21 Things To Do On Your Day Off
When we get into a rut in our daily routine, it can be tough to turn things around to feel positive and energised again.
One thing you can do to help get yourself out of that rut is by taking a additional day off work, rather than waiting for the weekend. This change of routine helps your brain realise that it isn’t just plodding along on a treadmill, and reminds you that you don’t just have to keep going along in your rut every day.
Instead of just rolling from the bed to the sofa, it is important to have some ideas on things to do with your day off. This way you can do something constructive, positive and engaging with this bonus time.
Below are 21 things you can do on your day off. If you need some ideas on how to spend your day off, this list should give you some good ideas.
1. Be a tourist in your own town.
Have you ever noticed that when people come to visit, they always do the things that you have never done in your own town? We always leave those tourist things for another day when they are on our doorstep, so take the opportunity to put your camera around your neck and go be a tourist for the day. Just jump onto Trip Advisor to find the top 10 things to do in your city and see how many you can tick off the list.
2. Cook something new.
If you fancy seeing if you can be a bit of a MasterChef then dust off those old cook books and pick a recipe you have always wanted to be able to cook. Make a list of the ingredients you need, grab them from the store (along with a little treat for afterwards!) and then get cooking. Once it is done, take a pic before you enjoy it and compare it to the cookbook.
3. Take an online course.
Sometimes you need to learn some new skills to get out of your rut. Luckily there are countless different ways to learn things online. Udemy and LinkedIn Learning are great places to learn all sorts of skills, and are easy to get started. Audible books on 2x speed can easily be finished in a day. Alternatively, find an online guru that teaches a topic you have always wanted to study. Many courses will need more than one day, so maybe this will kick off a new habit.
Why not use your day off to help others? There are lots of opportunities for volunteering, ranging across local homeless shelters, charity shops and even fun runs. If you can’t find a suitable organised event, do something on your own. Go to an old peoples home and spend time with someone who doesn’t have many family to visit. Alternatively, grab a black bag and go pick up rubbish in your local neighbourhood. Find a way to do something for others, and see how it feels at the end of the day.
5. Redecorate a room in your house.
If they can rebuild a whole house in 24 hours on those TV shows, you can redecorate a single room. It doesn’t have to be a major overhaul as even a different colour of paint can make a room feel completely different. There is something satisfying about using power tools, building furniture or just waving a paint brush around, so get to the DIY store and grab whatever materials you need. And remember, for the more challenging projects, there is a YouTube video for everything!
6. Gardening (or someone else’s garden… just be outdoors).
Getting muddy and sweaty might seem like a strange way to spend a day off, but gardening can be an amazing way to distract yourself for the day. If the weather is good, mow the lawn, do some weeding, plant some bulbs, prune some bushes. If the weather isn’t so good, pot some seeds or start a herb garden. If you haven’t got your own garden, volunteer to help a friend… they won’t turn you down.
7. Spend time with family or friends.
We often try to squeeze in time with friends and family on our days off, under pressure to do everything in a limited window. With an extra day off, we can relax a little and simply enjoy our time together. Even if it is just a coffee morning where you set the world to rights, take some time out to properly talk and reconnect. You can rush things again next time you see them.
8. Read a book.
Many of us have a pile of Amazon purchases we just haven’t had time to get round to. Of course we don’t stop buying things, so sometimes we need an extra day off to make a dent in those books. Put on the kettle, put your feet up on the sofa, and turn off your phone. Now you have the perfect environment to dive into your page turner. If you prefer audiobooks, maybe don’t put it on 2x speed for efficiency this time, instead take your time and fully soak in the words.
9. Tour a brewery or vineyard.
Rather than getting completely gazebowed, touring a brewery or vineyard can be extremely educational, as well as have something to look forward to during the visit. Usually we just consume the end product, but learning the process can help you appreciate your favourite beverage even more. You don’t need to be a sommelier to enjoy wine tasting, and maybe you’ll find a new favourite tipple during this experience.
10. Clear out your wardrobe.
Let’s face it, we all have clothes that we haven’t worn in at least 12 months. Yes, they may come back into fashion in 25 years, but chances are they are just taking up space in your wardrobe and cluttering your general environment. If you have a day off, why not use it to clear out your wardrobe. If you haven’t worn it in 12 months, put it in a bag and take it to a charity shop. If you have lost weight and still have some old clothes from the bigger you, send them to the charity shop as a sign you aren’t going back again.
We often don’t always have time for all the personal care activities we want to do during the week. If during the week you can only just find time to brush your teeth, use this day off to give yourself a makeover. Take a bath, put on a facemask, moisturise every inch of you, shave properly, do your nails, use a hand or foot mask, get your hair cut, have a sunbed or get a massage. Use the day to treat yourself to whatever you need to feel like a million dollars.
12. Do your errands.
Ok, this isn’t too exciting but our daily routines often don’t allow us to do all the things we need to do. The queue at the post office is too long. The bank is closed when you finish work. The customer service centre is too busy during the evening’s. When these things stack up, they can take up valuable mental energy until we tick them off the list. So make a list of all the chores and errands you need to run, and spend the day ticking them off to enjoy some well earned clear mental space.
