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July 6, 2014

7 Simple Ways to Live It Up on your Day Off.

day off summer vacation bench wait

Who doesn’t love a day off work?

It could be just the standard weekend, a national holiday, or we might decide that a mental health day is required to clear out the cobwebs of stress so we’re more effective at our job.

After all, a good work/life balance makes a more productive employee who is likely to stick around in their job for longer. It’s a win/win.

Whatever the reason, there are many activities that we can do to live it up on our day off. We can be adventurous, domesticated, social or participate in an array of other pursuits that will inject us with the happy chemicals of serotonin, dopamine, endorphin and oxytocin. They make us feel good, regardless if we’re alone or with our loved ones.

Releasing good chemicals into our system is something we can do purposely. One such example is simply a hug with our partner for 20 seconds or more. Another way is to go for a run. Even just being in an environment where we love to be introduces lots of good stuff into our bodies.

Following are seven guaranteed ways to achieve bliss. They ensure that we’ve lived it up for the day.

  1. Stay in bed.

Yes, that’s right, staying in bed can actually be good for us. Not that we needed an excuse.

In Australia, it’s winter and it’s getting cold. Staying wrapped up under the doona and watching some new movies or our favorite TV show will no doubt bring us bliss.

If this is something that we regularly do, then it’s probably not the right choice.

But if we haven’t had an opportunity to fully relax in a while, this is an excellent way to do it. Our relaxation begins from the time we wake up to the time we retire at night. We might be adventurous with what we watch such as some mind-expanding documentaries. We should definitely laugh our guts out. We could have a drama fix. Or we may just meditate whilst watching some trash TV.

No matter our choice, if it’s helping us to de-stress our minds and put us in a state of peace, then we’ve done a healthy thing for ourselves.

  1. Get out into nature.

When we open our minds and hearts to the reverence that Mother Nature can provide, we see the world in a brighter light. We get blissed out.

Simple activities can include going for a walk down to the park or laying on the beach. We could also adventure to a state or national reserve and have a refreshing swim under a waterfall that we’ve never visited before. If we’ve got a couple of days off, we could even get out the tent, set up camp, start a fire and chill in the animal kingdom’s hood.

In nature, we usually look to the pretty things, such as flowers, or the interesting things, such as a rare type of mammal, to grip our attention. But even just a leaf falling as light as a feather, the wind playing the drums on our body or the synchronized dance of ants, can put us in a state of trance.

Bushwalking is always a fail-safe way to distribute good chemicals throughout our body. All we have to do is put on the appropriate gear, pack our food and water, get to our desired location and open our eyes.

  1. Call up an old friend.

We get lost in our busy lives and at times we don’t get the opportunity to catch up with our old mates.

We’ve all got those friends that even if we don’t see them for six months, or more, we can just pick up where we left off like no time has passed. The love and respect has been long established and many ridiculously awesome times have been shared. The day off is the opportunity to catch up with them.

But we’ve also got mates, who although the connection with them isn’t as deep, every time we’ve hung out it has been a bloody good time.

Give them a call. It could be just to catch up over a coffee or a beer. It doesn’t matter what we do, if we’re in a positive environment and having a good time, so will the chemicals having the dance party inside of us.

  1. Use our pre-purchased online deal.

The huge explosion of group buying deals has given us a cheap opportunity to have a crack at stuff we’ve never tried before. It could be a new restaurant, a massage or an adventurous activity.

A friend recently asked me what she could get her husband for his birthday. My suggestion was something adventurous. Skydiving? No, he wouldn’t do that. What about ocean fishing? Boom, “he’d love that,” was her response.

There’s so many inexpensive and fun activities to do. Rock-climbing, scuba-diving, white water rafting, whale-watching etc. They’ll be experiences that we never forget.

Have a look online, purchase some day trips and prepare for the next day off. We only live this life once, so let’s maximize the hell out of it. Our mind and body will thanks us for it.

  1. Explore our local urban area.

We all have different interests. Some of us like museums and art galleries and others prefer bars and restaurants.

Regardless of which way we sway, there’s tonnes of new stuff at our doorstep that we’re yet to try. It could be an alleyway that has been decked out with some rad graffiti, or the new exhibition at the gallery. There might be a pub that is selling a fresh selection of locally brewed beers. Or how about that new waterslide park that’s just opened up?

Whatever we choose, as long as we’re not doing the same things that we always do, we’ll be feeling chemically reborn.

  1. A day of health.

Some of us already have a strict exercise routine and some of us don’t. If it’s the latter, then this is as good as an opportunity that we’ll get.

Stretch our body. Go for a run. Hit the gym. Have a surf. Try yoga. It doesn’t matter what we do exactly, exercise will always fill us with our own natural happy chemicals.

Just remember when we do it, make sure we push ourselves so our heart is pumping hard and our breathing is heavy, otherwise we haven’t maximized the increase in fitness nor the number of chemicals that are released from the activity. Although please be mindful of the limits of our joints and muscles, we don’t want to come home limping.

Another way to have a day of health is to de-clutter our home. Rearrange our furniture so that we have a fresh perspective on things. Throw out that junk that we’re keeping for no known rational reason. Get to those spots where the dust has cheekily set up home.

Ultimately, a healthy body and a healthy home can create a healthy mind. Cleanse the external to cleanse the internal.

  1. Be creative

It’s a great feeling to accomplish something. When we’re looking at our finished masterpiece (or beginner-piece), all our excited little chemicals are running rampant.

We already might have an art that we love to do. Even so, there are plenty of other ways to be creative. And if we don’t have a usual interest, then following are some passions which brings us results.

Cooking, drawing, writing, painting, sculpting, building, planting, molding—they’re all awesome activities that we can do to create things.

We might do it just for the sake of doing it. We could also do it to give a present to our family member or ourselves. Well actually, we’re giving ourselves a present anyway.

The gift of feeling good.

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: geir tønnessen/Flickr

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