Work life is sometimes met with way too much frustration. When your Monday blues loom across the rest of your week it’s easy to wind up vegging out—curled up on the couch, packing away calories, TV remote in hand. Weekends are ideally spent charging us up for the week ahead, and unwinding in the best possible ways. Here’s a list of activities to put your weekend to better use, and help make your work life more productive:
#1: Play a musical instrument
Playing a musical instrument enhances your mood by releasing the feel-good hormone, dopamine, into your synapses. It also helps to make the brain smarter by increasing concentration levels, improving memory retention, and lowering stress levels. Music helps improve social skills and teamwork when playing together.
Reading lets your imagination take flight into places unknown and experience things you would have otherwise never felt. It makes you culturally aware, gives you a better vocabulary, and facilitates a mental workout. Nothing gives you as many high quality conversation starters as reading, especially for the notoriously low price.
#3: Learning a new language
Learning a new language is one of the toughest things to put your brain through. As we grow older, it is especially challenging, though more rewarding for just that reason. Learning a new language is like ‘Botox for the brain’, as it is proven to delay the effects of aging and postpone the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Travel is one such activity that makes you realize how mesmerizing the world is and how awe-inspiring the lives around you can be. Introducing yourself to different cultures, different lifestyles and varied experiences helps you understand yourself and the world around you better. Eventually, it will help you appreciate what you have and find a deeper meaning in your life.
Often described as a cathartic experience to let your inner thoughts and emotions run wild, painting is one of the oldest and most respected hobbies. From George Washington to Johnny Depp, successful people around the world have tried their hand at it and found it to be a great creative outlet. Masked as modes of artistic expression, painting is also known to increase critical thinking skills and nurture a positive outlook towards life.
Hiking serves as a great way to spend quality time with family and friends. Exploring places and staying fit together gives you a break from the concrete jungle to reconnect with nature. Use it to get away from the gadget-laden stress of modern life and open your mind to new ideas and thought processes.
Writing has been practiced as a therapeutic ritual around the world for years. In this digital age, the art of writing has evolved into the popular practice of blogging. Sometimes you can make a few bucks doing it, but more importantly, it’s a time-honored method of creative expression—it can help you face emotional issues and boost your self-esteem.
Dance, in its many forms and styles, can go a long way in helping you relax and have a great weekend (or any other day for that matter). The magic of dance offers amazing health benefits, including improved flexibility, weight loss, and enhanced motor coordination skills. It is even prescribed as a form of therapy to people undergoing stress or trauma, proving its value as a great outlet of emotional expression.
Baking is meant for those who wish to be more mindful, and relish the journey as much as the accomplishment of a goal. With health benefits ranging from stress relief to improving systematic thinking and patience, many successful people are trying their hand at the art of baking. Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, loves baking in her pastime and approaches it with the finesse of a scientist.
#10: Play sports
Aside from the obvious health benefits, people who engage in sports activities often are said to have better spatial and cognitive intelligence. It also fosters qualities such as leadership, dedication and team spirit.
Here are a few offbeat passions to pursue this weekend:
Geocaching is a trending adventure activity in which participants use a GPS system or a mobile device to locate objects called ‘geocaches’ placed at specific locations by previous geocachers. Dubbed as ‘modern day treasure hunting’, geocaching is an amazing activity in which people solve tricky puzzles to uncover hidden objects kept at beautiful locales. The geocaches are all different, with caches including earth caches, virtual caches, night caches etc. Once found, the player is supposed to leave a souvenir for the next treasure hunter.
#2: DIY projects
DIY projects are a popular trend around the world. From making your own t-shirts to reusing plastic bottles, DIY projects present opportunities to express yourself creatively. Several websites and DIY communities post detailed guides and videos on the internet to fuel interest and provide guidance for your projects. Typically low-cost, DIY gives you a sense of satisfaction and achievement with little to no financial burden.
#3: Collecting things
From collecting stamps to figurines, and all of the knick-knacks in between, collecting is an evergreen interest to indulge in. From a young age, it fosters knowledge of the collected subjects, good observational skills, and social skills with fellow collectors. Collecting antiques or valuables can become a license to print money if you know what to look for. Celebrities like Tom Hanks and Angelina Jolie are passionate about collecting exquisite manual typewriters and daggers respectively.
The personalized touch that letters provide is endearing no matter who you are. Couple that with the art of calligraphy – to give your letters, thank-you notes, and invitations a unique touch. Calligraphy nurtures a sense of discipline and patience in us, hones concentration, and focuses us for long periods of time. The joy that your beautifully handwritten letter will bring to the recipient is indescribable.
Whittling is the art of carving wood into useful objects using simple knives. Based on your choice of wood and the knives being used, the scope of creation is boundless. Your carvings can range from everyday objects like wooden spoons, bowls, cups, and walking sticks to ornamental sculptures like small wooden showpieces used to adorn your home. Folks across the globe find this passion to be therapeutic and practical.
So make the most of your weekend to achieve optimum results in your work week.
Have you got any other weekend activities that can supercharge your productivity at work?
Comment and share your thoughts about your favorite weekend activity with us.