Self-care seems to be everywhere lately. A buzzword that millennials now through around willy nilly, the stereotypical “self-care” activities include a bath with a glass of wine or binging Netflix with a huge bowl of popcorn. And while those activities are worthwhile (I may have done both this week already), sometimes you just need something a bit more intentional, especially over a weekend. Weekends offer you a bit more time to plan an excursion or activity, and can be more intentional than stuffing your face. Here are five ways to get in some R&R (that won’t break your budget.)
One of my favorite weekend activities is a calming visit to my local art museum. Walking through the galleries puts me in an almost meditative state — my breathing slows, my awareness is heightened, and I feel light. If art isn’t really your thing, there are countless other museums or cultural centers that should do the trick. Most museums offer discounted rates for members or students, and free days you can take advantage of. Even better, your local library will often have free passes you can sign up for.
Like many others, “traveling” to me meant getting on a plane and jetsetting to some location across the country (or even across an ocean.) Not only can this be expensive, it’s often hard to navigate with things like PTO and a family. Finding a retreat near you for some serious R&R can reset and rebalance you. Late last year, one of my best friends and I took an incredible trip to an AirBnb farm: full of cute animals, freshly-cooked breakfast, and (the best part) no cell coverage. We played Scrabble on a picnic table, took walks around the property with the pigs, and watched movies in the cottage. If you’re in the Northwest, I cannot recommend it enough. And if you’re somewhere else in the world, here’s $40 off your first Airbnb — maybe a cabin in the mountains or a cottage on a lake?
Speaking of a cottage on a lake: when I’m feeling run down, I count back to the last day I spent significant time outside (that number is usually scary.) Take a hike Saturday morning or a walk around your neighborhood. Play some frisbee in the park, or hop on a bike to your favorite coffee shop. You’ll feel so much better when you do.
I’m a control freak. I hate the unknown, and it takes so much willpower to allow myself to relax in situations where I feel uncomfortable. That’s why floating is so incredible. In a sensory deprivation pool (I try to commit to no lights, no music for the entire hour session), you are immersed in thousands of pounds of epsom salts. Allowing yourself to be present — to not worry and to just be in the present moment — is the incredible gift of floating. Not only do you feel fully connected with your body and relaxed, but it reminds you to just take an hour for yourself. I love LifeFloat in Seattle (the staff is lovely and I’ve had nothing but awesome experiences,) but most major cities have a float spa you can go to (with first-time specials or Groupons.) I would recommend trying to find a float spa with pools as opposed to pods, especially if you’re claustrophobic.
Maybe it’s floating, or visiting an art museum! BOOM. Or maybe it’s a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try, or seeing a movie by yourself. Instead of reading your book inside, try heading to a park bench. Discover a new recipe for dinner, or invite friends over to play a new board game. Whatever it is, commit to switching up a routine. Trying new things literally rewires your brain and helps you break out of your rut.
No matter how you choose to spend your weekend, make sure that you’re incorporating healthy activities to strengthen and heal your body and your mind. What are some of your favorite self-care activities?
This post was originally published on Victori Media.