If you’re anything like me your weekends are spoken for, with errands like laundry and grocery shopping needing to get done. Hopefully, you also have some vacation/personal days available if you work outside the home. Again, if you’re anything like me, you likely spend those on even more errands like doctors’ appointments and events at your child’s school.
But every once in a while, you realize there’s a day, a special day off with nothing else planned on it. Then what? Then you have the opportunity to really enjoy a little self-care.
For me, any day that is left wide open will inevitably fill up with more errands and to-do’s, which is why I think it’s so important to put a plan in place for the day. I try to ask myself these questions before any free days to be sure I’m doing everything I can to maximize my time off.
Reachable or off the grid?
One of the best AND worst things about technology is the ability to always be reachable. While that can be wonderful, it also makes it very difficult to take any real time off – whatever that means for you. I’m the kind of person who loves being reachable, so it’s rare that I’ll take a day completely off the grid. But take a moment to truly assess yourself. If you are reachable, will you simply end up working all day? Then shut. It. Down.
If the thought of being completely unreachable for an entire day terrifies you, then designate specific times when you will check your phone/computer. That way you can enjoy your time off, knowing that you will be checking in at regular intervals.
On a related note, if you do decide to go offline for the day or simply check in once or twice, be sure to let the right people know. Don’t want anyone to worry!
What REALLY needs to happen?
My task list is literally never-ending, as I’m sure yours is as well. I’ll check things off daily, but inevitably new things pop up to replace them. That’s life!
When you have this magical day off though, what on that list really can’t wait until you’re back to work? My guess is not much. Assess your list the night before your day off. If there is anything on there that truly cannot wait, I recommend that you get it done as soon as possible, whether that means staying up late and doing it right then, or making that the very first thing you do in the morning. It’s much harder to enjoy your time off when you have urgent tasks looming.
Check out some of my tips for getting through that list as quickly as possible.
What’s my style?
Parties affect introverts and extroverts differently, right? You need to figure out what kind of day off will do you the most good. Are you an adrenaline junk who will feel recharged after a long run? Or do you prefer lounging in a bubble bath with a good book? Maybe a little of both?
Because of my personality, I usually do like to get something accomplished in my time off – perhaps finally taking care of a long-standing item on my to-do list or cleaning out that pesky junk drawer. But once that’s done, it’s time to relax.
Confession time: I love enjoying a ridiculous crime drama marathon (think Law & Order (SVU or Criminal Intent) or CSI: Miami) while dozing on the couch after eating a bunch of Thin Mints. What can I say? There’s no shame in my game. It works for me, and when my family gets home, I am ready for whatever comes my way.
Similarly, you need to find your way. People often put a high value on hard work, but forget how important rest is in the equation. Whether you have a couple of hours or a couple of weeks to relax, be sure you’re making the most of the time you have available.