After a frazzled and stressful Tuesday I decided to take a personal day on Wednesday. This sounded strange to some and I found myself internally defending why personal days are so important for our psyche.
In Existential psychology one personal need that they look at to be fulfilled is your ability to experience freedom. Do you have a balance between your organized schedule and your freedom? Most of us don’t. It reminds me of the extremes that I spoke about in my last article for Elephant Journal. We don’t know how to live in balanced harmony.
I know that it can be hard to call into work and tell them you need a personal day. You may feel like they will laugh in your face. So think about your situation. If you have something major going on in your life you would be showing yourself tremendous self love to say “you know what, I need a day to gather myself.” If you feel like a personal day can wait then cancel your plans on a Saturday or Sunday and let the day lead you. Do the things that you love. Read, sleep, visit family, exercise, spend time outside, have a delicious lunch. Make the day about you and your happiness. Personal days are meant to help re-charge our batteries.
I understand that this can be hard when you have children. But consider your options before you call it a loss. You could call in a babysitter for the day or make your kids a part of the personal day. Take them to the park with you, watch a movie together, play in the yard, or go out for a fun lunch. No schedule (besides family nap time :), all spontaneous.
A tight, rigorous schedule can cause order amid chaos but it can also become such a habit that whatever you do is scheduled and planned. When we do this we are projecting our need for control which causes the body stress. Our psyche needs some spontaneity, it excites your nervous system, in a good way. Even if its the little things. Saying no just once to the simplest act can be spontaneous enough. By doing this you are showing yourself support.
After my personal day yesterday I feel charged and more alive. And now I am ready to tackle the rest of the week and the rest of my semester.
What would you do on a personal day? How can you create personal moments throughout your day?