Loving yourself this Labor Day weekend!

Three day weekends!

Here at Internal Wisdom, we look forward to and love them because they give us an entire extra day to relish in relaxation.  They also often include more time with friends and family as well as additional food and fun.  Everything from overeating, drinking, too little sleep and too much fun are all more likely over long weekends. Though fun, it can all wreak havoc on our systems.  Rather than have to hit the reset button on Tuesday morning, let’s talk about how to make subtle healthy tweaks to your weekend so you’re not spending the next two weeks playing catch up with your overtaxed body.

First, the weekend does not have to be a bad-habit free-for-all.  Though we all look forward to time-off, engaging unhealthy habits is the exact opposite of a vacation for our bodies.  Food comas, hangovers, skipped workouts and all-nighters have consequences that last beyond the Tuesday morning regroup. That’s great, you say.  But, what about my FUN weekend plans? Good news, friends; your fun weekend does not have to go by the wayside just because you aren’t overindulging.

Here are a few activities that will add to the quality of your weekend all while you are being kind to yourself.  It is a win-win!

SLEEP IN: So many of us do not get enough sleep and a three day weekend is a great time to catch up on sleep.  Shooting for at least seven hours a night is best and if you can get 8-9 your body will really thank you come Tuesday.  We also recommend that you put your electronics down at least 60 minutes before bed.  This time will give your nervous system time to decompress and it will increase both the quality and quantity of your sleep.  Some other tips before bed:

1. Take time for a short meditation.  Even it is just five minutes of deep breathing, fully committing your mind and body to sleep will help your body transition into a deep restful sleep.

2. Add a scent.  Many people find that placing a few drops of essential oil on a pillowcase will assist in relaxation.  Lavender oil smells fabulous and breathing it in deeply will relax both the brain and the nervous system.

3. Drink Chamomile tea.  Like lavender, it relaxes the body.

4. ROUTINE. ROUTINE. ROUTINE.  The more you engage in a consistent routine, the more your body will get deeper sleep consistently.

LOVE MATTERS:Take the extra day to catch up with your loved ones.  Have lunch with an old friend, call one of your siblings or spend the day with your significant other.  Beyond just enjoying your time with someone you love, our bodies function better when oxytocin (often called the “love hormone”) is added to our system.  In a review by Inga Neumann, she highlights that oxytocin’s impact on “pro-social behaviors and emotional responses contribute to relaxation, trust and psychological stability” (MakGill, 2015).  So, wherever you are this weekend, take time to hug your loved ones!  Use the extra time to reignite romance with your partner as well!

SELF-CARE:We all lead busy lives.  Taking time to love ourselves is not a luxury; it is a necessity.  By taking time for yourself, you will feel better and will be better able to manage your life as the passionate person that you are.  Whether you go get a massage, work out, take a hike or even get a mani/pedi makes no matter.  The goal is to take time for yourself indulging in something that feels good and is restorative.  By doing so, your body, mind and soul will thank you.The Internal Wisdom team hopes that you take this weekend to enjoy yourself in healthy ways and loving ways!  Even if you do overindulge, remember that even small steps make a big difference. And we are always here to provide any extra support you may need to get back on track. Be safe this weekend friends, and remember, “self-healing through self-love!”

Lovingly, The Internal Wisdom Team

MakGill, M. (September 15). Oxytocin: What is it and what does it do? Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275795.php

Ben Gamache