How To Really Enjoy a Day Off

updated Jul 15, 2020
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A day off is a gift and in today’s hard-working world, a thing to be savored. For some of us, that means a recuperating and revitalizing opportunity — a day without any goals beyond recharging batteries. For others, the idea of an “extra” day to accomplish a home-based goal, whether crafting, cleaning, decorating or renovating is simply too good to let pass by. Whichever is your preference, jump below for sample “plans” that hopefully will inspire you to spend the day ahead in the best way possible – for you…

A Plan for a Relaxing Day Off

Stay in bed as long you want – no “shoulds” or “have to’s” allowed.

Have a leisurely breakfast, read the paper (or your iPad), listen to music, take your time.

Take a long bath or brisk shower, put on your favorite feel-good outfit.

Head out for a walk around your neighborhood — maybe try and check out a destination that you don’t feel you have time to investigate during busy work days and chore-filled weekends — a park, a cafe, a new shop or maybe just a street of homes that appeal to you. Have fun; explore, observe and investigate.

Spend the afternoon doing whatever you feel like – no more, no less. A selection of sample perfect lazy afternoon activities:

-see a movie

-explore a bookstore -eat a light lunch, alfresco

-take a nap

-do a mini-marathon of that show you’ve been wanting to watch

-bake a batch of

-be creative: knit, sew, craft, make music, blog, pin

-meet a friend for coffee or a cocktail

For dinner, either call in your favorite delivery option or make a simple, yet satisfying home cooked meal that you’ll really have time to savor – like a roast chicken or a new-to-you

pasta dish

More on relaxing and enjoying time at home:
→ How To Relax and Eliminate Stress at Home

A Plan for a Productive Day Off

Start your day with a good walk, a run or a visit the gym — expend some energy to feel energized!

While you are exercising, think about something specific you’d like to accomplish with the day — ideal choices would be a project that has a definite end point and is doable in 3-4 hours max. Some ideas: a good clean sweep at home. A closet re-org. A small DIY project. Cleaning the outdoor furniture and grill. Gardening.

While you shower and get dressed, think about what supplies you may need (if any) to complete your project. Have a hearty breakfast and a dose of caffeine (if you partake, that is).

Hit the store(s) to pick up your supplies if needed or simply gather the supplies at home. Prep your work area, if applicable.

Get started! This is half the battle, so you should feel good to be diving in. Set a timer for an hour and when that goes off, take a break. Assess your progress, have a cool drink or a cup of tea.

Get started again, this time, set your timer for 2 hours and be sure to put on some motivating music. This is a good long stretch of time where you can really focus and you should get the bulk of your work for the day done in this period.

Take an hour break for something quick and fresh to eat and a quick walk outside to refresh and recharge.

Come back and dive right back in, with an eye on finishing up or winding down for the day in an hour or so. You should feel no pressure to 100% finish up today – if you need more time, it’s fine – the hard part is getting started and you’ve already make good progress. If you are going to continue your task at a later date, just be sure to straighten up your work area and organize your supplies so it’s easy to start back up again when you have the time.

Step back, admire your efforts and pat yourself on the back.

Prepare or head out to a well-deserved dinner.

It’s been a busy day – take time to wind down but turn in whenever you are feeling sleepy so you are fresh for the week ahead.

More on how to enjoy a productive day around the house:

100 DIY Ideas for the 3-Day Weekend
→ Housekeeping Basics: 36 Step-by-Step Guides
→ The Art of Finishing a Project

Share your plans for today (or your next full day off) in the comments…

Re-edited from a post originally published on 5/27/13 – AB