Whilst many look forward to the weekends, taking time off and replenishing your system from the week just passed, others frantically let the weekend pass, coming to the end of the two day holiday feeling more stressed than when it began.
Frantic and stressful weekends turn in to equally as stressful weeks, but this one trick can help you prepare for the week ahead, making sure your mental state is ready and willing to accept all challenges that come your way.
By simply taking 15 minutes of your time on a Sunday, this mindful exercise could change the way you approach your upcoming week.
Let go of the week just passed and prepare for the next
Take some time out to reconnect with yourself at the end of the week. With a pen and paper, write down everything on your mind, no filter and no holding back. This cathartic exercise is surprisingly cleansing and helpful when it comes to tackling issues that could be affecting your mental wellbeing.
This is a chance to get things off your chest and de-brief, even if it is just with yourself.
Be careful not to judge yourself for what you are writing down or stumble across whilst venting on paper.
Write down what you want your life to look like next week
Once your list is finished, start the next piece of paper. On it, write down your (realistic) expectations for how you would like to feel by the end of next week.
It can be as simple as “be happier”, or “filter through my emails”, whatever your goals, write them down.
List your actions
Finally, create a third list whereby you create a list of ‘actions’ you will be able to achieve next week. This is not the place for long-term goals. Instead, this list should read like a guaranteed to-do-list and be used as a realistic goal for the short-term.
Be strict and only write down achievable goals that you know you can tick off by the end of the week.
For example, don’t write down plans like “lose 5 kg” or “invest in property”, instead focus on realistic actions that you are guaranteed to be able to do over the next week.
Such as, “read the first chapter of my new book”, “write out a menu plan for the week”, or “remember to make lunch to take to work”. Whether small or big, all actions that you are able to tick off next week will give you a sense of satisfaction that will aid your mental wellbeing.
Lock those worries away
Now you have written down your troubles, hopes and actions, file all but the Actions page away. There’s no need to rehash old worries once they are out of your mind. Simple throw them away, or file them in a drawer out of view.
Post your ‘Actions page in a visible spot and refer to it whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, lost or in need of motivation during the week. At the end of the week, you should be able to have ticked off the list ready to start afresh.