I have the feeling that sundays are completely underrated. It seems that many people even hate that day, because it is either are associated with laziness or just feeling dreadful about the week that’s about to come. Yup, I used to think of sundays in that way too, but …I’ve actually come to love them. Even more so since we’ve been back home for a bit and getting in touch with some familiar habits and rituals. I’ve come to realize that sundays are pretty magical. They are a true opportunity to tune in to ourselves, reset our minds and prepare for the week ahead. That is, if we really allow that day to do that for us. In that sense, they can become such a vital part of how everything will unfold and how we will feel for the upcoming days.
Thinking about sundays in this way can benefit everybody, but today I want to stress that this is particularly interesting for creatives and for people who run their own businesses (like us!!!). It’s not unusual for us creative folks who are really passionate about what they do to LIVE for their work while forgetting themselves and their very own body and mind connection in the meantime. Because damn it, as you all know, that hustle of ours never really stops – and we get high off of that. But obviously, in the long run this can wreak havoc on our overall wellness and have some nasty consequences. On another note, this ain’t very nice because we run out of inspiration and ideas. If we don’t make a conscious decision to create some “me” time once every week, then who will? And how in the world will we feel creative? That’s what sundays are for. Let’s make them matter.
I feel inspired to write about this because I myself had one of those “wellness sundays” recently ….and it was amazing. On other weeks it may be more subtle, but my goodness does it make a difference to my week. Taking a day to do things that are cleansing for the mind, that prepare (and simplify) the week ahead and that help to set an intention are exactly what a creative person needs – and sunday is the perfect day to do that. It’s like the perfect antidote to an otherwise overwhelming mindset, so that you can have a week that’s creative, focused, in “getting shit done” mode but with calm and no panic. And feeling healthy while you’re at it.
Simple rituals for a “wellness sunday”
Unplugging (at least a little more than usual)
Yikes, that is a tough one for me. Especially these days where I feel like we have so much to take care of, even on a personal level. There are notifications to check out on every damn social network and it constantly makes me feel like everything HAS to be checked out and dealt with right away. Yup, I bet that more than one person here can identify with this sort of sickness. Especially us small business owners who are smitten with social media because we love feeling connected to people who dig what we try to share with the world!
Ok, so it’s not all bad. It doesn’t have to be. But on a wellness sunday, it’s a good idea to minimise the noise and the information overload. That alone, feels so relaxing and it leaves so much room in your head for reflecting and enjoying the present moment.
Unplugging completely for the whole length of your sunday is a great idea if you can manage it. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s my goal for upcoming sundays: that sounds to me like such a great idea to refresh the mind and balance the overload from the week. If you have to use your devices to connect with the outside world, maybe just try to set one or two short sessions in your day and keep your phone/laptop away the rest of the time. This is what I’ve been doing (on sundays, at least) and it still makes a difference in my opinion.
Getting a move on
We all know that exercise is good for us …but bare in mind, I’m not necessarily talking about busting out a sweaty workout. I mean “movement” in its purest form.
As many of my creative soulmates and friends, I spend a shit ton of time seated in front of my laptop. Sometimes crouched in weird positions, but that’s a whole other story. Anyway, what I mean is that after all that jam, our bodies have things to tell us. Maybe we feel sluggish. Maybe our back hurts. Maybe our legs feel heavy. Or maybe we feel stiff.
Sundays (as every other day, of course) are a great opportunity to just take a moment and tune in with our bodies. From the moment you get up in the morning, “scan” it – how does it feel? What do you feel that your body needs right now? Ask your body the question, and see what feels best as a remedy. Also, take this opportunity to align your body with what’s on your mind. It might be a brisk walk to take you out of your sluggish zone and give you confidence. A deep stretch to revitalize your joints (and the mind). Jumping around to release some tension & negative feelings. Or dancing so that you can tap into your intuition and creativity. Do whatever feels good, do it in movement. Even just for a few minutes.
Bonus points if you can do that stuff in outdoors, in nature.
Clearing your head
Meditation. It sounds very “woo-woo” but it works, no doubt about it. The benefits of meditation are countless, and in my personal opinion I think that the world would be a peaceful place if everyone would meditate for 10 minutes a day.
Unsurprisingly, it is also a great tool for creatives and makers. It clears and refreshes the mind, helps to remove noise and bring in new fresh ideas, and… it connects us to our higher self and to our intuition. Intuition being sacred and extremely connected with, well… creativity.
