It’s been a busy week and you are about done in. With everything. If you have to rush to the next item on your to-do list, you just might scream.
Not pretty and certainly not fun.
So what to do? It might be time for a Self-Care Day.
Why Should You Take A Self-Care Day?
I’ll give you a reason in just one word. Stress.
Stress is one of those pesky things that in limited amounts is actually good for you. However, over the long term stress without relief, begins to have a negative effect on you mentally and physically.
There are times when slowing down or even stopping is the best and only option.
According to this article on Inc.com, small business owners should consider taking time for themselves when:
- You have problems sleeping
- Weekends aren’t cutting it
- You’re not as nice as you used to be
- You just don’t care
That short list is a great description of the effects of stress. It’s a list that also applies to more than just small business owners. It also applies Mom’s, Nurses, Caregivers, Teachers, Doctors, Grocery Store Clerks, Web Designers, and well everyone!
Stress and the effects on your health cannot and should not be ignored.
- How Do You Take A Self-Care Day?
- How do you take time for yourself without feeling guilty when there is so much that needs to be done?
Unfortunately, I do not have a magic wand type of answer for you. I struggle with the idea myself. But, here are a few things I do know:
- There are days when it’s okay to let the laundry piles stay where they are and let the dishes pile up in the sink.
- The business will not fall apart if you tell your clients that you are not available today.
- Lightening will not strike if the homeschool schedule gets interrupted for a day.
- You are NOT weak for needing a break.
For many of us, that last one is probably the hardest to come to terms with.
When I do take a break, the decision to take time off usually happens in phases. Rather ridiculous phases actually.
Phase 1: I spend hours trying to justify why I need to take some time off.
Phase 2: Finally I decide to go for it and need to let my clients know that I will be unavailable. There is a moment of panic and guilt as I hit the send button. “Am I making the right decision?”
Phase 3: After that moment of panic, I am suddenly okay and then relieved.
Self-Care days do not necessarily mean shutting down completely. It means that you are choosing to remove yourself from certain expectations and deadlines in order to find breathing room and give yourself a much needed break.
Taking a self-care day could be:
- Taking a nice long walk
- Having a craft day
- Taking time to get caught up on projects at home
- Taking a nap, reading a book or watching a movie
Most importantly it’s an opportunity to slow down, breath deep and give yourself some grace.
We all know that we can be our own worst enemy in this area. We feel guilty for even thinking of taking some time off.
Needing a break is not a sign of weakness. There are days you (I) will need to tell yourself (myself) that over and over again until you (I) believe it.
Over time I’ve come to realize that after a busy weekend of traveling and spending time with my Mom, I need to either get back early on Sunday or plan to take the following Monday off to rest to get ready for a new work week. Otherwise I will be a mess.
It’s not necessarily a day where I won’t be working. It’s more that I am picking and choosing what I will be working on, so I purposely choose to stay away from my inbox and client projects in order to dive into something else .
Does it solve everything? Is my stress gone? Sadly, no. The stress is still there, but… I’ve put a deposit back into my resting account so I am better able to handle what comes my way.
Plus I find I’m kinder to myself, come back out of my shell and appreciate the slower pace of the day. I also see that everything around me did not fall apart while I took a break. 🙂
When is the last time you took a Self-Care Day?
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her buddy Bailey. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books including her newest, “Choosing Gratitude: A Daily Quiet Time Journal”.