Annual leave aside, the best time to indulge at the end of a harrowing work-week (whether yours or the boyfriend/ husband’s) is the long-awaited weekend. A weekend can be much more than two days of carefree, work-free, alarm-clock-free lazing in front of the idiot box. It is a chance for you to pamper yourself and gear up for the week to come.

Here’s a quick guide on how you can indulge in some much-needed self-care this weekend on a budget:

1. Take to the outdoors. Just step out of your four walls, you city-dweller! It doesn’t have to be a planned excursion of your city – just a stroll in the park, on the beach, or a scenic bus ride. You could even rent a bicycle and amble about a pretty neighbourhood! Feel the grass or just waves underneath your feet. The sea, they say, is a great listener. And grass often soaks up your troubles.

2. Get in touch with your inner artist. Colour distracts you from the daily pressures of life. A combination of art therapy and meditation, adult colouring books offer peace of mind, relief, and a welcome break from routine. Add a layer – try mandala drawing. Don’t have patience for pen and paper? Download an app on your smartphone! Apps such as Colorfy, Pigment, Lake are all excellent with paid feature additions if you may seek to, literally, paint the town red!

3. Keep a diary Writing your thoughts and feelings in a diary at the end of an eventful week is an effective way to understand behavioural patters of people around as well as yourself. It’s also a great way to analyse and perceive without having to listen to standard mansplaining – “stop overthinking yaar!” Not only is it revelatory, penning your thoughts on paper is wonderful therapy. Writing a diary has the potential to make you more self-aware! You don’t have to be Shakespeare to write what you feel.

4. Spa-cial Day A spa-day is any that pampers you physically. A massage, a facial, a pedicure…Get a little extra at the neighbourhood spa and sauna or order one home – now that apps like Urban Clap and HouseJoy, and AtHomeDiva offer the same services at the swipe of a screen and a fraction of the cost. No time or too broke for all these? Just soak up with some epsom salts and lavender essential oil in a bathtub.

5. A quiet retreat Ever wondered what a week at Vipassana (it’s absolutely free) or even an Ayurvedic resort feels like? Perhaps you need more than a weekend to get in touch with your inner core. Some stretching, lots of meditation, and just staying quiet and gadget-free is all the caring you need to mentally, spiritually, and physically restore your inner balance. The practice of self-care is as important as a meeting or a project deadline. While taking time out for yourself may seem difficult at first, it’s always great to find a ritual of retreat. What better way to refuel your energy and refresh your mind this weekend?

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