Improve Your Life #11: Take a Day Off
From time to time step out of the rat race and have a day just for yourself. Use that day to unplug and relax. Plan for the day off so that you don’t have any chores and other people will not fill your day with their requests. It’s not the day off if you have to clean the house, visit relatives, wash your car, mow the lawn or other such activities. Except when you decide in advance to do those things as something that relaxes you. Do only the things you want to do and enjoy doing.
Make the plan for the day off the evening before. This allows you to avoid the pressure of planning on the day off. Activities for the day begin with waking up without an alarm clock. Take some time to get out of the bed. Slow down, there’s no rush. Eat breakfast, read or enjoy your favourite music with that. If you want to go to a movie or a day spa or a museum or a ball game. Make sure to buffer your commute times by 50%. This ensures that there’s no rush and you will not be stressed out by having to arrive on time.
There is more to life than increasing its speed. ~~Mahatma Gandhi
Avoid confrontations. Make a decision that whatever happened you will not get mad. If someone is rude just ignore it, distance yourself mentally and walk away. This will make the potentially stressful experience drift away and your day off will continue to be unhurried and relaxed.
After the days events have good dinner and indulge yourself. Try not to overeat though as this would lower your overall sense of wellbeing. Go home, wind down, no rush, everything is alright, relaxed. Maybe a little bit of wine and light snack. Indulge. Go to bed earlier than usual and make a decision to restart next day.
You can do all that with a partner, friend, family member, etc. Keep in mind that on that day it’s more about you and if you have a companion they should not put any unnecessary pressure on you.
No computer. Avoid computers, smartphones and other devices. Turn off all notifications, put the phone in silent mode. You will call them back when you feel like it, maybe tomorrow.
Getting back on track. As I mentioned earlier, before you go to sleep make a decision to restart and go all in on the following day. Getting to sleep earlier than usual will give you the extra energy in the morning so you really feel that the day off has remade you. The day off will lose its magic if you wake up next day tired.
Warning. If you do it “right”, it will be magic and thus might be a bit addictive. There’s a real danger of getting lazy and losing momentum if you take several days off in a row and. This will make the getting back on track part harder and harder. So, don’t overdo it.
Now make a plan when will be your day off and what are you going to do with it.