What better day to make a bit of room for meditation, than a sunday? As it is the turning point of the week, it’s more than a great time to meditate. And yes, it’s not so easy to tell yourself “ok so now I will sit or lie down and just listen to my breath” but this is exactly what you need to do after a week full of responsibilities and projects. Take a moment to “do nothing” other than just observe yourself, your breath, your thoughts. You’ll see, it feels awkward at first but it works like magic. If you’re a beginner (like me) and need a bit of motivation, make sure you try the app “Headspace” – it makes meditation accessible, easy and fun.
Cooking some goodness
Ah, I might sound like a hopeless domestic chick here, but batch cooking is our life saviour – for real though.
When you’re self employed, meal times can be pretty awkward. Especially lunch, which cuts your day in two. It can be quite annoying to have to take time to prep something entirely from scratch (and mess up the whole kitchen while you’re at it), when all you want to do is just have a “quick” food break then get back to your awesome creative projects. And if you want to keep your budget on track, well, takeout is not an option. Enter batch cooking. It allows you to have ready batches of healthy ingredients that are ready to toss in a 5-minute salad, wrap or bowl, so it allows you to eat healthy …and it saves you crazy amounts of time.
Only thing to keep in mind is that it requires taking an afternoon or so and cooking that stuff ahead. Well, what better day to do that than a sunday? David and I like to prep a few things to have handy for our weekday lunches, such as quinoa, roasted veggies, vegan salad dressings and dips (like the everlasting homemade hummus), condiments such as pickled onions, and many more things we try out every week. It becomes a fun and relaxing experience where we cook for the love of it, and then our fridge is full of ready-to-eat goodness that fuels our weekdays and makes us feel super energized & focused.
And yes, we’ve done this everywhere we’ve travelled to and had a kitchen – no excuses. In fact, local ingredients and habits make it fun. In Japan for example we pre-cooked lots of brown rice, and prepared pickled veggies and sesame dressing, yum. Never had a single boring lunch – even if it was put together in less than a few minutes.
Resetting your intentions
Intentions make a difference. But before we move towards that, let’s reflect upon the week that just passed. What are you happy & proud of? What would you have done differently and how? Maybe you had issues being organized – how would you make it better this week? Maybe it’s about spreading your work more evenly, and focusing at one task at a time so you feel less overwhelmed.
And in that case, maybe this could be a clue to set an intention for this new week: less multi-tasking, more being present. It can be your mantra for this week: “I will take this one step at a time”. Perhaps that thing you want to change is not about your work, but it’s about your relationships, your emotions or your health? Look at it broadly and see what intention you want to set for this week. Just being aware of it is what will naturally set the tone. Another tip that I recently heard from a friend of mine: instead of preparing your to do list every week (and what you want to “get done”/”crossed off”), rather just try thinking about the outcome – what you want to achieve and why. This subtle twist will give you something to focus on and put you on the right track!
Tapping into your roots
I also like to see sundays as an opportunity to reflect upon our past, our roots and the things that we are built of. It sounds a bit nostalgic in some way, but it’s a very grounding thing to do. These days, we are constantly soaking in technology and “new” things to do and to think of. We visualize who we want to be and what we want to do in the future, in fast-forward. But… it’s insanely good to take a moment to rewind a little bit. Nurturing your past. It can make you feel humble and grateful for your journey. Not to mention that it can spark up some extra inspiration – because you can extract creative ideas out of your own story and experiences in life.
Where are you from? Where is your family from? What childhood memories come to the surface? Which people affected you in your path? Who do you miss?
Recently, all the travel and all the experiences making friends around the world made me feel disconnected to my own roots (I’m half greek). I somehow felt it from within and so I had this huge urge to just blast some greek music in the kitchen (while we were batch cooking). It got me in touch with a version of myself I had lost touch with, and it made me think of plenty of things that inspire me about my roots. Later this translated into plenty of new ideas for creative projects. Because everyone’s story is unique, the outcome of it is unique as well, so it’s worth exploring. Try it out!
So the rituals described earlier are all susceptible to bring some sort of fresh inspiration & ideas. But what do you do with that? Well… you create. It may be sketching in your notebook, it may be writing, or experimenting with photography. Whatever resonates with you. It doesn’t matter how long you do it, in fact it can even be for 5 minutes. Just enough to record an idea on paper. You may think: what for? Well, this is exactly the point of the exercise – it’s to get you used to create aimlessly. You don’t have to have a goal. Just do it as an act of self-love to your creativity! Sundays are ideal for that, so don’t miss that opportunity.