Regardless of whether you love your job or are on the lookout for a new one, keeping a healthy work-life balance is crucial for feeling and doing well.
In fact, taking regular days off and spending quality time with loved ones or by yourself stimulates dopamine production. This in turn helps you be more productive while keeping your stress levels low - a perfect match!
There are several different kinds of activities you can choose from during your day off. Depending on which one you go for, you can experience various benefits. Some of them include mental clarity, fun, adventure, and even personal growth.
Let’s dive deeper into the vast world of day-off possibilities!
Option 1: Engage in physical activity or a hobby
According to recent research, 1 in 4 Americans spend at least 8 hours per day sitting. Just imagine what the impact of this lack of movement would be in 10 years!
What’s more, scientists have found that regular physical activity could improve your sleep and your mood, decrease muscle tension, and stimulate overall stress relief.
That’s why a great starting point would be to spend your day off involved in your favorite sport.
But if you’re not really into sports and your hobbies are not related to moving your body, there are some other cool things that you can try.
First off comes hiking. In addition to the plainly physical benefits of steady walking, hiking lets you connect with nature. For extra grounding properties, you could walk barefoot!
And if you prefer connecting to your inner self and experiencing the freedom of happy childhood, choose biking! Going to the local park and riding for as little as 15 minutes can make you feel more energized. It would also make you more confident and ready to tackle challenges!
Last but not least, your day off is a great time to pick up a new hobby such as running! And no, we’re not talking about running errands...
Running would be an excellent fit for you if you’re looking to build up some stamina, strengthen your muscles, and burn some calories. All this while taking the weight of work off your shoulders.
For some, running is the best way to get their minds off work and other responsibilities. Others call it ‘moving meditation’ as it allows them to be more mindful of their bodies.
But most importantly, turning running into your hobby could prove useful even for work days! Starting or ending your week with a nice run is proven to boost metabolism and decrease stress levels.
Option 2: Spend time with friends and family
If physical activity is something you’d rather skip on your day off, then our second suggestion would be to spend some time with your loved ones.
There are infinite possibilities when it comes to having fun with friends and family.
You could go to the movies, play board games, or even have a picnic if the weather’s on your side.
Allowing yourself to cherish some social connection and support, while having fun, is great for both your mental health and your productivity levels.
What’s more, experts claim that spending time with your family leads to more joy in the long run than a pay raise! And if you ask us, the former will surely boost your chances of getting the latter.
Last but not least, engaging in meaningful conversations with people you trust is genuinely one of the best ways to reflect on your life.
It could help you get clearer on your goals, examine your limiting beliefs, and prioritize what matters most to you.
Option 3: Take a day trip or mini vacation
Speaking of reflection, what better way to expand your mind than physically leaving your comfort zone?
Going on a day trip or even a mini vacay is great for stimulating your creativity and introducing a sense of excitement into your life.
And you don’t even need to go overseas!
You can visit a nearby town, go to the woods, or organize a fun lake day for you and your friends!
Physically detaching from your workplace works miracles if you’re tired of staying late at work. And that’s just as valid if you work from home.
Going on an adventure would also help you if you’re keen on trying a technology fast.
Actually, cutting down on your screen time could lead to a dopamine detox.
And while this might sound a bit scary, going through a dopamine detox every once in a while is known to boost productivity, creativity, and personal efficiency.
Option 4: Learn something new
All these ideas sound great to you, but you feel guilty if you’re not using your days off productively.
Then why not use your day off in a way that helps you broaden your horizons and grow as a person?
Truth be told, most classes would require you to be consistent. If you want to learn a new language, for instance, going to one evening class would hardly be of any point.
If you’re looking for something enjoyable and not demanding, however, a cooking class might sound good to you.
Or maybe you want to add some physical activity to your routine? In that case, you could give climbing (both indoor and outdoor) a try. This sport in particular could give you an adrenaline rush that could later be used to improve your concentration!
In general, learning new things makes you more adaptable - quality employers value highly. So while it’s a great way to relax and get your mind off your work responsibilities, taking a course is also something that could make you a better employee and boost your chances of getting a promotion.
Option 5: Relax and recharge
Some days, you feel like going to the gym, visiting a new town, or even taking a 5-hour course on how to meal prep.
Other days, you just want to lie down in bed and do nothing. If you’ve reached this stage, we advise you to get a day off (or two!) and devote them strictly to relaxation!
Taking a day off to sleep in is great. But remember that your mind needs a bit more to recharge.
A mental health walk in the park, or maybe a nice long shower to relax your muscles.
And if you want something more stimulating, curl up with that book you’ve wanted to read for a while. Or even try one of these painting tutorials that have become so popular on YouTube these days.
Another thing everyone has been talking about is meditation. If you’re new to it, start with a guided one. If you have some experience, try visualizing your best life - picture it, feel it and manifest it! Or just dive deep into your inner self and reconnect with it, if you prefer.
There are many things worth devoting time to during your day off. All of them could be fun, but most importantly - great for your mental health!
However, finding the root of your stress is crucial for eliminating it. If this has something to do with your job - talking to a career counselor could help.
Our experts will make you feel supported and guide you on the path to getting your dream job. This might mean switching positions in your current workplace or finding a company that better fits your needs.
And don’t forget: enjoying your days off is crucial, even if you love your job!