Thanks to the "always-on" culture of modern workplaces, many of us simply don't know how to make the most of a day off. For some, the prospect of leaving an email inbox unattended can be a source of anxiety that builds up to ruin what is supposed to be a relaxing, work-free day.
While taking a break can be difficult for the workaholics among us, rest and relaxation are fundamental for the mind, body, and soul. If you aren't the type to spend the whole day on the couch — a completely acceptable option, as long as you planned it — then consider recharging your batteries through fun activities or even light spring cleaning to ensure that you are ready to hit your career goals when you return to work.
There's not much point in having a day off if you're going to spend most of it in bed. While it may be tempting to hit the snooze button, sleeping for extended periods of time on your days off can mess with your sleep schedule and leave you feeling burnt out and grouchy when you return to the office. Set an alarm as you would any other day and rustle up a hearty breakfast for you and your loved ones. As long as you weren't up until two am, once you're up you'll likely feel ready to take on the day.
If you have a busy career or home life, it can be very difficult to find time for old friends. These relationships are special, however, and often help enrich our lives in ways we don't even realize. To ensure that your long-lasting friendships remain strong and steady, try to fit one or two social activities into your day off. Just remember to set a date well in advance to avoid timetable clashes!
They may feel a little self-indulgent, but long pampering sessions can work wonders for your self-esteem and leave you feeling amazingly relaxed. Professional spa treatments are a great way to go if you're willing to splash out, but home pampering sessions are easy, too. Run yourself a bath and indulge in those face masks and self-care products gathering dust under the sink.
It may seem counterintuitive to do chores on a day off, but crossing a few boring tasks off your to-do list is a surprisingly effective way of calming the mind and feeding the soul. You could, for example, fix a pesky broken door handle, sort out some of your financial affairs, or do some spring cleaning. You'll certainly thank yourself for it later.
Are you an aspiring novelist who struggles to find time to write? Perhaps you're a budding musician or a talented gardener? Whatever your hobby, make sure you grant yourself at least a couple of free hours to indulge in it on your days off. If you have a hard time justifying time that might not "pay off," just consider: you could someday make a living from your hobby — or at least have a fun side hustle — if you put in the time!
Most working people struggle to find time to exercise during the week, so it is important to stay active on your days off. This is particularly true if you spend much of your life sitting at a desk. Walking is a simple way to get the blood pumping and the muscles working. It also offers a great opportunity to explore nature and spend quality time with friends.
When you're busy, trying out new recipes can feel a little risky. You simply don't have the time or the energy to get things wrong! In this way, days off represent the perfect opportunity to embark on new culinary adventures and expand your repertoire. Remember to start cooking a little earlier than you normally would so you can start over if things go awry.
Volunteering for a charity or community initiative is an effective way to stay grounded, expand your horizons, and remind yourself that there is much more to life than your career. If you're unsure how to start volunteering, get in touch with your local community center or search online for groups in need of generous helpers. You could try anything from working at a homeless shelter to restoring local buildings with art. The possibilities are almost endless, and you're sure to meet some amazing people along the way.
You may not realize it, but your cluttered drawers and overflowing shelves could be increasing your stress levels. Most of us have storage spaces designated specifically for possessions we're unsure what to do with, but they can leave our minds feeling cluttered. Fortunately, the Marie Kondo method is an easy way to save your overflowing shelves and your sanity. Designate a couple of hours to throw out items that don't — in the words of Ms. Kondo — "spark joy." The results may surprise you.
While staying active and productive is recommended on your days off, it's perfectly reasonable to indulge in a little Netflix. As well as being lots of fun, spending time on the couch will help you to unwind and escape day-to-day reality. Feel free to top off your viewing session with a cool cocktail and some delicious snacks!