The Problem With Taking A Day Off
Have you ever just had an amazing day off?
You knew you needed a break, so you got out of Dodge for the day hoping it would give you new lease on life. You go to your favorite places, indulge in all the activities that only you like. Basically, you made the day all yours.
And then you get back to reality.
Instead of being re-energized, you come back and some of the things you that seemed ok (or at worst blah) now seem intolerable.
Why do things seem so grey when you just had this amazing time? Don’t you think some rest and play would make everything better?
If a sunny day is casting shadows on your normal existence, PAY ATTENTION.
The contrast or a really great day can show us the outlines of things in life waiting to be noticed and given some love and care.
What is getting shaded most? Job? Love life? Or did you just notice that some routine activity or situation just exhausts you and has been exhausting you for a long time?
If so, it’s time to change things up.
I’m not suggesting you dump your career, marriage or move to Costa Rica. What I am advocating for you is for you to experiment with making small changes to these unsatisfying but comfortable aspects of your life.
Humans thrive on challenge and novelty. While new things aren’t always comfortable, they are key components to human happiness. Too much routine can lead to boredom and anxiety -- ironic because many times routine is maintained out of a fear of change.
Additionally, changing routine is important to neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to change. So, making intentional changes actually aids you in making future changes. Getting better at making changes makes you better at many other things such as learning and skill acquisition. Building up your ability to change also creates resilience that helps combat anxiety, depression and stress.
You might say “But I’m so excellent at pushing papers and starting something new is HARD (just 18 more years until retirement!)”.
Even if you win the Paper Pushing Olympics, there is nothing written in the sky saying that has to be your only pursuit in life.
And even if Paper Pushing ™ truly is your thing, there is probably something you can do differently so when you return to life you return with fresh eyes and greater energy (the whole reason you took a day off anyway).
This week pick something you’ve been curious about and take one small step towards exploring it. Spend a few minutes each day learning about your new fascination. See how this affects the rest of your life. Where does the contrast fall now?
Making one change won’t change every thing but it is one step in an ongoing practice to make all areas of your life better and better.