Some days are meant to be indulgent.
We may rise at dawn to lose ourselves in hobbies our day to day responsibilities don’t afford us the time to pursue.
We may sleep in until noon then luxuriate in a hot bath, followed by herbal teas and other comforts.
Or we may break all rules – if we have any at all – and stay in our pajamas, read, nap, cook, watch Netflix and savor the gift of laziness.
It is a gift, you know.
Often, in America especially, it is ingrained that we must not waste time. Each moment is to be well orchestrated, planned and completed with a productive task.
We may have been raised in such a way that resulted in our feeling guilty if we truly take time off. If we cancel plans to make time for ourselves or put work aside to focus on a soulful endeavor. If we consciously make time to exist in an unscheduled, unstructured manner, allowing a day to unfold, discovering what our heart wants to do.
This is not intended to be a way of life, though it is possible to carve out some pleasurable moments or activities in each and every day if we are mindful enough to do so. That’s a choice only we can make.
It is intended to be temporary, yet much needed, escape from all that weighs us down in life. It’s a means to restoring, recharging and reviving our best selves.
Only then can we give back to this world around us.
We may not often get this time in life, but we can make it and I encourage you to do just that.
It may feel uncomfortable at first. We may grow anxious or prickly, the feeling that we should be doing something creeping up on us.
But aren’t we doing something?
We are doing nothing – and doing it quite perfectly.
So today, it was homemade sweet potato fries for breakfast and a cannoli for lunch. It was reading a thriller mid-morning and watching Netflix trailers. It was spending the day in my pajamas and sipping tea.
It was listening to my heart, clearing my mind and making room for for what lies ahead.
In doing what we call nothing, we accomplish so much. We make room for creativity. We make room for new thoughts and we replenish our energy stores.
Digest these words then ask yourself – how will you spend your next cold and rainy day?
Here are some tips for incorporating the art of intentional escape into your every day.
Get up before the birds.
We often run out of time, because we don’t make time. We awake to the shrill sound of a cruel alarm, then hastily put our feet on the floor, yawning and stretching our way into the morning. We brew the coffee, run the shower and go through the motions of our set routine.
Rise earlier and find a way to bring some joy to your morning. Create time to read, write, meditate or simply be.
Easing into the day by adding a peaceful or invigorating activity will bring a greater sense of well-being to your existence.
Change your mindset.
Rather than chaining yourself to the computer or work site all day, carve out time to step away.
Go for a walk or do some stretching. Listen to a ten minute podcast or read some inspirational book passages.
I know that you think you can’t. You don’t have time. You’re too busy. But let me tell you – your car won’t run when it’s on empty – and neither will you.
Don’t look at it as taking time away from work or family or friends, look at it as making time for self-care and refilling your tank.
Our routine organizes our structured day. We rely on it to give us some sense of control over our lives and keep us on track in a fast-paced world.
But we need escapes, as much as routines. Create these with intent, purpose and care.
What brings you peace? What clears your mind? What energizes you?
Now do it – every day.
Maybe you like to paint or do puzzles. Maybe you enjoy reading and tea. Maybe you want to exercise more.
Whatever it is, afford yourself a space of time to make this happen every day.
You’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel – and how much more of yourself you’ll have to share with others.