afraid that they will get bored and that they will become unpleasant, looking for the chicane. Give them a chance to experience boredom and prove that they are creative.

Manage priorities, not time

 Take the time to think about what is most important to you. Here, we have decided to put the interests of the collective ahead of those of the individual. We took the pressure off of doing an activity that will please everyone in the family. By managing priorities rather than time, you will have the freedom to say "I don't spend time on this" rather than "I don't have time for that". Is having a sparkling home more important than spending time with grandparents? Is getting ahead of meal preparation more important than getting some exercise? Does one frozen meal per week really have disastrous consequences on children's health?

O time, suspend your flight!

Lack of time to take care of ourselves and our family is an issue that we all experience. We are, in a way, the victims of this time which runs non-stop, which spins like lightning. So take the means to savor it, to live better, to marvel and to enjoy more of all the simple things in life.