Self-Care Challenge (Day 158): Taking the Day Off

Lime green adirondack chairs

On day 158 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I decided to take the day off.

After working to the point of physical exhaustion on Saturday, I felt I’d earned it. But, honestly, it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped.

I warned myself not to work on any of my writing projects…but I just couldn’t resist and found myself jotting down a few notes here and there. I told myself that I wouldn’t work in the yard…but before I knew it, I had planted four planters of flowers on the patio. I told myself that I wouldn’t read or do any research for my next book…but I couldn’t help myself there either.

To be honest, taking time off feels next to impossible for me. My brain revolts against slowing down, much less turning off completely. It’s an around-the-clock idea factory.

I’m not even sure I know what it means to take a day off. Does off mean doing nothing? Does it mean doing only the things that I enjoy?

The truth is, most of us are so used to being plugged in that we don’t remember how to power down, much less take a day off.

This particular area of my self-care practice — carving out downtime — has been the most challenging of all to develop. I know that it will take time and a willingness to experiment through trial and error, and I’m committed to caring for myself in a way that incorporates regular periods of rest and regeneration. And I can tell this is going to take some time to develop.

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