6 things to do with your extra hour that are better than a lie-in
The clocks go back at 2am this Sunday, which gives us an extra hour in our weekend, along with the promise of lighter mornings again for the next couple of weeks. And while we do understand the temptation to curl up under the duvet for longer, viewing this magic hour as a slot of time to assign to a self-care activity can be a really positive step to leave you feeling more relaxed, motivated, or organised for the week ahead. Feel free to try one of our six suggestions, or come up with one of your own if you’d prefer. You may find you enjoy it so much, you prioritise making the time for it on your regular Sundays.
1 Make time for breakfast
Although it’s often referred to as the most important meal of the day, a 2017 survey found that nearly half of Brits admitted that they struggled to find time to eat a proper breakfast. And when we do find the time, many of us reach for the same box of cereal or slice of toast every day, instead of making a healthy breakfast that we’ll actually enjoy. A 2018 survey conducted by Arla found that six in 10 of us were ‘stuck in a rut’ when it came to our diets, eating the same foods every day.
Sunday’s extra hour is the perfect excuse to spend time preparing a breakfast you wouldn’t usually and to practise mindfulness as you eat it. Whether you dig out that delicious-looking stacked pancake recipe you’ve saved on Instagram, or just make eggs your favourite way, take the time to sit down and properly enjoy your food this weekend.
2 Prioritise exercise
Another great way to start your Sunday morning is with a workout session, to get your endorphins flowing for the rest of the day. A recent study showed that running in landscapes without buildings had a particularly positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, so if you’ve got a local park, going for a quick jog around it first thing could help you have a restful day. If you’re really not up to going out, try following an online yoga tutorial at home to get things off to a gentler start.
3 Organise your wardrobe
It might not seem like the most enticing activity, but making sure that your clothes are neatly organised will save you valuable time throughout the week. Organisation-extraordinaire Marie Kondo recommends stacking your T-shirts and balled socks vertically in your drawers, so you can see everything at once and don’t have to scrabble around.
Group your clothes together in your wardrobe, too (put tops together, have a section for jackets etc) so you know exactly where to find things. If you’ve got time for a full clear-out, pull out items you haven’t worn in a long time and be ruthless – if you’re unlikely to wear them, bag them up to take to a charity shop. Someone who might actually love them can give them a second lease of life.
4 Get lost in a book
When was the last time you actually sat down for a full hour with a good book? We’re so used to skimming snippets of news on our phones, or flicking through a couple of pages on the commute, that a lot of us have forgotten to devote time to reading as a leisure activity. And as well as being enjoyable, reading has health benefits, too. Studies have shown that reading for pleasure can increase our emotional intelligence, may help to delay dementia and can boost our confidence and self-esteem, too. Plus, if the lure of a lie-in appeals, it can be a good excuse for spending some extra time in bed.
5 Indulge in a pamper session
Pampering can also take a back seat in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. But if you want to take Sunday morning slowly, it’s another way to relax, while prioritising your own wellbeing. Try doing a beauty treatment that you don’t always make time for, like painting your nails or applying a face mask. And if you get bored, or fidgety, choose an episode of your favourite TV show to watch before allowing your mask to set, or your nails to dry. A study by The University of Chicago even showed that the act of re-watching our favourite TV series can have self-care benefits, as we are able to switch off from the plot and focus on our own enjoyment. As if we needed an excuse to re-watch Friends for the 100th time.
6 Prepare for the week ahead
A recent poll by The Sleep Judge found that 81 per cent of respondents felt increasingly anxious about the approaching work week on Sundays. But one way to reduce anxiety is to make a bullet point list of things you want to achieve at work in the week ahead. A 2011 study showed that participants underperformed on a task when they were unable to complete a warm-up activity beforehand. However, if they were able to note down plans on how to complete the warmup activity, their performance on the next task significantly improved.
Make a comprehensive to-do list to get all of your thoughts down on paper and if it’s still overwhelming, identify five top priority tasks on that list that you’re going to tackle before the rest. Organising your agenda in this way can make your schedule seem more manageable.
Read more: Improve your mental wellbeing