10 reasons to smile – spring edition

10 reasons to smile – spring edition

10 reasons to smile – spring edition

If you want to add a little happiness and positivity to your day, finding something to smile about is a great place to start!  If you need a few ideas, here is a quick little list of 10 reasons to smile this spring!

 

Why should I look for reasons to smile?

The other day, I woke up and was making my coffee like normal. I looked out the back window and saw something that wasn’t normal…a horse.  Depending on where you live, that may not sound SO unusual…but I live in the city.  And there was also a police car next to the random horse. So, after I poured my coffee (because I was definitely going to need it), I decided to keep watching and once that glorious coffee started to wake up my sleepy brain, I realized what was going on.  The church behind our house has a preschool and the lovely Cleveland Police Mounted Unit was there to visit the kiddos.  I watched as they placed a few of those tiny kidlets in the saddle and let them meet the horse. (Or…Officer Horse?)  I couldn’t help smiling, and honestly, it kind of made my day. Because, duh, cute kids and unexpected animals.

I don’t remember anything else about the rest of that day.  I think it was fairly normal. Work, laundry, meals. All I remember is waking up, smiling first thing in the morning, and being in a great mood for the rest of the day.

Starting each day with a smile is a great way to live, but…how?  I mean, you can’t wake up every day and find an unexpected horse nearby.  (Unless, you know, you have horses…but then they’re not really unexpected.)  So it’s time to get intentional about it!

Intentionally focusing on the positive is a super beneficial thing to practice.  It leaves you more optimistic and generally happier when you’re actively looking for the positives.

But it’s not always easy.  Daily life, stress, and just general thoughts can all creep in and take up a lot of mental space. So I try to make a habit of frequently looking for something to smile about.  Not just noticing occasionally, but looking.

If you’re feeling a little down, or you’re having the day from hell, finding a reason to smile can almost always lift your mood! And sometimes just doing that is the hard part…we can get comfortable in our “blah-ness”.

For example, don’t you just hate it when you’re mad, but something makes you laugh?  You don’t want to laugh. You want to be mad! But how do you feel after that? Better, right?  Sometimes we kind of sink into our moods and get a little comfortable there. Like we don’t WANT to make an effort to be happy, we’re comfortable being down or stressed or angry.  But why? Why would we want to stay in a bad place?  

That’s when it’s the most important to actively seek out reasons to be happy and positive.

10 reasons to smile – spring edition

Every now and then, I like to write something that’s just for fun, but also, hopefully, a little useful.  So I’m starting a seasonal series of posts on things to make you smile. Just for the simple reason that they’re happy things and we occasionally need the reminder to be aware of them. And since spring seems like a great time to start…well…anything, here is the first in this series, my spring edition of 10 reasons to smile!

 

1. A hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning

Oh, there is just nothing better than that very first sip of coffee in the morning!  I am NOT a morning person, but it’s still enough to bring a smile!

 

2. Birds chirping outside

I love that first day when I notice the birds are getting loud.  It’s a sure sign that spring is getting close! 

 

3. Kids laughing and baby giggles

Baby giggles might just be the most contagious thing in the world.  And listening to the neighbor kids run and play and laugh outside? Instant smile.

 

4. The first flowers that bloom for the year

Around here, those first flowers are crocuses. (Crocus?  Croci? Whatever the plural of “crocus” is…) Those little, tiny purple, white, and yellow flowers with their bright green leaves!  Half the time, they’re already blooming before the snow has melted, but they just look so pretty and happy and colorful at the very end of winter.  Spring is definitely on the way when they show up and that’s a reason to smile!

 

5. Finding a good book

I’m pretty sure the only thing I like better than finding a good book is finding out it’s a series and there is more to the story!

 

6. Seeing an act of kindness

When I’m having a realllly bad day, like terrible, I make a point of taking a few minutes to sit down and google “faith in humanity restored”.  If you’ve never done this, try it, because nothing is more worth smiling about than seeing acts of kindness, big or small. Instant mood booster! (Not to mention motivation to look for chances to do your own kind gestures!)

