""Sometimes I have loved the peacefulness of an ordinary Sunday. It is like standing in a newly planted garden after a warm rain. You can feel the silent and invisible life." -Marilynne Robinson
What is it about Sunday? I sometimes wonder if Sunday were a person, what would they be like? In one instance I imagine she would wear light floral dresses with sun-splashed patterns in bright yellows and oranges. She would wake up slightly early, not too early, so she could make her way to the local weekend food market and have the best pick of croissants, fresh bread and fruit for breakfast, picking up a coffee for good measure. She would spend her days baking, going on long walks, reading and drinking tea.
Her sister, the other Sunday, would be a deep sleeper, often lying in till late morning and not feeling an ounce of guilt about it because she deserves it. On the weekends she would wake up slowly and whip up a big breakfast spread as a treat. The rest of her day would be spent lazing on the couch having a much needed movie marathon and drinking hot cocoa, all the while dressed in an oversized sweater and fluffy socks for ultimate comfort.
These personas are reflective of two very different kinds of Sundays, but you can indeed combine the two as I often do. Here is how I stay moderately productive (by Sunday standards) whilst also finding time to relax and resist the devilish temptation to stay in bed all day.
1) Don’t sleep in till noon
“But Gia, Sunday’s are made for sleeping in!” I hear you protest and believe you me, I completely agree. But we all have different ideas of what constitutes as a lie in. Personally, I don't want to waste the day away so I will find myself stirring at around 8.30am or 9am on a typical Sunday morning. I feel this is an agreeable lie in from my usual 7am wake up call and it’s not so late that it feels like the day has been and gone. Of course this is all dependent on your personal schedule but if you’re on a relatively regular workday (9 to 5) this should work well. I find it is particularly easy to get moving when you keep in mind that breakfast is calling.
2) Treat yourself to your favourite breakfast
It has become a clockwork ritual of ours to have a scrumptious breakfast every Sunday morning. Cooking is also a great way to alleviate any stress and can be incredibly enjoyable, especially if you have a cooking partner. Our time tried favourites include: oat pancakes (topped with fresh fruit, yoghurt and a naughty drizzle of maple syrup), freshly baked croissants (they are only good if they leave your fingers sufficiently buttery afterwards), or a classic full English with the works (accompanied by a proper builders tea of course). If you have all of the ingredients lined up the day before, this always makes it easier to roll out of bed and straight into the kitchen to prepare a breakfast feast fit for a king and queen (and princes and princesses alike.)
3) Go for a long walk
Many practice Sunday walks, and I find it is always a busy scene when one ventures out of the house on this day of the week (providing the weather allows). Expect smiling faces, adorable family dogs roaming freely, and many a farmers market to choose from. Follow your nose and you will find an open Sunday market boasting their wares from fresh fruit to baked goodies. Buy one of these said goodies and wander to your local park and take in the fresh air and greenery. Trust me, it will do you good and it is a great way to shake off the cobwebs, clearing your head in preparation for an inevitably busy week ahead.
4) Put down the phone
Coinciding with your long walk put your phone away. Ok, I allow you one quick photo of that farmers market, but then turn off your device and store it away in your bag to be forgotten about with every step. Your brain will thank you for it and your eyes will finally be able to have a break from straining to focus on your little screen. This is the time to look up and take in your surroundings. Notice the blossoming spring flowers overhead, breathe in the fresh spring air (hay fever meds in hand if you need) and just for the moment let your mind wander. Who knows? You may mentally stumble upon your next great idea during this restful reverie.
5) Tidy up your space
This might be edging slightly too far into Marie Kondo territory for a lazy Sunday, but giving your space a quick dust and polish can also contribute to an overall feeling of comfort and well-being. Now, this by all means does not need to consist of a full deep clean. Rather a little wipe down here, a sweep of the floors and a spritz of air freshener can set the scene for your ideal Sunday activity. Whether that is reading, watching the latest Netflix documentary or tending to your houseplants, all can be done in a fresh, clean space.
With all of this in mind, Sunday’s are made for relaxation and recuperation so don’t be too hard on yourself if you do find that you’re are still tucked away in bed way past midday. Sometimes you just need to let yourself be lazy, especially if it’s a rainy day (but we’ll save that for another post).
P.S: A photo of me on most Sundays below.