Ever since moving to Germany I have struggled (and complained to anyone willing to listen) with Sundays, and the fact that everything closes here. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Don’t have an egg this morning for your pancakes? Better have a friendly neighbour, because I GUARANTEE there won’t be a convenience store open anywhere nearby. Head hurts? You have two options: go to the hospital, or wait until Monday to buy your beloved ibuprofen. Feel like you need a new outfit? Online shopping is your only friend. I could continue, but you get the idea.
However, recently, Germany’s peculiar schedule hasn’t been bothering me as much. Mostly because in times of stress I find myself wanting to stay at home, and decompress, so Sunday is the best time to do that, and get ready and energised for the week. But how to make sure I don’t end up spending my entire “relaxing time” watching Netflix and eating cereal on the couch? Here’s a list of things I like to do to help clear my mind, press the reset button, and get ready for the week ahead.
There’s something incredibly soothing about looking at all your happy memories in paper, arranging them, and preserving them for the years to come. Taking the time to print out your favorite photos (on a Saturday, where the stores are still open) and putting an album together will for sure put you in a good mood. I like to use albums with black paper, so the photos really stand out, and decorate the pages a bit with stickers, shiny markers, etc. Be careful at the supply store, though, I am always surprised at how expensive art supplies can get.
Duh. Easiest way to get some time off the screen, calm your mind and enjoy a peaceful hour or two. Add a blanket and a cup of tea, and you got yourself a dream Sunday. If you are not usually an avid reader, or have been struggling to get back into it lately, I can recommend some books that will have you hooked after page 3: The Power by Naomi Alderman, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris and The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins (look at all of those women authors! I didn’t even plan that).
If you read my “Things I can do without (and maybe you can too)” post, you will know that I am trying to reduce the amount of meals I eat out. Not only is it good for my health and my wallet, it’s also better for the environment, since I have stopped needing all those take-away containers that the canteens here give you. A great way to feel like you are on top of the week ahead, is doing some meal prepping Sunday evening. Stick some things in the oven, some other on low heat on the stove, and maybe move your reading session to the kitchen so you can keep an eye on everything. It may not sound like the most exciting activity, but it makes such a difference when Tuesday morning you can just grab your food and go.
So you’ve had a lazy day in. If you are anything like me your body might be feeling a bit restless by the end of the day, asking for some activity or movement. A little 20 minutes of yoga won’t turn you into a super flexible goddess, but it will for sure relax your body and your mind. If you are a beginner, and find yoga somewhat intimidating, I cannot recommend Yoga with Adrienne enough. She has such an approachable, open minded outlook on yoga, that it is contagious. I know I sound like a hippy guru when I say this but Anyone can do yoga, and everyone can benefit from it. It’s all about keeping an open mind, and giving it your best shot.
Being realistic, I rarely do more than two of these things on the same day, and there is actually a lot of binge watching Friends on Netflix while eating cereal in between. But hey, life is all about balance. This weekend I will probably spend every available minute outside, and enjoy the first sunny days of spring.