Beat the post bank holiday blues and make your bank holiday weekend one to remember with these brilliant ideas
A third of us will waste the bank holiday cleaning and doing ‘tedious chores’ – or worse… lazing around. While it’s very tempting to spend the extra time off napping, watching TV and bingeing on social media, it’s so much more worthwhile to have a productive bank holiday. Your mood will improve, you’ll feel a sense of achievement and you’ll beat that feeling of dread when Tuesday comes around and it’s time to go back to work. Here are 6 ways to have a productive bank holiday this August!
1. Do: Learn something new
Don’t: Lay on the sofa all day
Learning something such as a new language, sport, art form, dance or practical skill can work wonders for your mental wellbeing. Even the NHS waxes lyrical about the benefits of learning a new skill for a natural mood booster – claiming that learning as an adult can improve self-confidence, build self-esteem and bring a sense of purpose to your life. So, pick up that musical instrument you’ve always wanted to learn and jump right into the deep end or start that course you’ve been meaning to do. You can even do an official qualification – all you need to do is purchase a few AQA / Edexcel course books and start teaching yourself. For a small fee you can take the exam and end up with a GCSE or A-Level – which can help develop your career or just hone your knowledge of something you have a passion for. Want to learn to paint or sketch? There are so many YouTube tutorials out there – it’s just a matter of finding the time to start, and there’s no better time like a bank holiday weekend.
2. Do: Hold a mini summer party
Don’t: Forget the Pimm’s!
Holding your own summer soiree is a brilliant opportunity to catch up with friends you’ve been meaning to see. This is also a wonderful chance to put your decor and culinary skills to the test. If the weather’s great then bring out any cushions and throws you’d normally use indoors and use them on your garden chairs and loungers – it really does add a chilled out, homely touch to your party. Introduce some elegance to your party with a garden tabletop burner, a great way to add some light to your gathering long after the sun goes down. As for food and drinks, keep the food simple – we recommend BBQ snacks and tropical cocktails!
Summer’s not over yet! Hold a mini garden party for your friends and family and add some magic with a tabletop burner.
We know not everyone likes party games, but this musical themed one is guaranteed to keep all your guests riveted. Write down a set of questions such as ‘Name a song that reminds you of your favourite holiday” or “What is your go-to happy song?” Make sure there are enough questions so each guest can answer at least one. Put the questions in a hat and ask each guest to take a question out – they must answer it and play the song of their choice. While the song is playing they explain why they chose this song. This party game is one of the very best ways to start some interesting and meaningful conversations – so you can spend some real quality time with your friends and family.
3. Do: Start / finish that book
Don’t: Binge on boxsets
Reading can bring so much pleasure – especially if you’re indulging in a proper page turner. So instead of binge watching boxsets, work out exactly what genre really grips you (if you haven’t found a good book already). This article on 42 Books to Read Before You Die contains some classics! But, if we’re really honest, the best book recommendations always come from friends and family. They know what you like, so there’s a big chance you’ll find your new favourite book! This is also a great excuse to make a trip to the library and explore all the amazing books, as well as hunting in charity shops and secondhand book stores. It’s also worth creating your own little reading nook in your home from an unused corner of a room – simply dress it up with comfy pillows, a soft lit lamp and a place to put your cup of tea.
4. Do: Detox from social media for a few days
Don’t: Go down a social media rabbit hole
It’s so easy to waste entire days on social media. It can make you feel inferior and even lonely when you see what everyone else is up to in their seemingly flawless lives. But by going off grid and not using your smartphone, laptop or any other device linked to social media for a few days or even just 24 hours can be extremely refreshing. There are so many amazing advantages to indulge in a social media detox including: feeling more productive (you can learn a new skill, as mentioned above!), feeling happier, being more grateful for what you have in life, living life in the moment, improving relationships with family and friends, being more innovative and many more. When, or even if, you go back to social media you can be safe in the knowledge that people only really post the positive things in their life so there’s no need to aspire to be perfect! After all, if you have food, clothes and somewhere to live then you’re richer than 75% of the entire world.
5. Do: Become a volunteer
It’s all too easy to nap for the entire afternoon on the bank holiday but it’s also really easy to find volunteering roles, no matter where you live. Do-it is a great place to find volunteering opportunities and even a quick Google search for ‘volunteering in [your city]’ can turn up some fantastic results. People can choose from maintaining public spaces (including painting fences, beach clear ups, litter picking, gardening and cleaning), helping out at festivals, writing and presenting for community radio, visiting the elderly in care homes and helping out with children’s activities. It’s also a fabulous chance to make new friends and open up new opportunities for both your personal life and career. Of course, volunteering comes with several mental well-being advantages, such as feeling healthier, happier, less stressed, more purposeful, having more in control over life, experiencing more independence and improved confidence – to name but a few.
6. Do: Treat yourself
Don’t: Spend all day with a hangover
Spending the whole day in bed or on the sofa nursing a head-splitting hangover is one of the worst ways to spend the bank holiday. That’s why, instead of getting overly drunk and going through dread and anxiety the following day, it feels so much better to treat yourself in moderation. Better yet, treat yourself to some health and beauty activities such as getting that haircut you’ve been too scared to ask for, buying an outfit you’ve had your eye on, trying out a new makeup routine, getting a tattoo / piercing, dyeing your hair a new colour, indulging in a mani / pedi and getting that massage you’ve been meaning to have. The bank holiday is also a good opportunity to try out alternative therapies for fun such as reflexology, acupuncture, aromatherapy and Reiki – you never know, you could end up discovering a new favourite treat for yourself!
Are you planning on having a productive August bank holiday? Let us know what you get up to on our Facebook and Twitter channels!