Enjoyable, relaxing and good for the soul, these lazy-day activities will see you finish off the weekend with a smile on your face.
HOW do you normally spend your Sunday afternoons? Do you like to potter around your home and do a quick tidy up as you meander from room to room? Find a quiet spot to relax and indulge in some ‘me time’? Or is this time solely dedicated to chilling at home with the family? Some people like spending lazy Sunday afternoons doing a combination of productive yet painless tasks that make life easier during the working week, as well as some mood-boosting activities that allow me to say farewell to the weekend feeling happy, refreshed and ready for the week ahead.
Here are 15 ways you can make the most of your lazy Sunday afternoon. There’s something for everyone: from pleasurable pastimes for those who like to have fun, chill out and savour the last few hours of their weekend; to easy and effortless tasks for those who prefer to get their house and life in order for the start of the new week; plus a few activities that fall somewhere in-between.
1. Get lost in a good book
Spend most of your week poring over boring work-related documents, emails, bills and other unexciting paperwork? Ditch the dull reads on the weekend and lose yourself in a gripping novel, literary classic or trashy chick lit instead. Reading isn’t just a pleasurable pastime; studies have shown that it also offers numerous health benefits – such as improving brain function and reducing stress levels – making it the perfect way to relax on a Sunday afternoon before the start of the new work week.
2. Do some gentle exercise
Don’t feel like hitting the gym or doing hardcore exercise at home? We don’t blame you – everyone has a cheat day on Sundays, right? But that doesn’t mean you can’t do some kind of physical activity to boost your mood and fitness level; we suggest going on a 30 minute walk or spending the same amount of time doing yoga, pilates or even a low-impact workout DVD.
3. Host a casual get-together
What better way to spend your Sunday afternoon than by inviting your family and friends over for a low-key lunch. Don’t go too crazy with the menu – stick with an easy, breezy barbecue and/or dishes that are a cinch to prepare, like salads or sandwiches … or you can cheat and pick up a few roast chickens, pre-made salads and bread rolls from the shops, like a lot of us usually do!
4. Take a long soak in the tub
There’s no better way to wash away the worries of your week than by locking yourself away in your bathroomand enjoying a steamy hot bath. Light some scented candles and play some soothing tunes to enhance the relaxing mood and experience. Bubble bath and a glass of wine optional.
5. Get out of your comfort zone
Enjoy the challenge of picking up new skills or finding a new hobby? Then set aside time each Sunday afternoon to do just that. It can be something as simple as taking up scrap booking or trying an artistic endeavour that takes a little longer to master, like learning how to play a musical instrument.
6. Potter around the garden
There’s a reason why people enjoy gardening so much: you get to spend time in the sun, while enjoying fresh air; it gets the blood pumping, relieves stress and boosts your mood; plus you get to enjoy the fruits (and flowers and vegetables) of your labour (pardon the pun!) and create a beautiful outdoor space that you can enjoy all-year round. In other words, it’s relaxing, fulfilling and practical, making it an ideal activity for lazy Sunday afternoons, especially for those who enjoy spending time in the great outdoors.
7. Prepare meals for the week
There’s nothing worse than coming home after a long day at work or ferrying your kids to and from after-school activities and realising there’s nothing for dinner. The solution? Allocate some time on Sunday afternoons to preparing meals for the whole week in advance. Make it a fun family affair by roping in the kids – let them have a say in the menu and help you in the kitchen. We suggest kicking things off with a large Sunday roast and loads of veggies so you can have leftovers for lunch on Monday.
8. Enjoy a movie marathon
Why bother wasting time and money heading out to the cinema, when you can enjoy a movie marathon at home instead? Watch a selection of your favourite flicks and new releases that you’ve downloaded or can stream online (legally, of course!).
9. Phone (or Skype) a friend or family member
It’s often hard to find time during the week to have a lengthy chat with loved ones or friends you don’t get to see very often as they live far away. Sunday is a great day to set up a phone or Skype date, as they (like you) probably have some time to spare during the day, compared to busier days in the week. We suggest aiming for a time after lunch, so you don’t feel rushed and can wake up and go about your morning at your leisure.
10. Bring order to your home
If you think cleaning is a calming and enjoyable task rather than a dreaded chore (or is it just me?), then spending 20 or 30 minutes on your Sunday afternoon quickly tidying up your home probably sounds like your idea of a good time. If not, just think about how much easier life will be if your house is neat, orderly and clutter-free once the craziness of the working week hits. Trust us, it will make a world of difference. Promise.
11. Stop and smell the roses
Find a quiet spot and take some time to sit, relax and just be for a while. Whether you stay for a minute, 10 minutes or more, you’re sure to feel refreshed and that little bit lighter once you leave your peaceful pocket and get on with the rest of the activities you have planned for your Sunday afternoon.
12. Whip up a batch of sweet treats
Is there anyone who doesn’t enjoy the simple pleasure of baking bread, cakes, cookies and other goodies at home? Didn’t think so. Baking is a great Sunday afternoon activity for many reasons: it’s fun and family friendly; calming and quite therapeutic; fills your home with a sweet, heavenly scent; and allows you to stockpile snacks for the week ahead … though chances are they’ll be gobbled up by the end of the afternoon!
13. Challenge your family to a board-game battle
If you want to spend quality time with your family and actually interact with them, rather than just sit in front of the television together, round up the troops and spend the afternoon playing board games. Scattergories and Monopoly are favourites in most homes.
14. Tackle a DIY project
Want to start a new home improvement project? Make Sundays your DIY day! Since the mornings are usually dedicated to sleep-ins, kids’ sports and leisurely breakfasts with the family, set aside time in the afternoon when you can work on the project without any interruptions, and watch as it slowly comes together as each weekend comes and goes.
15. Catch up on washing
There’s nothing worse than rifling through your wardrobe on any given work day and realising that the outfit you wanted to wear is still in the laundry waiting to be washed. Doing the laundry is by far one of the quickest and easiest household chores, which makes it an ideal task to tackle on a Sunday afternoon, not to mention a practical one, too.