Tips for life-prolonging weekends
Want to live a happier, longer, and more fulfilling life? You’re not alone. We’d all like to know the secret to staying youthful and happy. Happiness is linked to longer life, a new study says. And being happy doesn’t just improve the quality of your life; it may actually increase the quantity of your life as well.
According to science, the happiest and most highly accomplished people usually make the most out of their free time, especially on weekends. They live simply, have good friends, eat right, and incorporate healthy habits that have been scientifically proven to improve their physical and mental well-being.
So, to increase your lifespan and have easier, more inspired and more productive weekdays, try to live in the moment. Be spontaneous, take a mental break from work, and make the most out of your free time at weekends.
Try incorporating these habits into your weekends to stay inspired and productive throughout your life:
Spend quality time with loved ones
Spend quality time with loved ones:
People who spend weekends alone get very little boost in emotional well-being. A new study has revealed that emotional well-being increases by about 15 per cent on weekends, and that number rises the more we spend time with family and friends. Even if you’re unemployed, weekends can be a break from unemployment, the study says. Instead of spending your extra free time alone or watching television, take advantage of the weekends to socialise with family members and friends.
Stay physically active
Stay physically active:
Make exercise a priority. Find out what form of physical activity motivates you most and make time for it. A recent study has found that people who are physically active have a greater sense of well-being than those who are inactive. Social exercises such as team sports, cycling and running with a friend have higher positive effects and are associated with better mental health. Exercise can also improve your memory and learning ability and release endorphins that provoke a feel-good effect.
Practise mindfulness and meditation
Practise mindfulness and meditation:
Reflection and alone time is healthy for your mind and body and can help you reach your goals. Meditate even for just 15 to 20 minutes on weekends. A Harvard University study in the US has found that meditation can be an energising yet calming and mindful practice that can help you become a happier, more productive and less burned-out person. Meditation can also help lower the risk of some health issues caused by stress and can provide an array of mental-health benefits.
Get enough sleep
Get enough sleep:
Your body and brain won’t perform at their best if you don’t give them proper rest. Get almost seven or eight hours of deep sleep per night. Sleeping five hours or less per night may decrease your life expectancy by as much as 15 per cent, studies say. If you have a demanding job that often requires you to stay up late and you find yourself falling behind during the week, you can use the weekend to catch up on sleep.
Take care of household tasks
Take care of household tasks:
Whether it’s shopping for groceries, doing laundry, or buying other necessary home materials, make time to take care of them or they’ll pile up and turn into a cloud of anxiety that can linger over your head. This shouldn’t take over your weekends completely, however, or you’ll have no time to do any relaxing.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 26 September, 2019 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.