10 Ways to Love Yourself This Weekend

by jaynie fawley.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

As nannies, we spend the majority of the workweek tending to the wants and needs of the families we work for. We pride ourselves in our ability to balance all of these demands on our time, our love, our laps, and our voices. But when the weekend rolls around and you’re faced with two full days without those demands, what are you doing for yourself? Rest and relaxation on our down time is essential for our emotional well being, and the good news is that R&R doesn’t have to involve a lot of time or money. Here are a few things that you can do to show yourself some love this weekend.

Sleep In

Maybe you already make it a priority to catch up on lost sleep each weekend. Or maybe you feel guilty when you don’t wake up with the sun and tackle the house cleaning, run errands, or go grocery shopping. Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep affects not only your attitude, but over the long term, it raises heart rate and blood pressure, taxes the immune system, and increases appetite and causes weight gain. So do your mind and body a favor and turn off the alarm, avoid making early morning plans, and sleep until your body wakes up naturally.

Go on a Nature Walk

Physical activity doesn’t always have to be about the physical benefits. Even a  leisurely stroll along a park trail can refresh your mind and revive your spirit. Bring your dog along and take in his joy as he explores all the new smells and sounds around him. Download a new album onto your iPod and listen to it for the first time with the warmth of the sun on your face. Take your journal, a book, or a sketching pad and find a peaceful place that inspires you. Just being outside with the trees and rocks and hills will recharge you and prepare you to face another week of hurry and bustle. Go to your favorite local park or find a new trail in your area at www.traillink.com.

Pamper Yourself

An at-home manicure or pedicure is an easy way to spend a little time making a big change. Give yourself a fresh coat of polish or invite a girlfriend or two over and make an afternoon of it! Set up a place to soak your hands and feet and lay out scrubs and lotions to really pamper your paws. Check Pinterest for nail design ideas and take turns experimenting with designs on each other’s nails. No need to invest in fancy polishes or brushes; a pile of toothpicks and your own stockpile of polish is all you need to make stripes, dots, flowers, and more!

Refresh Your Wardrobe

Treat yourself to something new for spring! Buy a new shirt, some cropped pants, a new pair of flats, or a purse in the season’s hottest colors—coral, peach, and mint. Or, make a statement without spending a lot of money by picking out a new scarf with a powerful print, like this retro Tetris print scarf, only $14.99 at Target.

Splurge on Wine

Nannies, you’ve earned that glass of wine at the end of the week! Pop the cork on an old favorite or try a new label that peaks your interest. If you like a sweet wine (who doesn’t love a little decadence now and then?) check out the sinful line of wines from Sweet Bliss Winery. They offer a Sweet Red wine, a mix of ripe red cherry and velvety chocolate; a Sweet White, bursting with green apple, citrus, and honeysuckle; and a Sweet Pink, a cocktail of fresh strawberry, melon, and honey. Pair any of the wines with a slice of cheesecake for a truly sweet treat. Bonus—each bottle retails for around $10, so it’s super affordable! Find a bottle of Sweet Bliss near you using the store locator at www.sweetblisswinery.com.

Smile for the Camera!

Everyone has a photographer friend with a fancy camera and photo editing software. Why not ask this friend to take your portrait this weekend? They get the experience and beautiful shots for their portfolio, and you have a reason to wear your favorite outfit and spend longer than normal on your makeup and hair! In the end, you’ll have a handful of amazing new headshots for your website, business card, or social media profile picture, plus a hefty dose of self esteem when everyone in your life raves about how beautiful you are in all your new photos!

Let Your Creative Juices Flow

One of my favorite ways to relax and recharge is to make something beautiful. Visit your local craft store and browse until inspiration hits. Maybe you stumble upon a string of beads that inspires you to make a new pair of earrings or a statement necklace. Or maybe you’ll pick out a canvas and some acrylic paints and recreate something you saw and loved on Pinterest. Perhaps you’ll instead grab some spray paint in a bold color and give an old table or chair new life as an accent piece in your living room. Whatever your outlet, make something for yourself that will give you a sense of pride every time you look at it.

Get a Massage

If you’ve ever had a massage, you already know why you would want another. If you haven’t, make this the weekend to see what all the fuss is about! Ask friends and family for recommendations of amazing massage therapists and book an appointment after work on Friday or Saturday morning. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous than the usual relaxation massage, inquire about a hot stone massage, acupuncture for chronic pain, or reflexology to restore the energy flow throughout your whole body. One hour under the hands of a trained massage therapist can undo weeks of stress!

Laugh!

Find a few hours to laugh this weekend by finally going to see that funny movie everyone has been raving about, visit a comedy club in your area, or simply invite your best friends out for dinner and drinks. Laughter has been proven to lower blood pressure, give abdominal and back muscles a workout, reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, and improve memory, alertness, creativity, and learning. As the old saying goes, “laughter is the best medicine”!

Read a Good Book

In the hurry and demands of everyday life, it’s easy to forget the childhood joy of getting lost in another time or place between the covers of a book. We spend so much time reading the same stories over and over to our charges during the week, but when was the last time you reread your favorite novel from high school? While with your charges at the library this week, pick out an old favorite, find a title recommended by a friend, or ask the librarian for a book to suit your interests. Then set aside a chunk of time this weekend to fully immerse yourself in the book for a few hours. May you come out on the other side rested, relaxed, refreshed, and ready to face a new week!

What are you doing this weekend, fellow nannies? Share your fun ideas in the comments section below!