In recent years, there has been a significant uptick in the number of people working from home rather than commuting to their 9-5 office job 5 days a week. Whilst this approach has allowed more flexibility to enter the workplace, it has also blurred the lines between work time and rest time. When you can access your entire working life from a laptop balanced on your knee whilst sat on the sofa (or even still in bed), then it becomes easier to finish just one more email before calling it a day or to take another 5 minutes finalising a project before you cook an evening meal. Those extra bits of working time add up and can lead to people feeling like it’s impossible to ‘switch off’.
Even when you love your job, it’s important to prioritise taking regular time off. Making plans for what you will do with your next block of rest time can help you to protect it, whether it’s a Tuesday evening, a weekend, or a longer holiday. Giving yourself something to look forward to that is separate from your career will not only improve your general mood but also make taking a break feel worthwhile, especially if you struggle with the idea of deliberate ‘unproductive time’.
Luckily for you, we’ve come up with some different suggestions for what you could do on your next day off.
Unleash Your Inner Foodie
A busy full life sometimes doesn’t leave much space to think about food. As the saying goes, however, you are what you eat and paying closer attention to the meals you’re eating and how they’re prepared can have a big impact. Rather than eating the same thing on rotation, or constantly ordering in, why not give cooking a go for yourself? Many people find it a meditative and relaxing activity which takes their mind off the stress of the day – plus, at the end of it, you’ll have something yummy to eat.
Online resources like YouTube and Instagram have thousands of recipes available, ranging from the amateur-friendly up to those with Michelin star pretensions. Tasty, Bon Appetit, and So Vegan are just three examples of social media profiles with plenty of simple, straightforward recipes to suit any palate. Alternatively, you could try a meal subscription box. For a monthly fee, you can choose to have all the ingredients and recipe cards delivered straight to your front door; then, all you have to do is follow the instructions to make your own tasty homemade meals. Mindful Chef, Gousto and Hello Fresh are some popular choices.
Start Playing Games
If you’re looking to give your brain a true workout during your downtime, then there is a fun and easily accessible way to do so: gaming. It might seem too good to be true at first; however, playing games is not only a valid relaxation activity but can also help you to build new skills. Take poker, for example. Everybody has heard of it but not everyone knows how to play. By using an established online platform such as PokerStars, you can get to grips with the basics of the game and start playing against other people online. Once you feel ready, you can enter an online tournament as there are a variety of options available, including the Sunday Million and the Women’s Sunday tournament, reserved solely for female competitors.
Poker can strengthen your ability to work well under pressure, teach you how to read people, and help you to implement self-discipline. All of these skills are helpful not only in everyday life but also once you’re back at work. The primary focus of your downtime activity should not be making yourself more productive in the workplace, but if that’s a by-product of you having fun, then it’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Clear Out Your Wardrobe
It’s a job which we find ourselves putting off time and time again, but clearing out your wardrobe needn’t be all toil. Instead, with apps like Vinted, Depop and eBay, it can actually turn into a great little side hustle. Once you get into the swing of photographing, describing, identifying and packaging up your less-worn pieces, you’ll really start to enjoy yourself.
As well as being a satisfying activity and a chance to earn some extra pocket money, selling your clothing on to somebody who will wear it is also good for the environment. Circular fashion is all the rage at the moment as fashionistas strive to put the planet first without having to give up this great outlet for self-expression and creativity. There’s also nothing to stop you spending all your profits on new second-hand pieces for yourself which you know you’ll get plenty more wear out of. There are whole communities of people out there, sharing their second-hand bargains and helping each other to track down certain designer labels and styles. You could end up with a group of new friends as well as a stunning new wardrobe!