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Good Friday is a statutory holiday in Canada. That means many of us are enjoying the day off. But did you know that studies show there’s only a 40% drop in emails on a holiday Monday versus a regular Monday? Yes, we know today is Friday, but the point is that a day off should be treated as such. Whether you choose to be productive or truly drop out for the day, make the most of your time away from work. We have some suggestions.

Simply Relax

It’s important to recharge! Taking time out can lessen stress, increase creativity, and even help you live longer. Sometimes we just need a day to do nothing. For some, that means catching up on a favourite tv show. For others, it could be full immersion in a book. Sleep in late and have a leisurely breakfast. Give yourself a pedicure. Honour your OOO and don’t check any work-related emails. Do whatever makes you truly relax and feel zero guilt. As Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle would say, Treat Yo Self!

Crush Your To Do List

Do you have a long and growing to do list? Knock it down on your day off! Although this may not sound like the most relaxing way to spend a day away from work, the reward is worth it. Whatever is cluttering your mind and the front hall, take care of it to feel relief and a sense of accomplishment. Check some of these things off your list for a day off that leaves you ahead of the game:

  • drop off a clothing donation
  • do some yardword
  • deep clean the house
  • return the baking pan your borrowed
  • run errands
  • pay bills
  • plow through paperwork

Socialize on Your Day Off

Whether it’s a zoom call with family on the other side of the country or taking a walk with a friend, make today about reconnecting. Consider the day off as bonus time that you can share with others who may also be enjoying a holiday. If everyone in your house has been busy with school and work, plan an outing you can do together that leaves those things behind. Take a hike or plan a picnic in a location that’s a family favourite and release yourselves from the usual Friday commitments. Spending time with people who make you happy is a win-win endeavour.

Enjoy Your Own Company

On the other hand…You can embrace the opposite of socializing and spend some time with yourself. If you spend all day surrounded by co-workers (virtual or in-person), family, or roommates, find a quiet space and be with yourself. Take the time to do something you love, whether that’s baking cookies or getting in a good sweat session. Even a walk through a park that has plenty of other people around can feel like a solo adventure if you’re simply enjoying your own company.

Leave the House

During the pandemic, many of us have become overly-familiar with the four walls of our living spaces. Cabin fever can make a person feel alone and trapped, which can lead to even more negative emotions. You may be particularly prone to this feeling if you live alone or have a stressful job. If the small things that never used to bother you are making your irritable or anxious, get out of the house! Your escape may not be a week in France or a beach vacation, but leaving the confines of the place that has become both home and work—and everything in between—can really help you relax and reset. There are a number of safe ways to step outside during COVID. Try going for a walk and soak in that vitamin D for positive feelings or meet a friend at the park and socialize from a safe distance.

Work Ahead

Before we suggest this next day off activity, we admit that it goes against the rest of our suggestions. But the truth is, sometimes using that non-work time for work is a good idea. If you’ve had trouble getting on top of work projects, dedicating even part of the day to the office can release that sense of anxiety and the feeling that you’re always behind. Take things at your own pace and try not to engage with anything outside your role so you can focus on the work you need to do. This is a great time to take care of some of the more mindless tasks that get in your way at work. Do the housekeeping so it’s not piling up, clearing your brain for the big tasks when you return to the office.

Make Good Friday Great

Time off may not be top of mind during the pandemic, but it’s still an important part of work-life balance. Even if you’re not taking time off to travel or go to a concert, it’s still important to step away from work. Don’t let your vacation days pile up unused. Instead, take time to detach from work so your in-office hours are more productive and rewarding. When it comes to stat holidays, consider what makes sense for you and enjoy that extra day or two. The office will still be there after the weekend.

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