Everyone has called in work sick before, but have you ever thought about calling in healthy? It’s not as crazy an idea as you might think!
Although we tend to only take time off when sick, more and more people are focusing on the concept of self-care, and recognizing that it’s okay to take a little time off to prevent illness, not just to treat it. Taking a wellness day can be a perfect way to give yourself a little boost, which means that you can return to work feeling refreshed, focused, and more productive than ever. Why not try taking this November 30 off and recharging your batteries for the winter? And whether you are new to self-care or you are all about taking care when you need it, we’ve got some great tips to make the most of this Stay At Home Because You Are Well Day.
Try Some Meditation
If you don’t already meditate, give it a try and consider starting a regular practice. Meditation doesn’t have to mean contorting yourself into a pretzel and chanting for hours, of course. Just spending five or ten minutes focusing on your breath has been shown to help with sleep, willpower, mood and even physical health. Try out a guided meditation video and see how you feel. You may even want to add it to your daily self-care routines.
Turn Off Your Phone
Phones are amazing things, it’s true. They keep us more connected than ever before, help us find our way around and provide adorable cat videos to watch in those spare moments, but they can also make it hard to really switch off and focus on yourself. Tell people that you’ll be unreachable for the day, and then take a deep breath and hit that off switch (or turn the phone to airplane mode). Don’t check your work e-mails, your Slack channels, your social media, or any other notification—today is about you, and "just one e-mail" can turn into three hours of catchup work before you know it.
Cuddle A Creature
Spending time with cute, fluffy animals has been proven to help lower blood pressure and make us feel good…unless you are allergic, of course! If you have pets, spend some extra time with them today, but even if you don’t, you can often find a way to get some of those furball benefits elsewhere. Cat cafes are popping up everywhere, where you can go and spend an hour or two with some sweet animals (without any of the commitment of having your own). If you are allergic, get some secondhand benefits by watching some cute animal videos (just not on that phone, which you’ve obviously turned off already!).
Stay Away From Screens
It might be tempting to spend a day off slumped in front of the TV, indulging in binge-watching or playing video games, but try to spend the day away from the screen. Mindless watching may not be stressful, but it’s not really actively restful, and screentime in general isn’t the best thing for your eyes. Sitting all day also isn’t the best for your health, so combining them to spend the day on the couch is really not the greatest way to take care of yourself!
Do Something Different
No phone, no screen… so what can you do? Take this opportunity to do something that you’ve always wanted to, but never seem to find the time for. Check out a museum or gallery nearby, go to a class that you’ve been thinking about trying for a while, hit up a tourist spot and soak up some history or take advantage of a sunny fall day to go for a hike. Getting out of those house and doing something different will get you a little exercise and fresh air, and it will also leave you feeling energized and productive in a way that Netflix just won’t!
Take Yourself Out For Dinner
You don’t need a date to enjoy a date night. Relish your own company and take yourself out for an indulgent meal. Go to your favorite restaurant and eat everything that you want, without having to make small talk or share your dessert! Or, if you aren’t quite brave enough to sit at a table for one, order in your favorite or cook up something delicious. With no screen time today, you can sit and really focus on the meal, savoring every bite of something that you love. Throw on some soft music and eat mindfully, enjoying a beautiful meal with yourself.
Give Yourself A Break
Many people think of self-care as self-indulgence—a hot bubble bath and a glass of wine, or a spending spree on things you don’t need, but really want. However, the heart of self-care isn’t about indulgence, but about doing things that help you feel great in the long term. Healthy habits, meditation, great food and new experiences are all going to keep you feeling better the more often you do them as well as making you feel good right now, so make the most of your day off.
But more than all of that, the most important thing you can do is just give yourself a break. Not just from binge watching and obsessively checking e-mails, but a break from being hard on yourself and feeling like you have to do everything. The biggest barrier to self-care is guilt; feeling bad about taking time off when you don’t need to, feeling bad about making yourself a priority, feeling bad about doing something someone told you that you shouldn’t. So whether you listen to any of our tips, or spend the whole day in bed watching Netflix and eating junk food, as long as you are feeling good about taking time for yourself, that’s all you really need.
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care? Comment and let us know!