Yes! And maybe you need one!
This is how most of my sessions have started this past week:
“God, it’s so cold, and all I want to do is sleep.”
“Ugh, it’s so gray and gloomy outside. I’m finding it hard to get motivated.”
We’re in the home stretch before winter turns to spring. No major holidays to distract us, and it’s pitch black outside before dinner time. Yesterday, I was working with a couple who seemed to be listing all of the reasons why they, and their kids, needed a break from the daily grind. This went on for about 10 minutes, and then right on queue
– HUGE silver dollar sized snow flakes started to fall.
One of them joked, “Oh man! Maybe it’ll snow enough for us to get a snow day.” We all chuckled at the thought.
Then I asked, “What if you did?”
“Did what?” They asked.
“What if you took a snow day tomorrow? What would happen?”
They thought I was joking, but then started considering for a moment.
Can grownups have a snow day?
What a concept, right? Giving yourself permission – to give yourself time.
Instantly, there was a lot of pushback on the couple’s part, a little embarrassment, thinking about not showing up for their responsibilities. Generally speaking, we want to be responsible, reliable, successful…all the things.
But here’s the thing – The only person who knows and gets to decide what is best for your life is YOU.
Most of the time, I’m working with bright, hardworking, dedicated people who want to be all they can be, and that’s amazing. It’s also these types of clients who seem to struggle most with anxiety, burnout, and utter exhaustion. The thing they need most is rest, a break, heck! even a NAP. But what keeps them grinding day in and day out is the fear of what may happen if they let themselves stop.
When fear, guilt, anxiety, or shame are at the wheel, you’re more likely to run off the road and run yourself ragged.
Of course there are going to be days where it’s necessary, maybe even better, to show up and do life when it’s not easy or convenient. But what could be possible for you if you gave yourself the permission and grace to take a break when you needed it?
Instead of a snow day, you could call it a “mental health day,” but doesn’t a snow day sound a little more fun? It does to me.
Rather than waiting on permission from your boss, your partner, or mother nature to give you the blank space you need, consider this:
- Studies have shown that the average American spends more than 90,000 hours of their life at work. That’s more than a decade of our lives! And this is just based on an average. Let that sink in for a moment.
If the weather has got you down, you’re feeling blue, or need a day for you – one of the things that can help you take the leap is to create a mental picture of what you would actually do with that free time.
When I explore the idea of taking mental health days with clients I have them do two things:
- Make a wish list of the things they would do with that day.
- How they think they would feel during and after each activity.
If you’re currently craving a sweet escape, I’d highly encourage you to carve out space on your calendar. Half-day, whole day, weekday, weekend – it’s up to you my friend.
If you do, let me hear from you! The best things in life are shared.