Ever find that you’ve wasted your day off? It’s 4pm and you’re still in your pajamas, having watched hours of daytime TV or binged on boxsets.
It’s easy to slip into the trap of doing very little on your day off and ending up feeling that you could have been more productive.
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But there are lots of things you can do to really enjoy your day off and feel refreshed…
1. Get up at a normal time
While it’s really tempting to have a lie-in, changing your sleep patterns is actually bad for you. A 2015 study found that shift workers were at greater risk of heart disease and diabetes, so it’s better to wake up at a regular time. Plus you’ll have more time for the activities you want to do.
2. Book a class
Make time for something you don’t normally have a chance to do – such as a yoga class that’s usually inconvenient. Having plans will give you an excuse to get up and leave the house.
3. Take a bath
Get some essential oils such as lavender and add a few drops to your bathwater to help you unwind. Light a couple of candles and stay there until your fingers look like walnuts.
4. Catch up with a friend for lunch or coffee
Humans are social creatures so we need human contact to give us a sense of self-worth. Building stronger relationships can help you to cope with anxiety and depression too. Plus it’s a great way to catch up on the latest gossip!
5. Make time for a favourite activity
If you have a hobby that you struggle to find time for, then set aside an hour or two for it, whether it’s painting or reading a book.
6. Get the chores out the way early
If you have any life admin or chores to do, then get them out of the way in the morning so that you can enjoy the rest of your day off without feeling guilty.
7. Reclaim your privacy
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a whole day without emails, phone calls and interruptions? Tell your friends and work colleagues that you’re going to be unavailable, resist the urge to look at your emails and chill.
8. Have a digital detox
9. Be creative
Getting creative – whether it’s drawing, sewing, knitting or crochet – can put you in a better mood. A study of 3,500 crafters found that 81% felt happier after a crafting session.
10. Embrace hygge
When it comes to relaxation, the Scandinavian countries really know how to unwind and great a cosy environment and hygge (the Danish and Norwegian word for cosiness) is a big part of that. Create a cosy corner or ‘hyggekrog’ in your home – get warm blankets and snuggly cushions, light a candle or put on a small lamp and settle down with a hot drink. Bliss.
11. Have a baking session
Baking is not something you can easily rush and it’s something that we often struggle to fit into a busy week. But if you’ve got time, it’s a really satisfying way to spend a few hours. And the smell of fresh bread is amazing.
12. Go for a walk
Walking is a great way to to relax, especially if you head into the woods for a spot of forest bathing. Forest bathing is a Japanese practice that can have real health benefits – reducing stress, heart rates and blood pressure and generally putting you in a better mood. It just involves spending time near trees. How easy is that? Walking can boost your creativity too.
13. Indulge yourself
Treat yourself! Little indulgences are what makes life worth living.