There is a special sort of magic that only comes on a Sunday.
While my Saturdays are often days packed to the brim with errands and catching up and to do lists, my Sundays seem to demand the opposite. Sure, they still hold the same amount of time as a Saturday, the same amount of hours and possibilities, but there is something about a Sunday that says brunch and long walks with no destination.
I am someone who has long been motivated, and frustrated, by the things I should be doing. I should be going to yoga four days a week, I should be writing three pitch letters to send out a week if I really want to take my work as a freelancer seriously. I should be spending every evening working on this blog or reading or writing or meditating instead of watching Doctor Blake’s Mysteries after work. But what I always fail to take into account is the fact that I’m a normal human who needs to sleep and unwind and can’t run at full speed all the time. Oh yeah, and a human who has a full-time job and is also trying to be present in the lives of their loved ones and their loved ones’ pets!
Now, in an effort to find a more balanced existence, I have taken to respecting Sundays like they’re my mother and have thrown my schedule and to do lists out the window. Let me tell you, it’s taken a minute to get the hang of it but when I actually make it a priority, Sundays feel like a mental vacation. So should you be looking to revamp your Sundays as well, here are a few things I believe Sundays are best for and a handful of things they should never include.
^^ Alas not my dog but being a dog aunt is kind of the best. ^^
What Sundays are for
- Not setting an alarm clock and letting my body fully catch up on sleep. There is something so blissful about starting my Sunday slowly with a cup of tea and catching up on articles or videos from my favorite YouTube creators such as Megan Ellaby, Rowena Tsai, and Amy Landino.
- Reading Joy the Baker’s “Let It Be Sunday” series or any other newsletters I haven’t had a chance to sit down with during the week. My favorite: The Cut’s Ask Polly column.
- Baking cinnamon rolls even though I’m the only one home.
- Diving into the world of Alpacabee’s Instagram and letting the faces of these five male alpacas living their best lives in Belgium fix all the world’s problems.
- Taking long walks in Brooklyn Heights to pick up an ice tea and sit on the promenade with a book or my journal.
- Writing my weekly letter to my grandma.
- Having a catch up phone call with a friend outside of New York. Anyone who knows me knows that despite me loving the people in my life more than ice tea, I am horrible at phoning people back (a habit I’ve set out to fix this year). This year I’ve been setting aside time on Sundays to catch up with friends and family while out on a walk or when I have a bit of down time after dinner. It never fails to make me feel so happy and energized after.
- Exploring a new bakery or bookstore in Brooklyn or Manhattan. Usually I’ll couple this with attending pottery open studio hours for a double treat!
- Calling home for a non-rushed FaceTime call that usually involves me talking to my parents while they’re eating a way more delicious looking breakfast than I had that day.
- Taking a yoga class in the afternoon and getting the mat spot right under the skylight.
- Putting my phone away in the other room and curling up to read on the couch while the cats nap. If I can manage to snuggle into the spot on the couch where the kitchen clock isn’t visible, even better!
- Meeting up with friends for bagels or walks in Prospect Park or tea or museum exhibits. Catching up with friends in person while taking in the city always leave me feeling fulfilled and refreshed for the week to come. I mean, Sunday brunches are an institution in New York and while I don’t partake often, it’s still one of my favorite things to do when I get the chance.
- Seeing the first movie screening of the day.
- Getting my nails painted like a real BOSS LADY! My secret dream, along with having my perfect gold ring game sorted, is to rock dark painted nails. Now, I realize this isn’t a hard dream to achieve, but do I do it? Literally never. I don’t actually get my nails done often because one, right now it’s winter and my skin hasn’t seen the sun for three months and two, my finger nails are often too short to paint. But when I do get my act together and hit the nail shop I feel like a million bucks. Now if only I had a million bucks to buy my dream rings and an apartment for them to live with me in.
- The park. Any park. Just go to the park.
- Taking the time to try out a new recipe and sitting down to enjoy it over a movie. Yes, a WHOLE. MOVIE. Honestly, I so rarely make time to enjoy movies at home and often halfway through find myself cleaning the apartment or writing a list of things I need to remember so I’m trying to carve out more time to just sit and be.
- Buying flowers to brighten up my space for the week to come.
- Writing a blog post or a pitch letter or simply working on my game plan for the next writing week. I have started to set a timer for an hour to write on Sunday nights. It helps me me stay focused and to not let work take over my entire evening. When it goes off I now turn off my computer, write a post it note of where to start the next day, and hit the couch for some real Sunday night self-care.
- Filling out my passion planner and laying out my clothes for the next day. It takes me a minute to get going in the morning so any extra decision making I can cut out is deeply appreciated by Monday morning Carly.
What Sundays are NOT for
- Being over connected. I recently deleted Instagram from my phone in an effort to stop the habit I’ve developed of checking the app during any down moments. Seeing everyone’s highlight reel so early in the morning would make me feel bad about taking the day to do relatively nothing so I figured something had to give! Need inspiration to unplug more? This video I watched from Misako Envela really struck a chord as did Kevin Roose’s New York Times article “Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain.“
- Stress. It’s easy to let the stress of the next work week consume your Sunday but as I’ve learned for past experience, it’s never worth it. Monday will come, she always does, but don’t let her take your Sunday hours as well.
- Real pants. If I can go an entire weekend wearing only yoga pants, I consider it a gold star weekend.
- Broken subways. This is me putting this wish out into the universe. Will it listen? Absolutely not but a girl can dream!
- Work emails. Like the D.A.R.E. program taught me, just say no.
- Self criticism. You’re exactly where you need to be, doing exactly what you need to do. Rest, relax, and go get ’em.