13. Exercise HARD.
Hard is relative, but the feeling afterwards is the same. Intense, extended exercise sessions release so many endorphins that, once you have caught your breath, will make you feel amazing. If you usually workout for an hour, try a 3 hour squat session. Like running? Head out onto the hills with a backpack and supplies and don’t come back until the sun comes down. Rarely do we push ourselves to the limit, so challenge yourself to see what you are capable of, and then do a little bit more just to show it is possible.
14. Make a Vision Board.
If you are in a bit of a rut, there is a good chance you have lost sight of your goals and objectives, and the motivation these things bring. Building a vision board can help you reconnect with your purpose, and can help you find drive and energy to pursue your purpose. You can either make a physical vision board by cutting out pictures from magazines, or a digital board using pictures from the internet. By the end of your day off, you’ll feel more motivated and also have a physical reminder of what excites you about life.
Cooking outdoors makes things taste so much better. There is the excitement of the fire, the sounds of fat sizzling out of the meat (sorry vegetarians!) and the incredible aroma that comes off the grill. If you have some good condiments (like a spicy ketchup or good mustard) then even the most basic of burgers is transformed into the best burger ever. Some people even have outdoor pizza ovens that can prepare the perfect pizza in just 60 seconds (meat free options available!) so put on your apron and get cooking.
16. People watch in coffee shop.
Grab a giant cup of your favourite coffee and take a chair in the corner of the coffee shop. As you sip on your brew, make up stories about the people that come and go. Is the person typing a famous author, and you just witnessed part of the next bestseller being authored? Is that laughing couple going to get engaged later today? By thinking the best stories for others, you will start to think about more positive possibilities for all scenarios, especially your own.
17. Write a real letter.
There is something special about getting a real letter from someone. In an age where email or text is our standard form of communication, a physical letter written by hand on quality paper delivers more than just the words. It shows you took time. It shows you care. It shows you really thought about the recipient. It shows that you wanted to really send a message that you didn’t copy and paste. If you want to send someone a message, send it properly and use your day off to craft. Something special.
18. Draw something.
Whether or not you have any artistic talent, drawing something forces you to use your brain differently. Artists look at things from alternative perspectives. They look at all the details: the lighting, the shadows, the detail, the background, the shapes, the colours, the textures. When you slow down and really take the time to look at something, you appreciate the thing for everything that it is, not just the surface-level appearance. It doesn’t matter how good your creation is, try and take this new way of looking at things back into your everyday life.
19. Nintendo Wii Dance Marathon.
This might seem crazy, but fire up your old games console, put the Just Dance disc in, and bust out your best moves. Dancing is a great way of burning some calories, boosting your endorphins and generally not taking yourself too seriously. Ok, so maybe you aren’t such a great dancer, in which case put in the sports disc and play some boxing or tennis. Whatever you do, record part of the proceedings and enjoy watching this back, remarking to yourself how you felt a lot more coordinated than the video makes you look.
20. Theme Park.
There aren’t many more experiences that can guarantee an adrenaline rush like a theme park. How many opportunities do you have to be accelerated to warp speed, spun upside down again and again and exposed to g-force levels normally reserved for astronauts and fighter pilots? Splash out on the package that allows you to skip a few queues to maximise your coaster-queue ratio, and make sure to bring home an over-priced photo keyring to commemorate the experience.
21. Work on your Finances.
Ok, so this is another one of those practical things to do, but one you will be glad you paid extra attention to. So many of life’s stresses are financial, so take this opportunity to get them sorted properly. If you don’t have a proper budget, take some time to work out your income and expenses and figure out areas to improve the balance. If you have money left over at the end of the month, create a savings or investment account (check out Vanguard for a simple, low-cost place to start investing). If you are still short. Each month, explore different credit cards to consolidate your balance and reduce your repayments (check out the resources at sites like Money Saving Expert or Mr Money Moustache for tips and starting points). You’ll sleep so much better knowing your money is under control and has a proper plan in place.
So there you have it. 21 different ideas for ways to spend your day off that will give you a feeling of enjoyment, self worth or accomplishment by the end of the day. As mentioned, taking a day off of work other than the weekend is a great way to change your mindset and help break you out of a rut, so if you find yourself being drawn to the sofa, use these ideas as inspiration for your next activity day.
Most of these activities can be done solo or with your partner, friends or family. Sharing experiences like these can be more enjoyable because of the social factor, and you can always share the stories with each other when you next catch up.
It is also great to see companies like Adventure Challenge making cool products such as Couple Adventure book that allows you to pick a surprise activity based on time of day, amount of time available and the mood you are in. Great as gifts for people who keep saying they can’t think of ways to spend their days off.
Got any other ideas for ways to spend your days off? If so, please share them in the comments below, along with any success stories of how you used the ideas above.
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