Tips & Tricks to Have a Lovely Weekend

Being creative is a 24/7 lifestyle that can often lead to burnouts. It requires a certain way of life that compels you to make the most of your weekends; to re-energize and keep that creative spark alive. Here are some of my tips and tricks to have a lovely weekend:

For many graduates from my generation, Mary Schmich’s essay entitled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” which was turned into a music video by Baz Luhrmann, has been tremendously influential in the way we see and try to experience life. To this day, I make a conscious effort to look for the simple little things that bring a little more pleasure and happiness to life.

Weekends can and should be special. The best way to make them so, is to make sure to give them a great start, to dedicate them to the people, places, and passions that matter to you, and to remember what life is truly about.

Tips for a good start

The best way to start the weekend is to start it as soon as you wake up. The temptation to stay in bed and catch up on the week’s lack of sleep is great, but it won’t do you any favors. Don’t plan or schedule anything, because when you wake and don’t feel like doing it, you’re going to waste a considerable amount of time wondering if you should do what was planned or not, and if not, what you should do instead.

And forget about that pesky leach called a cell phone! You don’t need to look at your Twitter or Facebook notifications, and you know the only call you’re going to get is from that one person you don’t want to talk to, so put the phone on the back burner. Use it to get directions to places to go, but don’t be its slave.


Live your weekend at your own pace; don’t enslave yourself to a set schedule.


Except for mapping road directions, you should completely ignore your phone.


Don’t oversleep; it will drain your energy, and leave you in a semi-comatose state.

The weekend is all yours. It’s about enjoying it, and taking it at your own pace without unwanted distractions or being pressed for time or stressing about prior commitments.

Re-discover where you live

I’ve been fortunate enough to live in some of the most amazing cities on Earth: Paris, Barcelona, Seattle and Vancouver. The first few months are a treat and everything is shiny and new, but after a while it’s very common to take the city you reside in for granted and be jaded by it.

Usually, you only realize how truly amazing a place is, when you go back to it after being away for a while. A lot of touristic attractions you might have previously taken for granted may surprise you in a positive way and remind you why after all these years, they are still very popular with travelers.


There are a ton of local attractions that we only visit once, that are worth visiting over and over.


Every couple of months, museums change some of the expositions they have on display; every visit can be original.

If you were to ask me what the Vancouver Art Gallery looks like, I would tell you that it’s an astounding building in the middle of a spectacular place. I see it every morning when I walk by commuting to and from work, and on the weekends when it’s a buzzing capharnaum full of life and eccentricities. I enjoy experiencing it in both situations, but most people only see one side of it.


When passing by a place on the way to work, we often forget to take the time look at it and appreciate its beauty.


Walking around places on the weekend has a totally different feel than on weekdays.

Like us, cities live at a different pulse on the weekend, and because of it, a lot of places we think we know can seem unfamiliar and have a distinctly different atmosphere. Whether it’s busy or completely empty, some familiar places might amaze you.

Indulge

One of the areas we often neglect during the weekend is dining. I don’t mean feeding; a dinner is supposed to be a feast for all the senses. Due to time constraints, we’re accustomed to rely on fast food and meals that can be cooked quickly (which is totally understandable), but free from the shackles of time. The weekend offers the perfect opportunity to indulge in delicacies that wouldn’t be realistic options for weekdays.


Many succulent dishes require an amount of prep time that makes them perfect for family weekend dinners.


Making weekends special can be as simple as enjoying that special dessert you love, but don’t have very often.

Nothing comes close to a good meal: the colors, the flavors, the scents; they all work together to stimulate your brain and bring forgotten happy moments back. For memories that are stored chemically, nothing can make your psyche cross space and time and take you back to your 1999 Summer vacations in Catalunya, like a Crema Catalana.


Cooking is a great way to travel without moving; the seasoning and the flavors can transport you all around the world.


Homemade desserts have that extra love that makes them taste better. It’s totally worth spending the time to make them.

Cuisine is a social art form. Growing up, I spent a fair amount of time in my late grandma’s kitchen, and as much as cooking was important, the most salient part of the experience was talking to each other while working towards a common goal: the family dinner itself became a celebration of our endeavor. To me, there’s no other activity that can bring several generations of a family together, and turn simple and seemingly mundane occurrences into beloved memories.

