While there’s definitely something to be said for a lazy Sunday spent with Netflix and snacks, I’ve found recently that my beloved duvet days don’t always leave me recharged. I’ll get the Sunday blues as a wasted weekend comes to an end, and wake up on Monday morning feeling cranky and unprepared for the week ahead. A few months ago I was reading a health thread on Reddit, where people talked about their personal self-love practices. A lot of Redditors despaired of the overindulgence they’d seen in the name of self-love (although come on, sometimes you do need to eat that whole sleeve of Oreos and watch all seven seasons of How I Met Your Mother). They described the feel-good days that they’ve replaced with duvet days, and since then, I’ve been testing my own Self Love Sunday ritual.
And I think I’ve got the formula down.
Move + Eat + Prep + Think + Preen + Rest = The Perfect Self Love Sunday
It’s a weekend; you don’t need to get up at 6am to squeeze in a morning workout so it’s the perfect day to reap the many benefits of a little morning exercise. You’ll have more energy to work with, you could give your metabolism a temporary boost, and no matter what you do for the rest of the day you’ll still get to feel smug about having worked out on a Sunday morning! And doesn’t it make sense to start your day off with a little endorphin hit?
I’m not saying that you need to drag yourself through a 5K run, but once you’re ready to get out of bed and get your body moving, search YouTube for some Yoga classes, go for a walk or even stick on a cheesy pop playlist and do your most vigorous, embarrassing dancing around your bedroom (bonus if your significant other has no idea what’s going on).
If you’ve got a packed schedule midweek, chances are your breakfast doesn’t usually get as much attention as your other meals – which is a crying shame. Food is awesome and eating good food releases dopamine to boost your mood, so what better way to start the day than with a hearty, (self) lovingly prepared meal?
So take your time with it and make something delicious that you wouldn’t have time for in your midweek morning rush. My favourite is a left-over-friendly pot of blueberry breakfast quinoa (subbing honey for sugar) or, if I’m feeling particularly indulgent, a toasted cheese and ham croissant with a side of strawberries. Both options served with a massive mug of tea, obvs.
Ever notice how good it feels to cross something off your to-do list? You feel proactive and confident in your adult-ing skills, and that feeling motivates you to get even more shit done. That’s why sneaking in a little bit of prep or admin is one of the best ways to beat that looming Sunday-night feeling – especially if it’s something that will make the week ahead any easier.
Obviously your prep activity will depend on your mood and your commitments. I know a lot of people are fans of #mealprepsunday (which does mean coming home to a cooked meal at the end of each workday!), but I’ve also felt pretty zen after picking out a few outfits for the week, doing a bit of simple cleaning, or even just sitting down and paying my bills (because there’s nothing adultier than bills).
Once you’re worked out, fed and prepped you’ll probably be feeling all smug and content. Take some time to bask in that awesome glow by doing something meditative – after all, it is Self Love Sunday and that means me-time!
We’re all pretty over-stimulated most of the time and that can mess with your attention span, so do take the opportunity to stay away from the TV and devices for a little while. Pick up a book, do some kind of puzzle, or if you’re into it, take to YouTube for some guided meditation.
By now you’re probably feeling pretty good on the inside, so take some time to work on the outside. You don’t necessarily have to beautify, but no matter how vain or modest you are, don’t we all feel a little better when we’re all clean and pampered?
So if you’re into it, put on a face mask, paint your nails and rub on a layer of coconut oil (y’know, so you’re all soft and smell of summer). If that’s not your thing, take a long bath, wash your hair and get into some clean, cozy PJs.
And finally, it wouldn’t be a Sunday without a little rest. Get to bed early, even if it’s just to read or watch an episode of that show everyone’s talking about. Just make sure you resist the urge to stay up – you’re gonna need to catch up on those 8 hours if you want to recharge for the week ahead!
My Personal Perfect Sunday?
Move – Tucking and pulsing to online Barrecore
Eat – Making my favourite Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa
Prep – Catching up on college work
Think – Building LEGO, like the set Brian gave me for my birthday
Preen – Washing my hair and putting on a face mask
Rest – Watching an episode (or three!) of iZombie in bed – asleep by 11pm
BONUS: Going make-up free and letting my skin breathe for a day.
Featured image by Leo Hidalgo