 

7. Rainy Saturdays with no plans

I love a good rainy day.  And, thank you spring, there are usually quite a few rainy days this time of year.  But the best is when it’s a Saturday and there is nothing planned! You get to sleep in, listening to the rain falling outside…  You can stay in, take it slow, and enjoy a lovely, calm day!

 

8. The first day you can open the windows after a long winter

I LOVE having the windows open and usually open them as soon as I possibly can! (It could be argued that it’s usually a little too soon.)  But that nice, fresh air after the house has been closed up for a while is DEFINITELY smile-worthy.

 

 

9. Longer evenings

Fan of Daylight saving or not (I fall solidly in the “not” category, but that’s another story), it’s nice when we gain that extra hour of daylight at the end of the day.  And as the season progresses, they just keep getting longer!  

 

10. Warm, sunny days

I’m not a fan of super bright sunny days.  I have ridiculously fair skin…like bright-lights-could-give-me-a-sunburn kind of fair skin.  So the sun and I don’t always get along. But those early spring days, when the sunshine feels warm, but not hot and bright but not blinding?  That makes me smile like a happy kitten!

 

A few more reasons to smile

If 10 wasn’t quite enough, here are a few extra reads to keep you smiling!

Celebrating the simple pleasures in life

 

What are your reasons to smile?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Journaling for beginners

Journaling for beginners

Journaling for beginners

When I was young, I always wanted one of those pretty little diaries with a lock on it.  You remember the ones, something to write down the deepest desires of your little 8-year-old heart, without fear of anyone reading it.  I don’t think I ever got that diary, but I did eventually start journaling in a little spiral-bound notebook. Sporadically, at least…I’d get so caught up in trying to write down every little detail of each day that it would take hours!  And if I missed a day, it would take even longer to catch up. Eventually, that little notebook would end up set aside and forgotten until something BIG and IMPORTANT happened that I just had to write down. And then I’d start the whole process over, usually with a brand new little notebook.

Fast-forward a few years (okay, more than a few years…) and I’ve learned that there are actually several different ways to keep a journal.  Ways that don’t always include writing down every single detail of each day. After some experimenting, I’ve finally found one that works for me. And guess what?  It’s not the diary-style journal I’d always envisioned keeping! In fact, I barely even register that I’m “journaling”, it’s just become a part of my day!

Why start journaling?

If you’re considering journaling, I have to say that I’d recommend it. Journaling is such a simple habit to develop and has so many benefits! There are no limitations on who can journal and no “right” or “wrong” ways to do it!

Some of the benefits of journaling include:

Reduced anxiety 

One big cause of anxiety is those constantly swirling thoughts.  They may be thoughts of things you need to do, that you need to remember, or possibly events from the day that still need to be processed.  Journaling gives you a safe place to write them all down and organize them, on paper, where you can easily see them, instead of keeping them looping in your head…and making you anxious!

Improved communication skills 

Reading and writing are both great ways to improve your communication skills, but writing, in particular, can help you become more aware of the ways that you personally communicate.  You might notice patterns or gaps, and those can help you become a better communicator in your daily life.

Increased self-awareness

Journaling is a great way to make yourself aware of growth, changes, and patterns in your life.  You may not even notice them until you see them on paper.  

For example, last year, I had a pretty solid pattern of writing that I needed to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. I wrote that same thing several times a week.  If I’m writing it down that often, it’s probably time to do something about it!

Increased gratitude and happiness

A journal is a fantastic place to record all the things that you’re grateful for and notice good things in your life that you may have otherwise overlooked.  By putting a little extra focus on the positives, you will also feel more positive!

Mindfulness

Journaling can reinforce your mindfulness practice. It’s a chance to pause and just be aware of your thoughts, your emotions, and your surroundings. (Check out this post to learn more about mindfulness

Better mental health

Journaling is a positive way to vent emotions, without taking your frustrations out on those around you.  Instead of bottling those emotions up, put them on paper. When they’re on paper, they tend to be less “forward” in your mind.

