Whether we commute or work from home, it is an arduous task to stay off the grid. The minute we receive an email, call or text, we want to make sure it is all taken care of. But does it mean, always having to compromise our personal lives? With a fast-paced lifestyle, we take too much on ourselves than we realize. We all somehow manage our ways through the week only to make it somehow to the weekends. Even so, we still fall prey to the vicious cycle of smonday-monday blues- week-long burnout.

Instead of dragging yourself, you can cruise through the week with these 5 easy and efficient tricks.

1) Flex those Muscles, Burn those Calories

This may sound easy but the sedentary population does not even account for more than 5-6k steps in a day. Then again, some of us overdo and work out at high intensity every day.

  • Faulty and repetitive postures contribute towards mental as well as physical fatigue. Daily exercise can help break these patterns for long-term benefits.
  • Getting up and stretching for 5 minutes every 1.5-2 hours is a good practice. It is good for muscle flexibility and blood circulation. If you have a standing desk at work, switch to standing for a couple of hours.
  • Cease the laziness to seize the energy! Brisk walks, biking, yoga, swimming, and stretching help avoid common health issues. It does not have to be an hour-long commitment, even 15-30 minutes of daily physical activity makes a significant difference.
  • Ditch the escalators and elevators. Try climbing at least 4-5 flights of stairs daily and watch your breath! It accounts for an excellent cardio and leg workout. It could be your house, apartment building or workplace.
  • A good balance is to exercise 3-4 times a week (moderate-high intensity workouts). Intersperse them with recovery or low-intensity workouts for the rest of the week.

2) Get Out: Literally

A typical day shift job usually requires us to be up and about by 7-7:30 am. Even if we live close to work, we tend to gravitate towards an early start, to prep our days. What we lose is the most important part of the day; morning sunshine. With winters having shorter days, it is no surprise that seasonal disorders take a toll on everyone.

  • Being outdoors boosts immunity, improves eyesight, and quality of sleep! Make sure to spend at least 15-20 minutes outdoors; incorporate it within the commute or for lunch (use that office patio finally). It is a good ritual that allows a mental break, and all the people-watching, traffic, and chaos are positive external stimuli.
  • If none of this is possible during the week, use your weekends to venture out on foot. It is a fun, and motivating way to explore unique neighborhoods, cafes, and restaurants.

3) Get it Done Chop-Chop!

We all have been hangry at work because the food delivery messed up or missed lunch completely because the meeting went on.

  • Chop and organize your usual veggies, herbs, and fruits in the refrigerator for easy use.
  • Fruit/Vegetable and yogurt smoothies are a fantastic way to start your morning; throw in everything from greens, nuts to protein powder to make sure you give your day a powerful head start.
  • Luckily, there are at least 10 culinary websites and apps that let you customize meals according to your dietary preferences and restrictions. With a plethora of recipes at your disposal, not only is it therapeutic to cook and eat healthy home-made meals, but it is also cost-effective.
  • It takes only about 30 minutes to an hour to do basic meal prep for the entire week. This way, you do not have to waste time thinking about and planning lunch and dinner all the time! Your reward; eating and drinking out on weekends feel like a true indulgence.

4) Snooze Much? Lose Much?

Sleep deprivation is so common that given any moment, we value sleep more than anything else in our adult life. We need at least 7-9 hours of good, quality sleep.

  • Additionally, a recent study recommended that women need more sleep than men.
  • Make sure to make your bed daily as soon as you start the day. No-one likes to come home to crumpled sheets and duvets. Fun fact: National Sleep Foundation survey suggests that people sleep better in a clean bedroom.
  • Turn off the lights at least 30 minutes before your sleep time; it relaxes your mind and body into sleeping.
  • Set an alarm for sleeping at the same time daily; it helps set your body rhythm according to the diurnal cycle.
  • Reduce the screen time at night; most of us are guilty of browsing through the phones at night and it gobbles up a good chunk of your REM sleep.
  • If you have trouble falling asleep, try listening to white noise or any soothing music on your phone, speaker, or laptop. There are various free apps for white noise available at ease.
  • Aromatic humidifiers and diffusers with essential oils can help with the quality of air and prevent nasal and throat irritation, particularly in winter.

5) Put an End to the Household Chores Saga

We trudge towards the chores and errands on weekends and despise the site of crowded grocery stores. But if you take these small steps to stay organized, you will gloat at what a breeze it is to manage your routine.

  • If you are always on the run and barely have downtime except for weekends; try online grocery delivery services. Not only is it a great time-saver, but it also helps avoid impulse shopping!
  • Resist the temptation of keeping the sink full of dishes; you will be the one facing the filthy music eventually. It is easier to clean the dishes daily than to do it when they are all piled up over the weekend.
  • Another chore that robs us of our precious weekend; laundry and folding. Friday night can be a terrific way to get it out of the way (It may not be the best alternative for parents). If not, choose a weekday when you have more wiggle room and schedule your laundry cycle on that day! It is a mechanical, less nerve-wracking job. Just do it while watching Netflix!

Follow the 4-3-2-1 Principle for Basic Cleaning

  • 4-Carpets and Rugs: Every 4 weeks
  • 3-Refrigerator: Every 3 weeks
  • 2-Toilets, bathtub, showers: Every 1-2 weeks
  • 1-Kitchen, trash removal, vacuum: Every week

What de-stressing hacks work best for you?