How to survive the long weekend
24 March 2016 HEALTH & WELLNESS
By Nomali Cele
This coming weekend is extra long. And as is often the case with long weekends, the family is time is the order of the day. But beyond family time, a four-day weekend can end up being more exhausting than relaxing if you don’t go into it armed.
- Have a plan
With long weekends, which are tricky little monsters because they seem like an eternity but always end after one too many blinks, there is no winging it. There is no seeing if you can go to the family braai for two hours then going on to another gathering. You know your aunts won’t let you out of their sight until you tell them all that you remember them. And going to more than one gathering on the same day can prove to be too much, especially if you have children.
But if you MUST go to all the gatherings your family and friends have invited you to, be strict with your time. You can’t afford to linger too long at one gathering. You have to be disciplined and go on to the next stop.
Above it all, be realistic with yourself about the invitations you accept or you will find yourself running around town, which is even worse if you are dragging the rest of your family along.
- Take strategic naps
If you are an idealist who somehow believes that weekends are for relaxing and taking it easy, you are in for a rude awakening when it comes to long weekends that are centred around family, where everyone expects you to show up at least once in the four days.
Have no shame in your strategic power nap game. The best time to take a refreshing nap is before a big outing, this way you have all the energy you need to not only great company but be helpful to your relatives and friends who don’t think they need naps.
- Refer to the plan
It’s inevitable that once you get into the thick of things you will feel good. You will remember why you love absolutely everyone especially your extended family, who live so far away you only see them over holidays. You will get caught up in reminiscing and kissing all the babies.
It’s a nice feeling. But don’t let it derail you! Remember the plan. Remember that you are going to that second event or that you want to get back home and read your book with your drink of choice in hand.
- Know your limit
When it begins, it’s easy to see the long weekend as a time filled with infinite possibility. But the long weekend will end, and it will happen abruptly. Well, the end will feel abrupt to you, anyway. So as a precaution, take it easy. Be it indulging in food and drink, or getting too little sleep – stay within your limits. This step will also help you avoid a babalas that lasts days.
Staying within the parameters of your limit or exceeding it will be the difference between feeling refreshed come March 29, or getting back to your daily life (work, school, household) only to feel like you need another long weekend to recover from this long weekend. Take Time Out
When you have set and accepted your limit, have set a plan for the weekend and have taken all the strategic naps, take time for yourself. You do not have to fill every single moment of the upcoming long weekend (or any other family holiday season) with activities or gatherings. It’s perfectly okay to decline a social invitation to lunch or let your partner visit their friends or family alone.
If you have children, you are likely going to need an hour or two by yourself sometime in the long weekend. Ask for that time. Don’t feel guilty.
How many gatherings are you attending this weekend?