It’s your day off! Now, what to do? Your shift schedule might give you days off that are different from your family and friends, and you might as well find the positives to the non-traditional hours of a nurse. Making sure you take advantage of your day(s) off can help you feel refreshed and energized once returning to work. Want to go on an adventure? Or simply relax and recover while still feeling productive? Here are seven things to do on your upcoming day off.
Get lunch With a Friend
It's so much easier to follow through with a lunch date when one of you has an open day. Meeting up with a friend on your day off can be a powerful way to re-energize, find laughter, and help you keep in contact with someone you've been meaning to see. Plus, you can leave lunch knowing you have the rest of the day to yourself instead of having to return to work. (Try not to remind your friend of this too much!)
Having a day off during the week can be a huge advantage to getting errands done and checking items off your to-do list. Many businesses are only open Monday-Friday or have limited hours, especially a place like the post office, DMV, or other government buildings. You can visit your local grocery or department store during non-peak times and enjoy a relaxed shopping experience. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment once you're done with these errands, all while you avoided the pains of a crowded store.
While you've heard all about the benefits of working out, perhaps you want your day off to be relaxed and restful. But, exercising doesn't have to be a chore – going for a walk outside, stretching or practicing yoga, or playing your favorite sport are great ways to keep your body healthy. The key is consistency and making time for yourself. Think about these seven surprising benefits of exercise, according to TIME Magazine: it's great for your brain, can improve your happiness, helps fight the effects of aging, can make your skin look better, can help you recover from illness, will shrink your fat cells, and can be accomplished in a matter of minutes.
Meditate and Practice Mindfulness
Working as a nurse means putting other people's needs before your own. You also know how much stress the job can put on you. Meditating and practicing mindfulness is a great way to practice self-care, and can help you let go of stress to regain a clear picture of what's ahead. Some ideas include short, concentrated breathing exercises (close your eyes and slowly inhale for five seconds, then slowly exhale for five seconds. Repeat!) or visualizing a positive goal you see for yourself in the future. Check out some other stress-management tips to help you reset and refocus before your next day of work.
Take a Day Trip or Have a City Adventure
Have you been wanting to explore a nearby area? Is there a cool neighborhood or spot in your city you haven't visited or been to in a while? Leave home behind to have a mini-adventure. Bring a book, make a music playlist, or scope out a restaurant you want to try along the way and enjoy the freedom of a day trip. Anything from a park or forest preserve to a unique part of town can act as a perfect backdrop for your time. Having moments of discovery and wonder can help boost your mood and make your day off memorable.
Enjoy a Spa Day
Carve out a couple of hours to enjoy a spa day and treat yourself right. Not only do you deserve to get off your feet, but you're taking care of your physical and mental state. Getting a massage can loosen your muscles and help you avoid aches and pains, and the serenity of the spa can help your mental health immensely – and immediately. Just think how good it will feel.
This can be the perfect way to strike a balance between relaxation and productivity on your day off. Hang those pictures you've been meaning to get to, clean up and put things in their correct "home," or reorganize your clothes for the current season or upcoming weather. Getting organized can also mean looking beyond your physical space. You can get ahead by planning meals for the month and doing some meal prep for the upcoming days. Now is the perfect time to try a new recipe you've been meaning to test out! Giving attention to these smaller aspects of your life can have a great effect on your overall energy and ability to focus.