Why You Should Take a Day Off

Take a Tuesday off?  What a concept.  As a solopreneur and self-proclaimed workaholic, I am not in the habit of taking time off during the week. But yesterday offered a wonderful opportunity – a snow day – to do just that.  Sure I could have tackled my to-do list, but instead I made a conscious decision to take a time out – and a few hours off – to enjoy the day.  If you haven’t done this in a while I highly recommend it (smile).  Here are just a few reasons why.

Sleep – I hate to be a drama queen, but if you’re like most people, there’s a good chance that you are sleep deprived, or at the very least, not getting 8 hours of sleep on a consistent basis. Skimping on sleep is not pretty. It can result in a suppressed immune system (sick a lot?), hypertension (stressed a lot?) and weight gain (suffer from sugar or carb cravings?).  Use a day off as an opportunity to sleep in and/or take a nap. Your body, physical health and mental well-being will thank you for it.

Play – You probably work more than you play. Most of us do, but this can get old.  So why not take an hour or two (or more) and do something that delights you? Binge watch your favorite Netflix series, break out the arts & crafts, put together a puzzle or veg on video games.  Forget about being productive and instead remember what it was like to be a kid and embrace playtime.

Create – Give your left brain the day off and instead embrace the right by tapping into your creativity. Do you like to cook? Luxuriate in selecting your ingredients and trying a new recipe. Do you love to draw? Get yourself a sketch pad and a rainbow of writing instruments and get to work. Is writing your jam? Find a comfy spot, grab your notebook and let your words flow into sentences. Creating something – anything – is supremely satisfying. Also, studies show that nurturing your creative self helps you become a better problem solver all around. Equally important is that it is an immensely enjoyable way to enjoy time off!

Connect – I read once that our connection with others is at the key to happiness – theirs and ours. I couldn’t agree more.  But with our busy lives, staying connected is easier said than done.  That is why a day off is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with family, friends and/or anyone who is meaningful in our lives.  Be it an in-person visit, a call or a note, reaching out to someone with whom you’ve lost touch can make that person’s day (or week) as well as your own.  Bonus: those warm feelings will last long after your day off is over.

Unplug – We are all addicted to our devices. Emails, texts, social media, direct messaging…it can all be just be too much.  Here’s a novel idea on your day off: Detach from your devices. Let your calls go to voice mail, put an out-of-office message on your email and power down your computer and phone.  To avoid the panic that can sometimes accompany digital detox, set aside a specific amount of time and schedule something else (like a massage, manicure or exercise class).  Open yourself up to the aha! moments and good ideas that may magically appear while you’re switched off.

Studies show that taking break can actually help boost productivity and creativity, not to mention help promote a healthy and happy lifestyle.  Who doesn’t want that? So don’t wait until the next snow storm and schedule time off for yourself s-o-o-n. Trust me…you’ll be so happy you did~

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