When your work is also your hobby (hey writers!), a “day off” is often a slippery slope. It can be quickly become a full-on work day or just get consumed by checking emails and thinking about work. Or worse: you keep your schedule clear and forbid yourself from touching any work and then just end up being bored and feeling unproductive. Not restorative or fun, like a day off should be. A day off is pretty much a skill to be learned. It takes a certain degree of knowing yourself — even knowing what you really want, to do one successfully, in any time or space. Here are some tips to help you do a day off right.
Start with a game plan
One that excites you! This is like having food in the fridge. When we have food that sucks we’re not excited to eat it. When we have a day off with nothing really interesting planned, we’re not particularly jazzed to get into it. Have a generalized plan — even if it’s a 100 per cent Netflix and chill — and prepare yourself to do it right. Avoid setting yourself up for an empty day of nothingness and believe it will be “relaxing.” Arm yourself with a backup plan in case you want to do something more social or active later on.
Know what activities restore you
Everyone has very different ways of restoring their energy –some of us get it from being around others, others get it by being alone. If you’re not already sure what type you are, check out the Myers Briggs test. Ideally, your day off will leave you feeling with a refreshed perspective on your life. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a total cheat day and throw all self-control to the wind, just know what kind of “cheating” will truly restore you, not just make you feel worse.
Know what activities fulfill you
What do you genuinely just want to do with your day off? What will leave you feeling fulfilled? What do you love to do? If you don’t know, make your super-best-ever-ideal-activities bucket list now and keep it handy for the next time that you’re planning some time off. Maybe it’s volunteering, creating something, unplugging and meditating, reading or even working on your side hustle in some self-monitored, joyful way. Carve out some time doing it on your day off.
This is an activity, big or small, that will separate your day off from any other normal day. You do not need to splurge on leather goods and mimosas to have a treat, I say: here are 10 simple pleasures that make winter sweeter. It could be as simple as watching one of your favourite childhood films, or making a recipe you pinned and fantasized about.
This might seem like a pretty nose-to-the-grindstone attitude to bring into your free and fancy day o’ fun, but you have to stay focused and committed to legit restorative and fulfilling day off. Don’t let external forces or inner conflicts derail your good time. Start your day by setting the firm intention to do your day off right, whatever that might look like for you. Maybe it’s about saying no to others and only answering only to yourself, maybe it’s all about you and your partner, or creativity or straight up relaxing your body. However you day off, day off like you mean it. Start committed and stay committed!