Finally, you get a day off of school or work, but now you’ve got to decide what to do. Would you like a relaxing day at home, an exciting day starting a new project, or even organizing a trip outside? Even if you’re the kind of person who normally enjoys a relaxing or productive day off, consider trying out the other kind once in a while.
Having a Relaxing Day Off
Start the day out comfortable. Turn off your alarm. Get up whenever you feel like it, and treat yourself to a relaxed breakfast. If you enjoy cooking, try something special like blutwurst with eggs and hashbrowns, gingerbread waffles, owl-shaped pancakes, breakfast frittata, or a full english breakfast.
Keep away from your phone and email. Having people constantly trying to get ahold of you can be exhausting, and yet many people compulsively check their phone and email even if it stresses them out. If necessary, let people know in advance you will not be available on your day off, and put off reading messages until tomorrow.
If you know this will be difficult, leave all your electronic devices in a drawer, far from where you plan to spend your day.
Find a comfortable area. Choose a spot where you can spend several hours relaxing. If your home is full of errands or stressed people, try a cafe with a relaxed atmosphere, or a park. If the weather makes going outside unpleasant, make a cozy spot inside your home.
Play with your pets. If you have an animal at your house, spend some time playing with it. Find a way to play with your cat, dog, or bird. If you enjoy crafts, make a cat toy.
Read a book. You might have books you’ve been wanting to read for a long time, or that you read a long time ago and would love to read again. If you need to find a new book to read, look up your favorite authors online to see if they’ve written anything new, or get ideas from websites such as whatshouldireadnext.com.
Unwind. Find a relaxing activity that you don’t normally do, to make the day feel special. Meditate, have a bubble bath (even if you don’t have any bubbles), or go through an old music collection and rediscovering favorites.
Treat yourself to pleasant meals. Find a delivery place near you so you don’t have to leave the house, or go out to a nice sit-down meal if that’s what you enjoy. If you like to cook at home, pick something that you’ll enjoy cooking. If you’re not that interested in cooking, but want to give it a shot, try a simple comfort food recipe like mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese.
If you like to cook more complicated dishes for fun, pick something that’s new and exciting, but not so difficult that it will stress you out. Try orzotto, naan thool, or homemade hot sauce.
Invite some friends over. If it’s a holiday, your friends will likely have the day off as well. Even if not, they may have free time for part of the day. Invite them over to watch a movie, play board games, or eat a meal with you. Don’t overload yourself with too many guests, though; today should still be about relaxing.
Planning an Excursion
Look for attractions near you. Maybe there’s a movie or play you’re interested in seeing, or a museum you’ve never been to. Sometimes, you can have fun acting like a tourist in your own town, especially if you’ve been too busy at work to appreciate it.
Spend time in nature. Natural areas can be great for relaxation if you spend most of your days indoors or in a cit. Have a picnic, take a bike ride, or stroll through a park near you. You could even look up campgrounds and nature preserves near you if you’d like to go on a day trip, although remember there will probably be traffic if today is a holiday.
Walk around a neighborhood you’ve never been in before. If there’s a town or neighborhood near you that you haven’t spent much time in, go take a look without having a specific plan. Pick an area with shops and restaurants, and take a look at anything from bookstores to nightclubs.
Create experiences, not just new stuff. People usually find experiences more memorable and interesting than objects. If you do enjoy shopping, go with friends to make it a more memorable experience, or leave the credit card behind and window shop somewhere fancier than your normal locations.
Avoid frustrating experiences. Try to avoid traffic, overcrowded areas, and other sources of stress on your day off. These are especially common problems if today is a holiday, but you may be able to find a small, out of the way park or neighborhood with less of a crowd.
If this is limiting your options, have a picnic in your backyard.
Using a Day Off for Personal Projects
Try some arts and crafts. Paint, draw, make pottery, or try out any other art form. Have fun with it, and you might end up with something you can display in your home.
Try making a pirate hat, or start a more functional project like knitting socks.
Discover unexpected art projects like the mushroom spore print or the gnome home.
Learn a new hobby. There are thousands of hobbies you’ve probably never heard of, and your friends probably have a few they’d be eager to introduce you to. Try solitary activities from cup stacking to robot building. Find a friend to learn some competitive or collaborative hobbies, from the ancient strategy game go to joint quilting projects, where you each embroider squares to join together.
Listen to a lecture, podcast, or audiobook. Find a podcast to listen to, on just about any topic you’re interested in. Educate yourself with a free online lecture series from a site such as Academic Earth.
Attend a one-day class. In cities, you can often find classes on cooking, crafts, or other topics nearby. You can also search online for regular book clubs, sports associations, or other clubs in your area as well. Although most of them probably won’t be meeting today, you may find something fun to do on your weekends, and you may not even have the energy to search for them once you get back to work.
Catch up with friends. Even if you are the type of person who gets anxious on your day off, realize that keeping in touch with your loved ones is an important “task” just as much as your projects and to-do list. Find someone you haven’t spent time with in a while, and invite them over or have an online conversation.
How to Enjoy a Lazy Day
How to Enjoy a Relaxing Weekend
How to Devote a Day to Relaxing and Pampering Yourself at Home
How to Create a Relaxing Atmosphere
Sources and Citations
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