“Self-care is never a selfish act. It is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.”
So, do you schedule a personal day off?
Just as at night, the body rests, repairs, and reboots to resume work the next day, our mind and emotions need a day off at least once a week, when you take time away from frantic activity, to rest, relax, reflect, and relaunch even stronger thereafter.
If you are new to the concept of taking a personal day off, here are a few tips to ease your way into incorporating it as a regular practice:
On your personal day off, don't set a wake-up alarm, and make sure to ask your family to let you sleep in. Sleep until you feel you are fully rested. Struggling to stay asleep because of those pesky thoughts that won't go away? Try playing instrumental sleep music or listening to wholesome sleep stories from Abide.
Make sure you have emptied your schedule of any work and social obligations. If technology tends to sabotage your attempts to slow down, put your devices on Do Not Disturb or Airport Mode, or switch them off completely.
Most of the stress in our lives comes from worrying about the things we think we need to preoccupy ourselves with. Determine to release your to-do lists, thoughts about work, or conversations with others. When a thought about anything other than the present rest comes up, pause, acknowledge it, and put it away. Tell yourself, "Not today. This is my personal day off."
We are all different and therefore find different things relaxing; for some, it is being out in nature; for others, binging on a TV series; another still, doing a creative activity; and for others, having fun with their family. Right now, I could do with an entire spa day (or two).
Whatever gets you to slow down, take the stress off, and take care of your body and soul, schedule this in two or three hours after your long sleep-in (so that you don't panic about getting to your activity and ruin the whole purpose of having a personal day).
A personal day off is also a time to listen and reflect. Carve out time when you are relaxed and physically comfortable (not thirsty, hungry, in extreme temperatures, or around unsettling stimuli to your senses).
Start off by stilling yourself (physically and mentally). It may help to take deep breaths, hold them for a few seconds, then breathe out and let go of running thoughts and tension as you do.
When you feel more relaxed, ask yourself how you are doing as a 360 leader. Take note of your responses to each area of your 360 life (spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, relational, financial, professional, leadership, impact, legacy).
Is there anything that is out of alignment? Note down what it is and jot down what you will do to bring alignment to that area of your life after your personal day off.
“Self-reflection entails asking yourself questions about your values, assessing your strengths and failures, thinking about your perceptions and interactions with others, and imagining where you want to take your life in the future.”
-Robert L. Rosen
When you take a personal day off, it is akin to recharging your batteries; you are able to move forward with renewed strength, clearer direction, and a roadmap to make the adjustments you need to make to effect the outcomes you seek as a healthy, whole, and aligned 360 leader.
Schedule a personal day off once a week, a personal weekend off once a month, and a personal month at least once a year to take care of your 360 work and life priorities and steward your life toward the outcomes you desire to accomplish.
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