Personal growth

If you’re trying to reach some goals, journaling can help you get there! Writing about experiences you want to have and goals you’d like to achieve makes them much more likely to happen.  Taking the time to write them down kind of cements them in place and keeps them front of mind, so you’re more likely to reach those goals!

You can also use your journal as a habit tracker to record your progress in creating new habits and see patterns that prevent you from making those habits stick. 

Journaling can help you organize your thoughts, which in turn, will help you organize your life!

 

Once you have a journaling practice in place, you may or may not choose to go back and re-read your entries.  I don’t reread often, but occasionally, it’s interesting to see where I was mentally last month, last year, or even a few years ago.  And that’s a great way to gain perspective on things that may have felt like a big deal at the time but worked out in the end.

How to begin journaling

Is it time to give journaling a try for yourself? One of the first steps to journaling is to decide what style of journal will work best for you.  And there are lots of choices! Here are a few of my favorites:

Diary style journals

There is a good chance that this is the first type of journal that comes to mind. A diary-style journal a daily journal where you record the events of the day.  It’s a great way to start as a beginner and a classic journaling type. It wasn’t the best option for me, but it’s still a very good place to start.

Planner style journals 

Planner style journals are typically part planner, part journal.  A place to keep track of your tasks, as well as a place to write down your thoughts.  This type of journaling is perfect for my fellow organizational nerds out there. Since I fit solidly into that category, this is a type of journal that I use regularly.

The one below is my current favorite! I’ve used several, but I keep coming back to this little journal.

Bullet journals 

If you’re a creative person, you will love this one!  A bullet journal (or BuJo) can literally be anything you want…daily diary, habit tracker, calendar, planner, a place to record goals and progress.  It’s also a fantastic way to incorporate mindfulness into your day because bullet journals leave a lot of room for creativity.  Think colored pencils or markers and lots of doodling. 

It CAN require more time than other journal types, though, especially if you tend to be very detailed or artistic, so if time is an issue for you, this one may not be your best option.

But if it is, there are TONS of resources available to help you get started, like this one:

Gratitude journals 

Gratitude journals focus less on daily events and more on recording things in your life that you are grateful for, no matter how big or small they happen to be. A daily gratitude journal can help to shift your attitude to a more positive setting and focusing on the good things will make your life feel more full.

Guided journals 

Guided journals are journals that ask you questions or suggest topics to think over and write about each day.  These journals are perfect for beginners who aren’t quite sure how to start or what to write about, as well as those of you who just prefer a little more structure.

(You can also check out Pinterest for journal prompts to help you get started, if you’d prefer to use a blank notebook.)

Wreck journals

Wreck journals are somewhat new to the journaling scene and a lot of fun!  If you’re a recovering perfectionist or have a tendency to get hung up on details, this might be a style to look into.  Instead of trying to keep a beautiful, perfect journal, wreck journals encourage you to get a little messy and even destroy them as you go along!  Tear them up, doodle, bend the pages, and leave “perfect” behind.

 

Once you’ve decided on the style of journal you’d like to try, get some supplies to make it feel like a special event in your day. I use the journal I mentioned above and some colored pens, but the idea is to go with whatever will make you most excited to get started.

Then, schedule it in.  Add journaling to your daily routine.  For me, it works best first thing in the morning, while I’m drinking my coffee and planning my day.  Journaling can take as much or as little time as you’re willing to spend, but even 5-10 minutes a day can be enough – if you have more time, and would like to spend it journaling, feel free!

Also, think for a little bit about why you’ve decided to start journaling and what you hope to get out of it.  Ask yourself:

Why are you keeping a journal?
Will anyone else see your journal or will it be completely private?
What would you like the result of journaling to be?
What would you like to write about?

And then, just write!  Don’t worry about misspellings or editing yourself.  This journal is for you, no one will be grading it with a red pen later, the act of writing itself is the important part. So feel free to write anything that comes to mind – misspellings, bad grammar, and all!

 

Do you keep a journal?  What style works best for you?