Connect with nature

One of the simplest things you can do to have a great weekend, is to step away from the urban jungle you live in. The change of scenery can give you the sensation of being in an unusual exotic location. The French have a single word to encapsulate this notion: dépaysement.

Whatever transports you to somewhere else and replenishes your spiritual energy will do. Some like sand dunes, others prefer the forest, and some love the mountains. For me? I need water. I realize living in a coastal city and talking about going away to be closer to the water can seem a paradox, but the open ocean and hidden coves are completely on another level.


Getting away from the city and being surrounded by nature can bring a sense of serenity necessary to put things into perspective.


Paddleboarding is an activity that’s great for couples; it’s easy to pick up, and you never know who or what you might encounter on the water.

The best way to cleanse your mind from the madness of the world, is just to escape it and spend some quality time connecting with nature. When I’m kite surfing, it’s just me, the water, and the wind. Bringing a waterproof audio player can help you reach a state of plenitude, where all your worries go away.


Sometimes the best way to energize the soul, is to spend some alone time with nature. It’s about getting into the right flow.


When spending time alone in nature, the right playlist can enhance the whole experience and free your mind.

Don’t get me wrong: I love the city, but like anything, there’s a need of balance. The wild offers a different outlook that’s so important to avoid a burnout. I’ve never been happier in my life, than when my walk to work consisted of having a park on my right and the ocean on my left.

Embrace Your Lunacy

From experience, I’ve seen two kinds of weekend behavior: the one where people have a weekend routine (the same way they have a weekday routine), and the ones who allow themselves to enjoy life. Usually, the ones who dare to be themselves have a more fulfilling weekend than the others.


There are so many conventions out there. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s one that will appeal to you.


Cosplayers are like superheroes: they make the world a better place. So unleash your inner child, and go to geeky cons!

The first time I went to San Diego’s Comic Con, it changed so many things for me. It’s really hard to describe the incredible feeling of joy and happiness that goes through that convention. What’s the craziest thing that happened to you last weekend? If your answer is that awkward moment, in the bathroom, when you realize you’re standing between a Klingon and a Stormtrooper, it’s a sign you had an awesome weekend.


Venturing co-op in a virtual world is always a pretty sweet weekend getaway for gaming couples who enjoy playing together.


Spending a couple of hours petting these little gals and guys, can be the best part of the entire week. They won’t forget it.

Being yourself doesn’t mean being crazy; we all have different tastes. Sometimes the best weekends are the ones spent at home with the ones you love. There’s nothing wrong with spending the whole weekend in the bedroom, or on the couch watching movies, playing video games, or being a human pillow for your cats.

Make it memorable

The most important tip to remember, is to do something that you will remember. There really isn’t any secret here; it’s all about breaking the mundane week activities and creating memories that will last a lifetime. I’m Mediterranean; cuisine is part of my culture, so discovering a restaurant with a unique dish or having a great conversation over my favorite drink is sure shot for a memorable moment.


Trying new restaurants in interesting locations that aren’t the usual hangouts can be greatly rewarding.


Having a drink that’s exclusively associated with the weekend is a great way to separate these memories from the weekdays ones.

Another way to make it memorable, is to have little trips and go to a few places that have a special energy. Some boutique hotels and spas have that little something that makes them seem like places disconnected from the real world. That’s a very good thing; these places are highly enjoyable.


Spending a whole day at a remote outdoor spa is the kind of unforgettable experience that regenerates the body and soul.


There’s nothing quite as magical and whimsical as sitting down by the water and stargazing with someone you love.

As strange as it sounds, ending the weekend is important: it provides the closure needed to separate it from the week ahead. Take it from someone who was once in a long distance relationship for a few years, whose weekends ended by listening to Tori Amos’ Josephine while boarding a plane to YVR: you want your weekend to close on a happy note. Whether it’s a dinner with your companion, your family, or with your cat or dog, don’t forget to end your weekend by telling them how much you love them.

‘Cause that is something that will make their weekend memorable.