Start recovering from your busy weekend with this 5-step plan.
Your 5-Step Plan to Recovering From a Busy Weekend
1) Fluids, fluids, fluids.
The old adage is true; but why? When we’re out for an eventful weekend – whether business, errands, or fun – hydration can often fall behind in priority. When our bodies stop getting enough water from our diet, we start to store water as a protective mechanism. This is partially what can lead to feelings of bloat after a crazy weekend.
Bring fluids` back into focus with fruit- or citrus-squeezed water, coconut water, herbal tea, or flavored seltzers. Aim for small frequent amounts, such as 8 ounces every 2 hours.
A packed schedule calls for “fast” food – whether dining at restaurants, getting something quick at a walk-in, or ordering take out. Depending on the location you choose it can be hard to find selections rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables; and in fact, for a weekend out, F&V’s may not be your #1 choice! Missing out on your 5 servings a day reduces the likelihood that you’re hitting your fiber, vitamin, and mineral requirements for the day, which can leave you feeling drained or tired.
Include at least 1 serving of fruits or vegetables at every meal and snack for the week to get back to your 5 a day!
3) Plan your week.
Make sure you reserve some time Sunday or Monday night to hit the grocery store and stock up on the foods you’ll need to hit the points above. Give yourself 1-2 hours to cook a one-pot or baking-dish-sized meal. That will get you at least to mid-week, when you can re-calibrate and do some fast thinking to get yourself through to the weekend. Find another hour or two around Wednesday or Thursday to either make another meal or compile some meal boxes that will get you to the weekend. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to guard that time for yourself to take care of your nutrition!
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Oxygen is absolutely a nutrient, essential to the human body. Many of us spend our days breathing shallowly, without pause for deeper, more restorative breaths. Having a lot to do in a weekend can certainly exacerbate this! Meditative breathing has been studied and well-documented for its ability to reduce heart rate and restore oxygenation of the blood. With regular practice it may also improve brain function and cardiovascular health.
Try a rhythm of breathing called the 4-7-8 method: exhale completely. Inhale for 4 counts, imagining the breath moving into your lungs. Hold for 7 counts, and then exhale for 8 counts, watching the breath leave your lungs. This may feel difficult at first, but after a few sessions you’ll find them easier to complete. Aim for 3-4 cycles of breath.
After a long, eventful weekend you may feel on Monday that you have a lot to do to catch up. You’re probably not wrong – but resist the urge to be overly ambitious, and clear it all away immediately. If you have a lot on your plate, break it out as much as possible over the course of your entire week, rather than starting a mile-long to-do list that puts a LOT of pressure on Monday morning. Limit yourself to the tasks you can feasibly accomplish within the work hours of the day, and prioritize the thing that will keep you going this week: sleep.
Sleep is absolutely correlated with focus, productivity, and performance. Nothing worse than muscling through your mountain of work while barely clinging to your attention span. Use Monday as a planning day and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep that night so you can take on the rest of the week feeling refreshed and crush that to-do list. If you have a workout schedule that starts Monday, push it off a day if possible so you can return to your workouts fresh, with optimal performance!