Ahh, the summer holidays. The highlight of the school year! As I, like many others, will not be going abroad this summer, I have tried to plan as many day trips and activities to fill my days as I can, to maximise the time off. But although I do love to stay busy during the holiday, lazy days at home are equally important to completely relax and reset.
For some people, especially teachers who are used to rushing around all day and who are no stranger to the never ending to-do list, having a lazy day may not come naturally to them. What do you actually do? How do you fill the time?
Luckily, I have perfected the art of a lazy day. I’m talking about the kind of day where when asked “What did you do today?”, you find yourself asking the same question internally, “Yes, what did I do today?” as you look at the time and realise it is almost ten pm.
So, read on if you want to know how to make the most (or least?) of these lazy days.
(As a disclaimer, I have no children so I know that a lot of people will have childcare and other responsibilities which may not allow them these small, lazy luxuries.)
1. Enjoy a lie-in
The first and most important rule for a successful lazy day is of course to make sure that you do NOT set an alarm. Of course if your internal teacher body clock is anything like mine, you will wake up naturally around 6am anyway, but enjoy that feeling of being able to check the time and then closing your eyes to once again slip into a sweet, summer holiday sleep.
This feeling is even better when you can hear those you live with getting up and ready and maybe even leaving the house, all while you are still in your cosy cocoon.
2. Have a leisurely breakfast
The breakfast you choose is up to you, but for maximum laziness and ease, you really can’t go wrong with a bowl of cereal. I enjoy this either in my kitchen in my pyjamas, or for a maximum treat I may get back into bed.
If you do choose the latter option, be extra careful of any spillages or mess, especially if your breakfast of choice is toast. Your bed will play a particularly important role later in the day and crumbs in your bed sheets are not a part of this plan.
Once again, this tastes even better if you can hear that your housemates are already on work calls while you are enjoying this leisurely breakfast.
3. Take a long shower or bath
This one may be controversial for some. Surely a lazy day should be spent in pyjamas? I disagree! You may be having a lazy day, but for peak enjoyment, you need to be feeling fresh to truly enjoy the day’s activities. There’s no pleasure like getting ready for a day of doing nothing. So get in that shower (or bath if that is your preference) and put on some fresh and comfy clothes.
4. Engage in some lighthearted, internet entertainment
This is a deliberately vague statement as this will depend on your interests as to what you may like to do on the internet, but this will be the main activity of the day. Some suggestions of how you may want to spend your time online:
- Scroll through social media. Check your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, maybe even TikTok. Depending on how long you spend on each of these, once you have closed one down you may have to go back to where you started, just to really make sure you haven’t missed any important updates from your friends about what they have had for breakfast, what their dog has been up to or a flashback from their holiday this time last year. If your lazy day is on a Thursday, by all means upload your own #ThrowbackThursday selfie to a time where you were looking far more glam than your current, minimal effort, totally zen self.
- Take some BuzzFeed quizzes. The more obscure the better. Some personal recommendations based on my recent habits include “We know your future soulmate’s initials based on your texture preferences.” and “Are you more sunrise or sunset?” but honestly, I rate them all.
- Watch some Netflix. Bonus points for binge watching a reality TV series such as ‘Love is Blind’. You will not regret it. For optimum efficiency, I normally combine this one with lunch time, so make sure to have a good show lined up for when you are eating. If you want a super easy lunch, plan ahead and buy a meal deal the day before so you can just get that ready-made sandwich, snack and drink straight out of the fridge come lunchtime. No preparation or washing up required, and maximum enjoyment.
5. Have an afternoon nap
By this point, you will no doubt be feeling sleepy from the morning’s activities so draw those curtains, get back into bed and enjoy a nap. My preferred nap length is 20 minutes, which is enough to feel rested and refreshed but won’t cause you to wake up feeling groggy.
6. Read a book
Despite the clear aims of the lazy day, at this point the teacher inside you will want to reach for that education book that has been taunting you on your bedside for weeks. Don’t do it, it feels too much like work so just don’t kid yourself and opt for whatever fiction book you are reading instead. I sometimes even go one step further and read a magazine, as a real summer holiday treat.
7. Have a minimal effort dinner
There are two options for a lazy day dinner. The first is of course to order a takeaway. The second, more cost-effective method is to defrost a meal that has been lovingly made by your past self on a more productive day, where you happily spent hours in the kitchen preparing, cooking and tupperware-ing portions for this very scenario.
8. Evening self-care
Finish off the day with a low-impact, self-care activity that will end your day of relaxation on a high. You may want to go for an evening walk, do some yoga, or apply a face mask while watching some more Netflix. I can recommend the peel off face masks, which are super satisfying and also provide a weird insight into why so many kids at school love covering their hands in your glue so that they can sit there peeling it off in little gluey, dried sections.
And repeat! Happy lazy summer holidays!