The weekends are a time that we all look forward to. They are for relaxing, putting aside work tasks and spending time with family and friends. Too often, however, instead of doing what we want to do on the weekends, we will our days with multiple tasks, endless errands and household chores that keep us running from dusk until dawn. If you are tired of committing to insanely booked schedules weekend after weekend, reclaim your time. Start focusing on what really matters, and turn your weekends into the respite period that we all deserve.

Getting Started

To get started on this road to freedom, commit to spending the first half hour of every Saturday and Sunday in bed. When you wake, take a moment to breathe, meditate and focus on the day ahead. Grab an old fashioned pen and paper, and make a list of all the things you want to do with your weekend as well as the things you don’t want to do.

Take a hard look at the items on your list that you don’t want to do, and see if you can delegate them to others. If housecleaning always fills your Saturdays, consider investing in a weekly or monthly cleaning service to help. If that absolutely is not in the budget, get the whole family to chip in on the cleaning chores, handing one or two tasks to each person, and set a timer. When the timer goes off, your time for cleaning is done, and then it’s time to move on to something you love doing instead.

Let Fresh Blooms Fill the Air

Making life more enjoyable includes filling your home with items you love. Make it a point to place some fresh flowers in various rooms around your house to enjoy on the weekends. If you have a garden, pick your own flowers, and take some time to enjoy it. If not, find a local farmer’s market, and browse there for fresh blooms. The bouquets don’t have to be elaborate or expensive, just colourful, festive and filled with the fresh aromas of Mother Nature.

Crisp, Cool Water

Another beautiful and enjoyable thing to place on your kitchen table is a fresh pitcher of water. Fill the pitcher with fresh, cool water and slices of oranges, lemons, cucumbers or strawberries. Having water in front of you will remind you to replenish your body and stay hydrated, and the fresh fruit will appeal to your senses of taste, sight and smell.

Getting to Know Your Neighbourhood

When considering ways to enjoy your weekends a little more, make sure to spend some time outdoors. This time of year is perfect for a bike ride or stroll around the neighbourhood. Meet the neighbours along the way, or check out any local restaurants or shops that are close by. If you have a dog, bring him along so that he gets a little exercise too. It is never necessary to have an exact destination, just explore and enjoy some quiet time or conversation with family or a good friend. You never know what you might discover right outside your front door.

Afternoon Tea

On rainy days or when the temperatures are not just right for a leisurely stroll, invite a neighbour or cherished friend over for a cup of coffee or tea. This is a great opportunity to chat and simply catch up, leaving behind your worries from the week past and simply focusing on friendship and bonding. There is no need to make this gathering complicated. Simply invite a friend (or a few friends), set out a selection of tea and cups and perhaps offer a box of chocolates or plate of cookies.

A Little Alone Time

On days when you simply want to spend time alone, focus on relaxing or perhaps enjoy a little time refreshing your living space. To relax, spend time in an afternoon bubble bath, write a few lines in your favorite journal or grab a new book to read. Daydreaming in a hammock or enjoying a backyard picnic is also wonderful ideas. If decorating your Maple Ridge home tops your list of things you love to do, put on your favorite music, and rearrange your furniture or add a few new accessories to your living room, kitchen or dining room. This doesn’t have to break the budget either. If shopping simple is not something your budget can handle right now, pull things out of storage to add to your rooms. These long forgotten pieces with discover a new purpose, and your home will get a whole new look too.

Whatever your favorite way to carve out relaxation time on the weekends is, make it a priority to include it in your regular routine. While you might not be able to dedicate every weekend to relaxation and fun, taking time for yourself is important too. Embrace this, and your life will be richer for it.