How to Truly Take a Day Off
By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
While published in 2013, the book Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives by Wayne Miller is once again popular given the chaos of life over the past two years. The author points out that while the concept of Sabbath is rooted in tradition as a holy day, it can be any day that provides rest and nourishment, a retreat from all the overwhelming elements of day-to-day life and the sense of guilt in wanting a retreat.
But how do you truly take this day of rest? Even with a scheduled day off, it’s likely you check emails or make yourself available to work colleagues if need be. Or you may run errands. A real rest can actually make you more productive as well as more creative. Relaxing your mind can help you solve problems for which you previous couldn’t find a solution.
Consider these tips to unplug your brain, take a Sabbath from work and your other life responsibilities, and truly take a day off:
- Schedule your day off. And make it a full day, a consecutive 24 hours. Tell everyone in your professional and personal life that you are taking this day off.
- Start the night before. On the night before your planned retreat, prevent yourself from doing extra work in preparation of your day off. Skip the heavy meal and alcohol. Plan to wake up feeling peaceful and refreshed.
- Keep work out of sight. Research suggests even thinking about work can add stress and anxiety. So put your laptop in a different room, stay away from your office, and temporarily turn off work emails on your phone.
- Find stillness. When you wake up, just stay in bed. Consider any dreams you had, read or daydream a little, notice how your body is feeling. Do absolutely nothing for 15-20 minutes.
- Enjoy Solitude. Just be by yourself. Enjoy your own company. Reflect on your own happiness.
- Choose quiet to rest your mind. Turn off all sound, whether it’s from podcasts, music, or streaming. Go for a walk or a drive in the car without listening to anything. If possible, avoid looking at clocks.
- Nurture your soul. Read a book. Take a hike. Garden. Get a facial. Journal. Do something that is truly just for you and which gives you pleasure.
As a retail dietitian, you are constantly working in service to others. Add to this what you’ve been through in the past two years plus responsibilities you may have with family. A true day off will re-energize your mind, body, and spirit, and allow you to feel like your authentic self again.