When I ask my clients about eating during the week, many of them tell me they are just too busy to eat enough meals during the day; especially breakfast. We all know that weeks can get super busy, between work, home, and family responsibilities. It’s hard to find the time to get everything done. That’s why weekends are generally used as a time for relaxing and enjoying life. It’s the time to have a little fun; eat a little more, do a little less. The weekends, however, are key to preparing for the week ahead so to keep yourself on track with your health. The most important thing to do on your days off are to find balance. It is imperative to use this time to rest and take a break from the endless responsibilities of life. It is also, however, critical to use these days as “prepping” time for the upcoming week. Here is a to-do list to ensure you are getting the best out of your weekend:
Plan out the coming week.
Take the time to sit down with your planner and decide on a workout schedule for the week. Write down your workout routine and decide which days are gym days, which days are rest days, and which days you may have to shorten your workout due to time constraint. Plan out your meals and snacks for the week (you may even want to write a meal plan out for yourself). Print out some simple recipes and write a grocery list. This way you know exactly what your week will look like and sticking to a schedule will be much easier.
Hit the supermarket.
Take your list and do the grocery shopping. Get everything you will need for the week to ensure your fridge is fully stocked. This will help you to avoid ordering out or stopping for fast food on the way back from work when you have nothing in the house and no time to shop. Stop and get your errands done while your at it. Pick up anything you need and get it out of the way to create a few less things to worry about during the busy work-week.
Prep your food.
Designate one day during the weekend to food prep. I like to do my grocery shopping on Saturdays, and spend 1-1.5 hours on Sundays prepping most of my food for the week, that way I don’t have to worry about cooking every day. Package all of your food so that it’s easy to grab and go during the week. Fill some Tupperware containers with lunches and snacks for work. If meals are already made and packed up all you have to do the night before work is put everything in a lunchbox, and the next morning grab and go. Remember the saying, “failing to prepare in preparing to fail.”
Do the laundry.
There’s nothing worse than realizing half way through the week that you are out of workout clothes. Get your laundry done on the weekends and be sure you have enough workout clothes to last you until the next weekend. It feels so good to start the week off with an empty hamper!
Catch up on sleep.
The weekends are the perfect time to catch up on some much needed sleep. On work days it always seems as though there are not enough hours in the day. It’s very easy to get into a routine consisting of early mornings and late nights. Allow yourself some relaxation time on the weekends. Whether that means getting back in bed after Fajr, taking a warm bubble bath, or treating yourself to a facial. Resting is so important to our health and mood.
Do something you love.
Life can get so crazy that we actually forget to enjoy it. Of course, going into work everyday, caring for the home, taking care of family, and finding time for exercise, are all very gratifying; these things surly add purpose and passion into our lives. However, we can get so caught up in everything that NEEDS to get done, that we stop doing the things that we love. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes each weekend, make a little time to do whatever makes you happy; whether that be gardening, reading, painting, reading Quran etc.
Weekends are such a great time to get a head start on what’s to come. Use these days to cut out some extra responsibility form your work day, and create a health plan that will be realistic to follow. However, be sure to find time to spend with family, rest, and do what you love. Being healthy is all about creating a balanced lifestyle. You must constantly work at it. Just as we are always working to be better Muslims, we must always work to be better and healthier versions of ourselves.