If you are employed close to full-time, you earn approximately three personal days a year — sometimes more, depending on where you work and live. And while our competitive work environs seem to look down on taking time to focus on yourself, it is essential for living a healthy and happy life. Yes, those personal days shouldn’t be wasted when you need to get a plumber to fix a leak in your apartment or when you have to wait for the cable guy between the hours of 5 a.m. and 6 p.m. Personal days should be cherished and enjoyed, like a ‘06 Napa Cab (I fancy).
You might think, “but shouldn’t I save these days in case I get the flu or have a really bad hangover?” Wrong! Sick days are the ones that should be used for when you’re feeling less than your best. Your personal days should be enjoyed when you are perfectly healthy and can take full advantage of them. You don’t want to be sniffly and couch-bound when you could be taking a Zumba class or touring a brewery. You also don’t want to hold on to the personal days for too long. Find out how many you get in a year, and save one for emergency. The rest should be enjoyed whenever you are inspired or need a break from the daily grind! Need even more reasons why you should take a personal day? I have a few ideas...
1. Give Your Body A Break
Sitting in a chair for eight hours can be pretty rough on your backside, and hunching over a computer can make your shoulders tight. Relieve the daily tension with a personal day. Taking a walk or getting a massage will loosen up those shoulders. Just don't spend it all on Facebook — that defeats the purpose!
2. Switch Up The Weekly Routine
Feeling numbed by the daily slog? Shake things up by doing something spontaneous. Playing hooky like you are in high school again can feel so refreshing. It feels good to be a little bad! The same old schedule day-in and day-out can be SO boring. Take a chance and have an adventure. You'll go back to work with some new stories to tell around the watercooler and everyone will be très jelly.
3. Sleep In
Sometimes you just really need your beauty rest! If it's rainy and cold and getting out of bed seems like an impossible task — don't.
4. Get Inspired
You know those times when you have a great idea, but are so busy that by the time you can focus on it, you've forgotten what it was? Personal days are great to use when you wake up feeling the rippling of creativity. Stay home and treat yourself to writing or making art that is exciting to you. Finally start working on that podcast, or making that terrarium that you've been talking about for like, a month. Technically, you will be getting paid to do your own work — which is nice.
5. Stay Healthy
Feel yourself getting a little sick from exhaustion? Before breaking down into full-blown achey, sniffly mess, take a personal day. Do relaxing activities to recharge your batteries. Whether that means steeping in a hot bath, hitting up the sauna, or watching lots of Netflix, it's a great way to head off a cold. You don't want to lose valuable sick days or bail on fun weekend plans because you didn't have the time to take care of yourself.
6. Recommit To Yourself
Kickstart your New Year's resolutions by taking a day to really concentrate on yourself. At work we can be so harried, trying to meet deadlines, and working through lunch, that we have little time and energy to eat right and exercise. By the time the weekend rolls around we are more likely to spend time sleeping in, and recouping than achieving our health goals. Take a personal day during the week and cook, workout, meditate — whatever healthy things you wouldn't otherwise have time for. I guarantee you'll feel refreshed!
7. Get Some Sun
With winter hours, we are seeing less light than ever. If you are leaving work at 5 p.m., it's probably already dark out. The only chance to bask in the sun Monday through Friday is a chilly walk to work or a brief lunch break. Both of which give you little time to enjoy the fresh air. If you're feeling down and depressed this season, there is a possibility that you could be a bit vitamin D-deficient. Taking a D supplement will help with a winter blues, but nothing can truly substitute for the real thing. Take a personal day and catch some rays — being outside will def perk things up!
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