On a normal workday, we have a good sense of where our priorities should lie. However, if we’re lucky enough to have a day off, the best way to spend it can be unclear. If we’re tuned out of work for the day, giving our brain downtime to simply be idle and do nothing can actually help us come up with more creative ideas.
Below are some suggestions to consider when you start your next day off work.
Get Errands Out of the Way
Having extra hours during the daytime is the perfect opportunity to visit the grocery store, pharmacy, and other spots during off-peak hours. Prioritize the most urgent errands that can be accomplished quickly and efficiently but don’t let this take over your day. If there’s a small task you’ve been putting off, set aside some time to finish it in the morning. Chances are, you’ll feel much more relieved and accomplished after it’s done.
Try to shift away from trying to be productive and take the New York Times’ recommendation of “embracing laziness.” Surprisingly, people only send 40% less emails on a holiday Monday than a regular workday Monday. The move towards smartphones and tablets make it more difficult to truly disconnect and as the data has shown, we’re not truly taking a meaningful break when we need to. Constantly being tethered to work and associated stress can have severe consequences on our mental health and cause burnout. Instead of zoning in on work tasks and the status symbol of always being busy, consider shifting your focus to prioritizing doing nothing. Give yourself permission to recharge your batteries – whether you choose to lay around, binge on Netflix, or finally get a good night’s sleep.
Connect to the Bigger Picture
Take a mindful moment and consider what taking time to look after your own needs can do for you. Think about how you can use your day off for self-compassion and what the reason for pushing yourself at work is. Finding time to reflect doesn’t come easy so use your day to get off autopilot and do things that are emotionally and physically restorative. If something is weighing you down emotionally, take a few moments to forgive yourself or the person or thing causing the stress. As you go about your day and move your body, remind yourself that everything you are doing today is for your own benefit.