Address the stress of the week with these entertaining endeavours to help you soothe anxiety over the weekend

Sometimes, making it to Friday can feel like a real challenge, with anxiety and stress occupying our minds – bringing down our mood, and draining our resilience. When we do eventually get to the weekend, it can be easy to use it as a time to catch up on all the things we were too overwhelmed to do during the week and then, before we know it, it’s Monday, and the cycle starts all over again before we’ve had time to catch our breath.

So, if you’ve had a full-on week, your stress levels are peaking, and you’re struggling with anxiety, we’ve got some suggestions for ways you can make each weekend one dedicated to rest and rejuvenation.

Escape to a different world

When daily life gets too much, escape the toil with the power of stories. If you’re a reader, this may be the time to curl up with the book that’s been sitting in your to-read pile for a while. Or if films are more your thing, settle down with a warm drink and spend the next couple of hours in a whole new world.

When deciding on how to pass your time, it might be worth considering exactly what you need from this activity. Are you looking for a good laugh? An inspirational message? A drop of nostalgia? Or total escapism into a fantasy world?

Whatever you go for, bring some mindfulness into it. If you notice that your attention is starting to wander, prompting that anxiety to creep back in, try to recognise those thoughts, let them go, and bring your focus back to the film or book you’re absorbing.

Go somewhere new

You won’t need your passport for this one, because even a trip half an hour down the road will do. Stuck in our routines, we can end up going between the same places again and again. Going off and discovering somewhere new breaks those daily patterns that can, sometimes, bring us so much anxiety.

What’s more, we also get that sense of adventure and discovery, something that we adults tend to do less of as we settle down. If you’re near the coast, finding a new seaside spot has the added benefit of ‘blue therapy’ – which refers to the soothing feeling we feel when next to large bodies of water. But those of us who are landlocked still have so much to gain from natural spaces such as forests and dales. Or, visit the next town over. Trawl for treasures in charity shops, find yourself a warm, cosy coffee shop, and there are always unexpected, quirky delights to be found in local museums.

Learn some new self-care skills

Self-care is something that is spoken about a lot in health and wellness communities. And you might have a good idea of the basics (making nourishing food, taking a relaxing bath, journaling), but now might be a good time to learn some new techniques like self-massage, ‘morning pages’, relaxing yoga routines, or even birdwatching.

Prioritise and delegate household chores

Sadly, as much as we might wish it, household chores don’t halt when we need a break. But if you do need to get things done this weekend, see whether you can shake things up.

Firstly, have a stern look at your to-do list. You might also want to consider if some things can wait till you’re feeling more energised – for example, alright, the washing-up does really have to be done, but mowing the lawn? That can wait.

If you have other people in your household, and they can help out, sit down, have a chat, and see whether you can delegate some of the things that you would normally take on. You should try to be honest, explaining how you’re currently feeling, letting them know you need to lean on others for a bit more support at the moment, and that their help would really make a difference.

Focus on joy

Above all else, make joy a priority. We all go through times when we feel immense pressure, we have worries that stop us from sleeping, nagging moments of insecurity, fears, and unrest. So, what makes you the happiest? Time spent with your loved ones? Is it quietly working on your hobbies? Maybe turning up your favourite album, singing along and dancing like nobody’s watching? Getting outdoors?

Whatever it is, even if it’s only for a short time, even if it’s a little inconvenient, make sure you make space for joy. Because you deserve it, you really do.