If life has really got you in a bind, then at least give yourself one day off.
Every now and then, life gets to be overwhelming. Perhaps you’ve worked for two weeks straight without a day off, or there is just so much to do, keeping up with the kids and the house, you haven’t had a minute to yourself. Yes, most all of us have jobs and other responsibilities, no matter what our station in life. And we should be grateful for it.
I know, too, that a number of folks are working extra hard these days to make ends meet. Even so, if your entire focus is on bringing home the bacon, the sizzle and the smell won’t be that enticing. To enjoy life, you may have to remember how to kick back and take in the waft of breakfast in the morning.
If life has really got you in a bind, then at least give yourself one day off. It’s called a “mental health day”because the idea is to give you some emotional breathing room and allow you to clear your mind of the usual stresses. This one day can be a lifesaver. It can also give you new ideas and a whole new perspective.
This is not a day to clean out the garage or job hunt. Use it instead to free your mind and heart of the worries and hurts that have been festering. This is a day to get away from it all, whatever that means to you. We all function better after we’ve had a vacation. And this one only has to last one day.
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Our minds get cluttered, sometimes with serious issues and sometimes with overload. If we can’t get clarity in some way, it becomes very hard to think straight. When you get this way, just making out the grocery list can be a major challenge. When simple things become complicated, it’s a sign that you need to give your mind a break.
One of my favorite methods is to take a drive. It can be to a place you love going, or it can be somewhere you have never been. Just get in your car and go. You can also take a train or bus ride and really let yourself daydream while someone else does the driving and navigating.
Once you reach your destination, get out and look around. After stretching your legs, you can do some further exploring or maybe grab a bite and put your feet up before you head home. It may not sound so exciting, but the idea here is to rest your brain, so it can start performing at its peak level once again.
If you’re too worried about losing time at work, remember that the week between Christmas and New Year’s is usually very slow. You should be able to find at least one day for yourself.
Taking the day off may seem like a small thing, but if you put enough small things together, you can create a very nice life.
(Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author, most recently, of “100 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence — Believe in Yourself and Others Will Too.”Email him at Barton@BartonGoldsmith.com.)