Sometimes I’m faced with a happy-dilemma… I’ve planned my workload for the next week and allowed myself to have a full, actual ‘do-nothing’ day off kind of Sunday, but I feel as though I need to find something to do. So… here’s my top ten suggestions for a productive day off:
- Go for a walk – you’ve probably seen this recommended a billion times (and that’s not an exaggeration), but going for walks can help clear your mind (or occupy it). Also, it’s good to go out and discover new things, yet at the same time it’s also weirdly soothing to walk a familiar route – it can help ground you, and remind you that some things are constant!
- Watch TV – this one’s maybe not so productive, but if you’re like me and you don’t often watch TV, (or you only ever watch the re-runs of Friends or How I Met Your Mother…) Or, you’re not very good at watching the latest boxsets that everyone chats about then sometimes it’s good fun to indulge in a ‘lazy day’ watching TV. It’s actually productive in a weird way because you’re doing something you don’t usually do, you’re shaking things up.
- Feed the ducks – this one is a favourite of mine… whenever I’m feeling down, a little lonely and in need of some TLC then feeding ducks is pretty much the best thing in the world. Especially when I’m living in a city… it’s nice to go to a park where there’s canals or lakes (there’s a lot of canals in Birmingham). Also, I very rarely eat a whole loaf of bread to myself so it’s always good to not waste food. PLUS… ducks, geese, swans and even pigeons love love love when humans come and feed them bread… they get all cute, and surround you… which beats the loneliness thing, keeps you on your feet, but can scare you as Canadian Geese can be scary little creatures hahaha, yet it’s 100% heartwarming and cheers me up BIG TIME.
- Tidy (or potter about) – I’m hesitant to tell you to tidy up when this is meant to be a guide for things to do on your day off… haha, but tidying is great as (and there’s no other way to explain this without it sounding cheesy…) it helps you to make change. Tidying clears things up – literally – it allows you to clear a physical space, and it can help you see a better, clearer end to a messy situation! But, if you don’t feeling like doing a spring clean (don’t worry I’m with ya here) just have a little potter around… move things about, tidy little bits and bobs. (P.S: I don’t know if ‘potter’ is an English thang, but basically it means just taking things easy, do a little here and there.
- Write something, a poem, a list, a book – a day might not be enough time to write a whole book… but for me writing blogs, poems and lists always makes me feel like I’ve done something productive – because I have. It’s fun to make things, especially with lists – I’m not talking about to-do lists, I’m talking about lists where you recall awesome things you’ve done, or want to do. I have a list of bands or singers that I’ve seen live, which is so so cool to see expand. I also have a list of things I want to do (currently stand-up paddle boarding is number one), likewise I have a list of food that I want to learn how to cook!
- Plan your week and then go be lazy – I think it’s perfectly okay to take at least one day a week where you can be as lazy as you want. You can do your best sloth impression, or you can have a really relaxing bath, with candles and chocolate or whatever. It’s okay to be lazy, technically you’re just taking time to reboot your system, which isn’t really lazy at all, it’s an act of self-care. If you’re worried about wasting a day then plan your week ahead, this will help you feel as though you’ve completed something and it also helps with maintaining stress levels, as it helps you feel in control.
- Read: a book, a magazine, the TV listings, a takeaway menu, (my blog)… Reading is a great way to escape, it’s also a great way to learn new things, and it’s also a great way to remind yourself that the world is a big big place full with possibility and new adventures. (I often find books really fascinating because they are the product of someones’ hard work, imagination, creativity and passion.)
- Cook – Even if you’re rubbish at cooking there’s no harm in trying to cook something – be adventurous, take out ya cookbook (or just search online for a recipe) and make something. Get your friends, your family, your partner, your pets involved, get everyone involved, have fun and make delicious (or not-so-delicious) food. You’ll feel mega proud after and there’s certainly nothing wrong in feeling proud, in being proud of yourself.
- Craft – Crafting is a great great great way to be productive, as it allows you to do something that’s fun, yet soothing. Activities such as knitting, crochet or cross-stitch give you something to do that consumes your mind yet gives you the headspace to think and focus on things. Likewise, drawing, painting and even colouring (colouring is my favourite), release your inner creative monster and go wild.
- Do some light exercise – In my mind ‘light exercise’ includes walking up and down the stairs, to and from the fridge and picking up and down the TV remote. But seriously, it’s been said a billion times, it’s been scientifically proven etc etc. Exercise is good for ya. Light exercise such as yoga – or simply stretching can help relieve stress and anxiety. Now I’m not sure if I’m oversharing here but oh well ha, for me stretching whilst in the bath (or before) is a great way to relax. I like to stretch my legs, my arms and my neck… and I also love doing them funny face exercises where ya puff your cheeks and things… I sort of make up stretching exercises myself, I’ve figured out what helps me feel grounded and I’d certainly recommend it to you!
I hope these recommendations help you to relax and not feel guilty! Sometimes it’s very easy to feel guilty about taking time for yourself… don’t. Self-care starts with you. And if you feel you need permission to take some time for yourself well… I give you permission.
Go and have a very very lovely day.