How to do Public Holidays right

Make the most out of all the long weekends

By Hugh Upsher

If you were smart enough to take the three days off between the 22nd and 24th March, you’re probably cruising through a ten-day marathon of leave right now. With a really small likelihood of you even having the time to read this, we wouldn't blame you if you're driving into the horizon or napping in some exotic hammock. If not, you’ll probably happily settle for two long weekends in a row. While I'm not quite sure of the special relevance of Family Day, I’ll take it, no questions asked. The question you can ask yourself however, is: 'how can I make the most of it?'

If your parents haven’t locked you down with family obligations already, it’s a good idea to lay down some plans to make certain your days don’t fly by without you taking full advantage. Sleeping late is great and all but you’re not forty-five yet, and you need at least one cool story to tell people on Tuesday.

Go day tripping

You may have dropped the ball on booking accommodation in advance but don’t let that put the brakes on your adventurous spirit. Make a list of a few places that are one or two hours out of town and pitch them to your friends. After the votes are cast and the democratic process has run its course, commit to an early pick-up time and disappear for the day.

Spring into cleaning mode

Your cupboard is something you look at every day, and every morning you probably pause to think: ‘I should really sort this out’. You never do, you never have the time to. The reality seems to be this; unless you commit to it and put in some solid hours, nothing will happen. Granted, not everyone has the obsessive-compulsive tendencies when it comes to their wardrobe, but it’s wise to plan an overhaul before it’s too late.

Otherwise, one day your favourite T-shirt will get swallowed up in the mess, you’ll never be able to find your left flip-flop and it will be impossible to dig up a shirt that isn’t creased. This can all be avoided with a spring clean. You’ll most likely realise that there is a pile of clothes you should have thrown out years ago. These will be better off at a yard sale or charity shop, and you’ll definitely benefit from the extra space for your new winter threads.

Do nothing and don’t leave the house

If the first two options sound like work, and the idea of binge-watching a TV series in bed is still firmly set in first place, then allow me one last shot at sage guidance. Instead of being an anti-social sloth and letting the prime of your life speed by, be a social sloth and slow time down just a teeny tiny bit.

It’s totally OK to be lazy, but consider inviting friends around to be lazy with you. Plan a themed movie marathon and have a few friends bring along some snacks. Even if it turns out to be a selfish ploy to get free snacks without leaving the couch, it’s better than being a lonely asshole.   

Public holidays offer great opportunities to break the monotony of the Monday-to-Friday grind. You may need all that time to rest and regroup, or you may have been booked to the brim with birthdays, braais, and parties. Whatever your route is, make sure you go back to work on Tuesday smiling.