This weekend was the first one in a while that I have had to myself and I didn’t have to travel anywhere for once. I really needed it. I feel like I’ve been on the go non-stop for the last couple of months – I’ve been travelling most weekends and packing in plans during the week.
I like being busy and having plans lined up so I can look forward to doing exciting things with the people I love. I’m also an introvert who loves quiet time alone and I can find it hard to balance being a busy person and staying sane. I can get myself stuck thinking I must be doing stuff all the time and feeling guilty if I’m not. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of staying busy all the time, even when we don’t want to, so we can keep with everyone else.
But having a day to myself today where I didn’t have a single plan reminded me of how important it is to let ourselves off the hook sometimes and have a plan-free day every now and then.
Here are five reasons why I think having a day without plans is a great idea:
1. It’ll help you recharge – Having a day off to just veg out rather than rushing around every which way lets your body and mind recoup some energy. It’s even more important if you’re an introvert like me and you get your energy from time on your own. After some down time I feel so much more prepared to tackle a busy week ahead.
2. You can slow down – During the week, I either have plans with friends or I find myself rushing home in the evening so I can get cracking on everything I want to get done. At the weekend I’ll have multiple plans, often ones which involve catching a train or meeting up with people at a certain time. I’m always rushing, and it feels like everyone in this city is, too. But when you don’t have any plans, there’s no need to rush. You can sleep in, or spend extra time in bed reading, you can take time over breakfast and start your day more slowly, not having to worry about getting anywhere.
3. You can do what you want – If you spend lots of time saying yes to everyone but yourself, having a day of doing exactly what you want can be so freeing. You can do exactly what you want, when you want, even if what you want is to do absolutely nothing at all.
4. It can help you focus – I find a day away from all the usual distractions helps me reframe my thoughts. If there is something you’re struggling with, whether it’s a project you’re working on or a big decision in your personal life, taking a break and a step back from it can help you find the solution. At the very least, when you go back to whatever it is you’re taking a break from, you’ll approach it with fresh eyes and a fresh mind.
5. It’s relaxing – It can be difficult to allow yourself to actually put the to-do list away and relax. This is something I struggle with a lot – I often feel guilty if I’m not doing anything. Take the pressure off for a bit and try to unwind by doing things that make you feel good. Whether that’s reading your favourite book, taking a long bath and a pampering session, or having a gin and tonic while binging on new Grey’s Anatomy episodes (my Friday night…)
Taking a day off from plans this weekend has done me a world of good. Of course, it can’t fix everything but overall I feel less stressed and much more prepared for Monday morning.
If you liked reading this note, why not take a look through my Notes to Self series, a (mostly) weekly series of posts helping remind you, me, us to take better care of ourselves.
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