10 ideas for your “found hour”


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Are you scheduled to work after the fall time change this year (this Sunday)? If so, you’re one of the lucky ones! You get an extra hour of sleep before going in to work. Can’t sleep? Here are 10 tips for getting the most out of that extra hour of “found” time.

1. Have breakfast in bed.
The obvious activity of choice for the extra hour is to sleep, but not everyone can. The body clock forces some of us to wake up at the same time every day, regardless of what the clock face says. If this is you, how about a taking nice hour-long lounge in bed? Even if you don’t have someone there to spoil you, you can set it up in advance for yourself. Here’s how:

Before going to bed the night before, set your coffeemaker (with the right time!) or tea maker to have your favorite morning drink ready and piping hot when you wake up. Set up breakfast items that you don’t have to cook, such as cut-up fruit, a healthy muffin and a glass of orange juice. Finally, set up a tray for your goodies and then go to bed. When you wake up in the morning, grab your set-up breakfast and coffee, along with a newspaper or a good book, and go back to bed for an hour.

2. Indulge in an at-home spa treatment.
Going to a spa can be prohibitively expensive, but making an at-home spa treatment may be well within your budget. A few candles, a good book, some great bubble bath—and all in the middle of the afternoon if you want! It’s your hour—you get to take it when you want to.

3. Spend time with the kids.
Young children don’t understand the concept of time changes, and even if you have that extra hour, their bodies are saying, “It’s time to get up!” Again, prepare ahead of time and this extra hour in the morning could be spent cuddling in bed with a favorite book, watching a movie together or breaking out your favorite game.

4. Get outside.
Give yourself and your family a healthy dose of vitamin D. Spend an hour outside, whether you’re raking leaves, taking the kids to the park or just going for a walk with the dog.

5. Start your holiday planning.
One of the common stresses of the holiday season is being unprepared. Take an hour of your day and organize what you want (and don’t want) to do this coming holiday season. This is a good time to make a list of the things you’re willing to forgo this season to lessen your stress, and the things you truly would like to spend more time doing instead.

6. Visit with a friend.
Speaking of the holidays, consider this extra hour as one of the last quiet ones before everyone becomes too busy to sit down and connect. Set up a time with one of your dearest friends or relatives for a a 45-minute chat date, or go out for coffee or browse a bookstore together before starting your day. This may be one of the most enjoyable hours of your week!

7. Support a local business.
Have you visited your local businesses lately? Is there a new coffee shop or craft shop you’ve been meaning to check out? Show support for your community by taking the time to visit.

8. Try out a new recipe.
If you like to cook or bake, this extra hour may make your Sunday meal even more special. Take the opportunity to try out a new recipe.

9. Fix something that’s been broken for a while.
Do you have something lying around that you said you would fix “one day”? Now is the day. Or do some household maintenance that you just don’t normally find time to do. It could be as small as changing your smoke detector batteries (which only takes five minutes), then reward yourself with a lazy half hour in front of the TV!

10. Organize your photo albums.
Now that most of us have digital cameras, the picture-taking bug has hit hard. Problem is, many of our photos are lying in files on the computer. Why not spend the hour sifting through photos and selecting favorites for printing? Many stores like Costco offer convenient printing services; all you need to do is email your photo files.

Do you have any special “25th hour” suggestions?

Marijke Durning
Marijke is a professional writer who began her working career as a registered nurse over 25 years ago. After working in clinical areas ranging from rehab to intensive care, as a floor nurse to a supervisor, she found she could combine her extensive health knowledge with her love of writing. Although she has been published in a wide variety of publications for professionals and the general public, her passion is writing for the every day person to promote health literacy.

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