Yesterday, a friend asked me what plans I had for the day. After giving her a litany of things I had scheduled, I realized I had fallen prey to the never ending to-do-listitus (I just made that up).
When I worked in corporate, I scheduled what I called “mental health days” just for me so I could replenish. Now that I am self-employed, taking days off other than scheduled vacations is not always so easy. So the one thing I have purposely put on my to do list is take a day off to take care of me…
On my day off, here’s what I won’t do:
- Turn on the computer – I don’t know about you but I can spend hours on end checking and responding to emails, visiting social media sites, playing games. You day off ought to be “A Day Off”.
- Rush – Rushing uses tons of energy and when I rush around, I’m more prone to make mistakes, forget things and find myself rushing even more. When that happens, I slow down…take some deep breaths and recenter to a place of calmness.
- Attend to household chores – Not that household chores are ever a high priority for me but, nevertheless, they require my attention. I just chose not to do it on my day off.
- Answer the phone – One of the ways I take care of myself is by not answering the phone at certain times or when I’m taking nap. For example, I won’t take a call during dinner time.
- Write – I love to write and write something almost every day. Yet, on my day off, I make a conscious choice to suspend my writing – just for a day! And, when I do that, I come back to it refreshed and full of new ideas.
Instead of filling my day off with all of the tasks I didn’t get around to doing, here’s how I will spend my day off :
- Sleep in – My day starts pretty early most of the time and it usually goes well into the evening. But, on my day off, I take an extra 15 minutes to lie in bed and on occasion, I go back to sleep!
- Have a leisurely home spa day – There’s nothing I enjoy more than going to the spa but sometimes it’s just not in the budget. So, on those days, I pull out my trusty foot bath, manicure tools and do it myself. And, I do a pretty good job of it when I’m not rushing or thinking about the next thing I need to do.
- Sit in the park and people watch – I would prefer to sit on a porch with a tall glass of lemonade but I don’t have that kind of porch or live where people pass by. There is a nearby park, though, where I can people watch, enjoy the scenery and relax.
- Listen to my favorite relaxing music – Music is something else I enjoy immensely. Music soothes the soul. Yet when I’m busy taking care of all that’s on my endless to-do list, I don’t always take the time to enjoy the smooth sounds of music.
- Treat myself to a nice lunch – Whether I go out to lunch alone or with friends, it’s always an opportunity for me connect, chat with new folks and enjoy a nice meal.
- Take a nap – By late afternoon, I’m still in relax mode so I take a nap before dinner.
- Get to bed earlier – I’m pretty much a night owl and my bedtime can be pretty late sometimes. But on my day off, I make it a point to get in bed at a reasonable time so that I will be refreshed and energized for the next day.
The point of my purposeful idleness is not to be lazy but to give myself space to breathe, dream, rest and time to just be instead of do.
What about you?
When you take a day off, how do you spend it?
I would love to hear how you spend your day off. Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Take a day off – you deserve it!
Gladys Anderson, founder of Coach for YOUR Dreams, is a certified life coach, licensed marriage and family therapist, writer and speaker. Gladys combines years of experience, training and a genuine commitment to helping nurses, therapists, teachers and other caregivers balance the many demands on their time and energy, create boundaries that shift balance from overwhelm to energized, and live their lives with courage, confidence and clarity.