Before the long weekend, consider taking a day to unwind with your loved ones. Here are some actionable tips to help you unwind over the weekend and improve your physical and mental health in this modern, tech-driven world:

  1. Practice the Concept of Ma (間) In Japanese culture, we have a term that embraces space, minimalism, and clarity: Ma (間). This concept refers to the philosophical space between the edges, the beginning and end, meaning to pause, to give space. Consider giving a pause to your life and letting go of expectations and the preconceived notions of how life should be. The concept of Ma allows us plenty of space and the ease of letting go, helping us to embrace the present moment more fully.
  2. Embrace Time Offline In our technology-filled world, it’s crucial to enjoy time offline. I’ve often noticed people leaving their phones on the dinner table. Sometimes, I politely ask them to put their phones away. After being attached to our phones for over two decades, it’s okay to take a break from technology, even for an entire week. You’d be surprised how rejuvenating it can be. Consider booking a resort pass for a mini staycation at a local hotel with a rooftop pool with ResortPass. Enjoy the sun, laugh with a loved one, and truly value the time spent together without the distraction of phones.
  3. Don’t Feel Obligated to Respond Immediately In our tech-driven world, we often feel pressured to respond to emails, texts, DMs, and social media messages immediately. Remember, it’s not your job to be everyone’s personal secretary. Use your time wisely, especially over long weekends, and choose to spend quality time with your loved ones. Let go, be in solitude, and preferably spend time in nature or on a getaway.
  4. Rediscover the Joy of Cooking Having worked in the food industry for over 25 years, I’ve noticed a shift in how we eat, purchase, and think about food. Cooking is an accessible resource for enhancing your life. Make time to learn a few of your favorite recipes. Cooking at home can save you time, money, and even help you maintain a healthier waistline. Start with whole foods, such as grilled salmon, make homemade granola bars or a homemade Caesar salad, a sweet potato smoothie and cook from books that resonate with your lifestyle. If you want to get healthy, create a great relationship with food.
  5. “Shinrin-yoku,” or Forest Bathing Become one with nature: one of my favorite Japanese concepts to relax the mind is “Shinrin-yoku,” or forest bathing. It’s all about immersing yourself in nature and letting the beauty of the natural world soothe your soul. When you walk through a forest, or on the beach, take a deep breath, and truly connect with your natural surroundings, it’s like giving your mind a gentle, calming hug. This practice helps to melt away stress, lift your spirits, and restore a sense of peace and balance. Embracing Shinrin-yoku is a beautiful way to clear mental clutter and find tranquility in our fast-paced lives.

Go ahead and book that ResortPass. Take an extra 15 minutes to stretch while listening to music you love, and allow yourself to truly relax. Don’t stress about responding to everyone immediately. Instead, focus on creating a peaceful and enjoyable weekend (the life you have always imagined) for yourself and your loved ones.

Candice Kumai, is an award-winning author of seven New York Times bestsellers, is a celebrated presence on the TODAY Show for over 15 years. She has been featured in Vogue, Bon Appetit, Elle and the New York Times Travel Show for her renowned for her culinary, wellness and beauty expertise. Candice has made her mark as a chef on trending shows like ‘Top Chef’ & ‘Selena + Chef’.  She is the former editor at large at Shape and Men’s Journal and a former columnist at Men’s Health & Women’s Health magazines. Candice has bylines in Vogue, Bon Appetit, Chopra, Cosmopolitan, Well + Good, and Yoga Journal. She has a cult-followed podcast “Wabi Sabi” and resides in Brooklyn, New York.