Being out of work for the day on furlough can be stressful, but government workers can spend time catching up on health appointments or relaxing hobbies.
Government employees may find it stressful to take off days with no pay, but there are certain ways to counteract the negative side effects caused by furlough days. Taking the time to catch up on doctors’ appointments, spend time at the gym, explore a hobby and connect with family can be great ways to find peace and good health while on furlough.
Schedule Appointments for Furlough Days
Instead of using personal days or sick days for doctor’s appointments, plan ahead and schedule necessary medical check-ups for furlough days. Many health plans provide a reduced rate or lower co-pay for routine check-ups, so don’t neglect routine care such as annual physicals, flu shots, dental cleanings and well-woman exams.
In addition, take the opportunity to schedule any appointments that have been put off, such as routine mammograms or visits to the dermatologist. Perhaps it is time to try acupuncture, learn about aromatherapy or get a massage. Consider scheduling an appointment for treatments that reduce stress if stress at work is creating an unhealthy atmosphere.
Find Good Health on Off Days
Government workers may find a furlough day is a great opportunity to burn off some stress and calories by getting some extra exercise. Those who have a set time to work out at the gym may find adding a new machine or exercise can provide some variety. Relaxing while working out instead of having a strict window of time to finish can reduce stress.
A furlough day may provide the opportunity to try a new class at the gym that is offered in the middle of the day. Many gyms will take payment on a per-class basis and some classes are free for gym members. Using the off days as a chance to try yoga, Pilates or strength training may open up a whole new kind of exercise that was previously unexplored.
Government employees who do not have gym memberships may want to explore local parks, hiking paths or free local museums while on furlough. Getting out of the house and moving around will help avoid stressing over a day without pay. Instead of retail therapy or needlessly spending money, try getting outdoors to reduce stress and enjoy life.
Spend Furlough Days Exploring Hobbies
When was the last time there was an entire weekday with nothing on the schedule? Although off days can be used to catch up on doctors’ appointments, housework and working out, try to schedule a little bit of relaxation and fun into the next furlough day. Take the time to enjoy a hobby such as scrap-booking, sewing, fishing or golf. Make a homemade gift for a spouse or organize digital photos. Spending half a day relaxing with a favorite hobby can work wonders for stressed out employees who are on furlough.
Enjoy Furlough Days with Family
Furlough days can also provide an opportunity to reconnect with family. Consider spending a furlough day volunteering in a school, making a big breakfast for family members who are going off to work or school.
Schedule meeting a spouse for lunch or make a date in the afternoon. Make the best use of the early evening hours that are usually spent commuting by spending time with schoolchildren and planning a family dinner. Start the morning with placing a dinner in the crock pot so the rest of the day is free for relaxing activities.
Government employees on furlough do not have to allow stress to take over their off days without pay. Catching up on routine health appointments can help prevent stress from taking a physical toll. Trying a new exercise class or being outdoors can reduce stress, as can spending some time enjoying a hobby. Don’t forget to make time to reconnect with family on furlough days by sharing a meal together or spending time with children.