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How to Take a Day Off for Real

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us try to squeeze in little bits of free time wherever we can, but we don't skip out for a whole day as often. Ask yourself, when is the last time you just took off for the whole day? What did you do?

  • Head to the beach
  • Get together with friends
  • Sleep late, and go to a movie and dinner
  • Just loaf all day

Those all sound like tempting options. We just need to make them happen. Too many times I have penciled in a day off on the calendar and then watched it disappear under a blizzard of "must do" notes.

Other times I have actually taken a day off, but spent part of it checking off emails or fielding calls. Later, as I relaxed, I wondered why I did not take the whole day.

Researchers in the New York Times tell us the brain needs time to regroup and reset to be more productive and creative.

Things to Do On a Day Off

Need ideas? We have some on what you can do with a spare 24 hours.

Get serious and take the time - Burnout, anxiety and other stress-related conditions are all more likely when life is a constant process with no relief. Take those issues seriously and make room for some free time. Do whatever you want.

Enjoy a family meal and time together - Sleep late. Then go shopping for all of the ingredients for your favorite meal. Get the whole family involved in the cooking and the baking. Later, spend some time together talking, playing games or watching old movies. Keep the time open to do whatever works.

Do something you have never done - Days off are best when they surprise you. I have friends who do this. They agree to go somewhere new, pick a spot and head out for the day. Much later they return with new pictures and stories.

Indulge yourself - This may be the perfect time to shop for a new outfit, try a new hairstyle, or get a massage. When I do this I come back ready to go again. My energy returns and everything looks better.

Surprise someone - A day off can be the perfect time to visit an old friend, help at an animal shelter, or volunteer at the library. Those days always create the best memories for me. It's time well spent.

Catch up on your reading - Or maybe you want to just enjoy loafing with a big jug of lemonade and a sunny spot outdoors with friends. I can spend an afternoon in my favorite bookstore without even noticing the time. Pick a spot or shop that you love and take your time. Remember, you've got all day!

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mt. Juliet, Tenn.

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