How To Make The Most Of Your Sunday, According To Ayurveda
Sundays are supposed to be a day of rest before the week ahead, and for some of us, they may serve this purpose. Unfortunately, in a society that centers around productivity and getting things done, Sundays can become just another day of the week unless we’re intentional about how we spend our time.
The weeks are busy, and you’re usually on someone else’s schedule, which makes it challenging to have time for personal enjoyment. By the time Sunday comes around we want to get our errands done, do something fun, see friends, go through emails, AND relax. Well, all of that in one day doesn’t sound like a day of rest!
We all come to this dilemma on the weekends of how to spend our time especially if we’re in a 9-5 job where personal time is hard to come by. We spoke to Sarah Kucera, Ayurvedic practitioner, yoga teacher, and author of the new book The Ayurvedic Self-Care Handbook to get her thoughts on how we can approach Sunday in a way that supports our well-being and maybe aligns a little more with that whole day-of-rest concept.
Sundays can end up being a day of anxiety about the work week ahead, which is only made worse by indecisiveness about how to spend your time. Kucera recommends deciding before Sunday about how you’re going to allocate your day. This could mean deciding on Friday that Sunday is going to be a day for you to focus on your needs and less socializing or maybe you’ve wanted to get some things done and productivity is your focus. Whatever your intention is for Sunday, thinking about what you’ll do ahead of time may help eliminate what Kucera calls "decision paralysis" on Sunday morning, where you’re feeling conflicted about what to do and where to go and instead end up doing nothing at all.
If you’re thinking, I don’t know what I need or what to do with my time, you’re not alone. Kucera explained that knowing what your prominent doshas are may help you decide what’s best for you.
In Ayurveda, there are three doshas: vata, pitta, kapha, and every one of us has all of them, but one often expresses more profoundly, said Kucera. Here are some ideas about what your Sunday could look like depending on your dosha constitution.
Vatas should focus on grounding.
Vatas are light, spontaneous, and creative and embody the elements of ether and air. “Vatas on Sunday will become anxious, fearful, and worried about their work week, but it’s not to say that the other doshas will experience that,” said Kucera.
To alleviate these unpleasant emotions, she recommends that vatas decide on how they are going to spend their time before Sunday comes around. This way they don’t get decision paralysis and attempt to get everything done as vatas tend to do a bunch of things at once half-heartedly.
Vatas may benefit from journaling or doing a visualization about what they want Sunday to look like so when the day comes they know what to expect. On Sunday morning vatas may want to write down any chores or concerns for the week ahead so that they can table them away for Monday and enjoy the day without a looming concern.
Pittas should embrace spontaneity.
Pitta’s have a more fiery constitution with the elements of fire and water. They are typically focused on productivity and like to be in control of what’s happening. If your Sunday activities end up being a race to finish your laundry list of to-do’s, there's a chance you’re more pitta.
People who are pitta can run the risk of overdoing everything and limiting themselves from spontaneity and play because of their goals and expectations of themselves, explained Kucera. She recommends pittas allow time for spontaneity in their Sunday, so instead of planning every hour of the day, leave some time open to get a meal with a friend or walk into that exhibit you’ve wanted to go to. Try to embrace the uncertainty in the day and let go of a little bit of control; it may surprise you.
Kaphas have a grounded and compassionate constitution with the elements of earth and water. They are often more resistant to change and can be lazier when it comes to getting out and socializing, exercising, and getting things done promptly. For a kapha, Sundays could look like sleeping in, overindulging in food, and procrastinating. Kucera points out that in a society that pushes us away from this element, many aspects of kapha are particularly crucial for each of us to embrace.
Kaphas will want to try to get up earlier on Sunday and try something new—perhaps head to a new part of town and explore, see a friend you haven’t seen in a while or do that errand you’ve meant to do. Whatever it is that gets you out and about and lights a spark in you is where you should head.
All constitutions should take an ojas day.
No matter what your doshic makeup leans towards, Kucera always recommends her clients take an ojas day from time to time. According to Ayurveda, ojas is an essence that is our vitality, immunity, and energy tank. Ojas depletes if we do not take care to restore it. This tank is refueled by doing things we love, eating things we love to eat and enjoying ourselves without any goal attached. It’s about waking up and being entirely guided by how you feel and the things you want to do,” said Kucera.
I can’t think of the last time I did that, can you? She recommends making a Sunday—or at least half a Sunday—an ojas day. This means you’re waking up (already having made the decision to have an ojas day) and doing things from an intuitive place. By listening to your body and needs, you’ll naturally do the things you’re inclined to do. With no goals in mind, you'll eat the things your body wants to eat and do the things your body feels inclined to do.
You may be thinking, you want me to have one day when I do nothing productive? The answer is yes. Kucera says that even though it feels completely unproductive to be without goals and a plan, it's actually productive, because it recharges the body. So when we do have to be in action mode again, we can approach tasks with greater clarity and focus. While many of her clients are apprehensive about spending a day following their intuition without goals in mind, they find it is extremely restorative and ends up boosting their productivity and ability to live in the moment.
So no matter what your doshic constitution may be, you’ll want to consider taking an ojas day and mixing it up with Sundays that fit your dosha. Now that you know a little bit more about your doshas and ojas, think about the way you want to spend your Sunday before it rolls around, and watch the Sunday scaries melt away.
Caroline Muggia has a B.A. in Environmental Studies & Psychology from Middlebury College. She received her E-RYT with Yoga Works and is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. A writer and environmental advocate, she is passionate about helping people live healthier and more sustainable lives. You can usually find her drinking matcha or spending time by the ocean.