5 Realistic Ways To Find Joy Over The Weekend

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Some realistic ways to fill your weekend with joy – especially if you’ve been feeling low or detoxing.

I recently wrote about attaining balance when feeling down in the dumps. Little did I know that the advice I gave (and took) would be the start of something amazing, something I hadn’t considered possible — finding joy when the world had turned to chaos all around me.

After my initial social media detox turned into a habit (I’m barely present on Facebook or Twitter anymore), I found myself with much more time on my hands. But what to do with it?

I started reading more, going for walks every afternoon, having meaningful discussions with loved ones, and finishing tasks I’d been meaning to get to ages ago. I also found myself smiling and laughing more. It was exhilarating. My weekday routine was mostly centred around work, but I left the weekends open and searched for comforting, joyful, or new experiences to fill them with.

And let me tell you, my friends, I’ve hit some serious paydirt.

If you’re looking for some ways to bring a little sunshine into your life during the weekends, consider the following:

Embrace the Hygge Lifestyle

hygge leg warmers

So hygge it hurts – make woollen leg warmers from old sweaters

You’ve probably heard of Hygge, but I’m going to go ahead and call it the ultimate in self-care. In fact, the word Hygge is derived from the Norwegian term for “well-being.” Hygge is a Danish way of life celebrating the happiness that comes from enjoying the little things we often take for granted. Hygge is cosyness, contentment, familiarity, security, kinship, and simplicity all rolled into one. All it takes to embrace it is to slow down, be present in the moment, and appreciate what the world has to offer.

Some examples of Hygge are:

  • Wrapping yourself up in a fluffy blanket and reading a book.
  • Turning off electric lights and burning some candles or starting a fire in the fireplace.
  • Cosying up in comfy pants/leggings, oversized sweaters, and thick socks.
  • Spending time with loved ones.
  • Making up your favourite comfort food and hot drinks (I’m just going to drop my favourite recipe for Dutch butter cake here.)
  • Going for a long walk and soaking up the daylight. Even having a winter picnic.

Though winter is definitely the prime season for getting into Hygge, summer also is chock-full of activities that fit the bill. Backyard BBQs, beach bonfires, hiking gorgeous trails, picnics in the park —  these are all great ways to bring Hygge into the summer months.

Have a Movie Marathon

Korean movie marathon

Fancy a Korean movie marathon? Here are 20 of our favourites.

There’s no doubt about it, marathoning movies with your friends is a fantastic way to strengthen your bond. With a bit of careful planning, you can create the perfect atmosphere and memories that will last a lifetime.

A few days before the marathon, discuss with your friends how many movies you’re going to watch. You can choose a theme (genre, actor, director, etc.) or a movie series (Lord of the Rings, Marvel, Star Wars, and so on), but make sure everyone has a say and pick the movies that most (if not all) folk prefer. These movie reviews may help you choose some unlikely classics.

Tell your friends to come prepared. They should wear comfortable clothes (you’re never too old for a pajama party) and bring their favourite pillows and blankets. Make sure you have enough seating for everyone. If you’re low on couch space, sleeping bags, folded comforters, and air mattresses can make for great substitutes.

No movie marathon is complete without food. Classic movie snacks such as popcorn and candy are a must, but you’ll also need a real meal at some point. If you want something quick and easy, pizza and other takeaway food are great options. Alternately, you can do a potluck and have each friend bring a dish. Don’t forget beverages!

When everyone is snug as a bug with their blankets, pillows, and snacks, dim the lights and start the marathon.

Get Crafty

From Lampblack to Dragon’s Blood, make your own magic inks and oils

There’s something so soothing about the creative process. No matter what your particular skill — knitting, painting, wood working, jewelry making, etc. — getting lost in your craft is a joy that can be hard to explain to others. Spend a few hours (or more if you can spare them) engaging in arts and crafts of your choice.

sea glass jewellery

How to make your own wire-wrapped sea glass jewellery

Pair your hobby with mindfulness; be present in the moment, take note of any sensations or smells associated with the activity (perhaps you’re making scented candles or DIY perfumes or playlist mixtapes), and let feelings of peacefulness and calm wash over you. Once you’re done, take time to properly admire your hard work!

Curate Your Photos

Despite the amazing smartphone technology that allows us to carry around a ridiculous amount of stored photos in our pockets, there’s something so appealing about tangible, printed photos. Spending a weekend sifting through and cataloguing your digital photos can be extremely relaxing. What’s more, no matter how many backups you have, technology can (and does) fail, so having hard copies of your favourite photos is always a good idea.

If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can organize and print all the photos you’ve collected over the past few years. However, if you’re like me and prefer to tackle big projects in small stages, start by choosing just a few photos and a particular subject matter. You may want to create an album that features the photos that defined your year, your children, an amazing vacation, or your furry friends.

Choosing how to display your photos is equally important. If you’re crafty, you can make a scrapbook; if you’re old-school, you can use a photo album and hand write the captions. If you’re no-fuss, send off your pictures to have a photo book made. No matter what display method you end up going with, make sure to keep your photo albums out where they can be browsed by friends and family. These are your memories — cherish them.

If you’d rather curate than create, these photogography tips and tutorials will help you explore everything from food photography to levitation photography. Quick, click.

Go On a Day Trip

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A day trip is the perfect way to shake off the dust and see something new. Start by selecting a destination that’s not too far away and that has an engaging history or attractions. Once you know where you’re going, look for the most scenic route to get you there. Make a list of all the things to see and do when you get there, as well as where you’d like to stop along the way. Calculate how much time you’ll be on the road, how much time you’ll be at your destination, and time for food, whether it be stopping at a restaurant or having a picnic.

If your day trip is actually going to take an entire day, get on the road first thing in the morning and enjoy the sunrise somewhere amazing along the way.

Joy can be found in many a place; it all depends on where you look. Whether it be a cosy blanket and a hot cup of tea, movies with friends, a favourite craft, a walk down memory lane, or a trip to an exciting destination, you can welcome joy into your life by simply opening the metaphorical door.