I’ve posted about routines, and I want to share one that I’ve been practicing for years: making Monday my Shabbat. I’m using the term loosely here in that I don’t go to synagogue on Mondays, but I do make it a “day of rest” where I recharge and refocus.
I established and first observed it a few years ago on a Monday when I experienced that rare moment when I had the house to myself. It was a slow day for me, and I decided to fill it up with items that I wanted to do. I used the time to cook the food from the grocery shopping over the weekend, clean, organize, catch up with friends, write emails, and plan the rest of the week. This was new and exciting for me, and it came after having several busy weekends when my daughter was in competitive dance and my son participated in travel soccer. I’d been running around all weekend and longing for some time to fully decompress.
It felt great, and I’ve protected it over the years. I encourage you to recognize a You Day (let’s make it religion-neutral), and here are some suggestions on how to spend it:
Commit to It
If you are truly going to reserve a day to yourself, then commit to it because you deserve it! Barring emergencies, firmly plant your flag on the day in your calendar. Block the whole day, so that no one else can use your time. My schedule is mine on Mondays until after 3pm or 4pm, giving me the whole day to myself.
Have Fun Planning Your Day
Imagine creating a to-do list of things you want to do. It’s almost like when you were a child, writing your birthday wish list. Fantasize no more! A You Day gives you that freedom. Being organized helps me create positive energy, so that’s a big part of my Monday.
Understand that It’s Not Selfish
Let’s get something straight: taking care of yourself is not selfish. It’s actually selfless because it gives you greater capacity to care for others. This piece from Psychology Today beautifully illustrates the point: “As we learn better self-care, we become better people in general. When we are in touch with our own feelings, we can then reach out more effectively to others and show love and empathy to them also. If we are filling our own emotional tanks with self-respect and loving care, we have much more to give to our families, friends, and the world in general.”
Do What You Need
It’s your day, so feel free to spend it however you’d like without the pressure of meeting certain obligations. Get in touch with yourself, and listen to what you need. You may find that you need a balance of things from rest to a great workout.
Scheduling You Days as part of your routine is incredibly healthy and valuable. It’s certainly an art, not a science because how you choose to fill your day is completely up to you and will be based on your needs. Remember to commit to it or else it won’t happen.
What is your ideal You Day?