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Why not take advantage of the long weekend to retreat for a bit, relax and do some activities that’ll put a smile on your face and improve your quality of life? This needn’t be overly complicated—it’s more about doing simple activities to better attune yourself to your body’s needs so you can respond to them more easily. In today’s world, self-realization is often measured by acquisitions, achievements, work and being constantly busy. But shouldn’t it be represented by happiness, inner peace, the joy of life and the ability to stop and live in the moment? I believe that these moments are vital to help us help others and continue to be creative and express ourselves. Caring for yourself is not selfish—you cannot give to others if you have nothing to give. I have four calming activities to help you take better care of yourself. These are just ideas, so use them as inspiration to create your own relaxing weekend.

1. Go for a walk and tune in to nature.

Leave your headphones at home and take a walk in the forest to recharge your batteries and let the sounds, smells and surrounding beauty stimulate your senses. Dr. Qing Li and other scientists have demonstrated the health benefits of simple forest walks, including boosted vitality levels, a stronger immune system and a reduction in certain stress indicators (anxiety, depression, anger). Forest walks also help prevent hypertension and cancer. And don’t forget your water bottle—stay hydrated!

2. Homemade facial with kitchen ingredients.

I love having a bit of fun in the kitchen while cooking… and making facials! This is a zero-waste option as there’s no packaging. You can adapt the recipe depending on what’s in your fridge, and you’ve got full control over how it’s made. A natural, chemical-free facial awaits. Ingredients:
  • 15 mL (1 tbsp.) honey
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 15 mL (1 tbsp.) hazelnut oil
  • 15 mL (1 tbsp.) Moroccan clay
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and apply to your damp, clean face. Leave on for 15 minutes before washing off.

3. Take a pause from screen time for a few hours or a whole day.

The habit of checking our texts, emails and various online accounts can easily affect our physical, mental and emotional health. The good news is that a technology pause is a powerful way to improve our well-being. For some, it may be a temporary shutdown, while for others, it’s an opportunity for long-term change. In both cases, cutting screen time brings benefits such as increased awareness, improved sleep, more time to rediscover hobbies and greater human connection. While you can connect with others on social media, nothing beats face-to-face interactions. Why not start close to home with family members?

4. Get ahead of weekly meals to save time.

On the last day of a long weekend, I like to get a head start on the meals for the coming week. I enjoy choosing foods, opening a cookbook to try a new dish, and settling into the kitchen with some good music or a podcast for an hour or two of prep. I like cutting lots of veggies (the best snack for hungry children before dinner) and cooking a lot of wild rice, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa or brown rice for the week’s meal bowls. Lastly, I always make one or two dressings.

Try this dressing recipe:

Mix 15 mL (1 tbsp.) tahini, 60 mL (4 tbsp.) olive oil, 45 mL (3 tbsp.) lemon juice, salt and pepper. This dressing is silky smooth and delicious. Have a nice long weekend, and happy relaxing!