Balancing Productivity & Self-care

Balancing Productivity & Self-care

Balancing productivity & self-care

Be more productive!  Make time for self-care!  If you’ve spent any time on social media or reading magazines lately, you’ve probably had both of those phrases drilled into your head.  But…how can you find the time to do both? We’re going to answer that question, as well as setting up some realistic expectations for how balancing productivity & self-care really looks.

 

You’ve probably felt it before.  That neverending push-pull of knowing you need to get things done and also knowing that you need to take care of yourself.  It’s hard to balance…how do you decide when you’ve been productive enough, even if there is still more to do?  How do you decide if you’re taking care of yourself or just avoiding things that need to happen? Which is more important, being productive or taking care of yourself? How do you make those decisions?

This is something that I’ve personally struggled with, oh, my entire life or so.  Being productive has usually won, in the past. Getting stuff done comes first, and taking care of myself is an after-thought…if there is time.  But that mindset is something I’ve been actively working on and I’d like to share some tips I’ve learned along the way.

How to balance productivity & self-care

1. Schedule in time for YOU

If you tend to be a slave to your to-do list, actively scheduling time for fun and self-care is the best way to actually make it happen.  You already schedule in time for the tasks that HAVE to be done, so try also scheduling in time for the things you NEED to do. Time for doing things that are good for YOU, like exercise, eating well, and hobbies that soothe and recharge.  Give self-care time importance in your day, instead of fitting it in only after everything else is finished.

2. Don’t overschedule

I have a tendency to waaay underestimate how long things will take.  So, I’ve pulled back…like, a lot. Instead of trying to get 47 things done every single day, pick out the 3 most important.  Make sure those get done! Then let the rest fall into place.

Fair warning: If you have a habit of overscheduling, It. Will. Feel. Strange.  And a little wrong. Especially at first. But when that happens, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Did the most important things get done?  Can the rest wait? If the answer is yes (and it probably is), remind yourself that everything is fine and you’re just breaking an established habit of being overly busy.

3. Self-care = productivity

Taking time for yourself…it feels like a slow down.  Like you’re not making progress. But by making the time to take care of yourself, mentally, physically, and emotionally, you will actually become MORE productive.  Giving yourself room to breathe and recharge will make the time you spend getting things done so much more effective. You’ll be focused, energized, and ready to tackle what needs to be done, instead of slogging your way through.  Try it!

4. Reframe how you think of productivity

For the longest time, in my mind, being truly productive meant getting more and more (and more) done each day.  If I wasn’t doing something productive, I was just wasting time. But it’s really about quality over quantity.  Just getting things done doesn’t mean that you’re doing them effectively. And being productive does not mean working until you have nothing left to do.  Aim for quality productive time instead of trying to fit more and more in.  Getting fewer things done, but done well, will save you so much time in the long run!

5. Stop giving in to “productivity guilt”

Just because you’re not doing something productive every minute of each day, that doesn’t mean you’re being lazy or avoiding responsibilities. Let go of the guilt. Let go of the “shoulds”. Take the pressure off yourself and remember that just because you have the time and energy to be doing something “productive”, it doesn’t always mean that it’s the best way to spend your time.  Accept that it is absolutely okay to take time out, just for you!

6. It’s okay to just stop, even if everything isn’t done

This is where scheduling comes in. And I STRUGGLE with this. Not getting everything done DOES NOT mean that you failed.  More than likely, it means that you’ve overscheduled. Unless it’s absolutely imperative that something gets done right now, it’s okay to decide that you’re done for the day and just stop. For a little more help with this, check out this post.

7. Identify your peak hours

We all have times of the day that we’re naturally more productive.  And times that we’re consistently less productive. Identify when those peak productive hours are in your day and use them to your advantage!  

For example, my peak productive hours are between 1-5 pm.  I am not a morning person and trying to get quality work done first things feels like trying to run through deep mud. During the afternoon, I feel like I’m firing on all cylinders, so I use that time to get the important tasks done.  

Once you’ve identified when your personal best hours are, use them for the important, tedious, or most energy-consuming tasks!  Save the mindless tasks for your less productive hours…or use that time for some good, solid self-care!

8. Shake up your routine

If each day leaves you feeling out of balance, try revamping your daily routines.  What can you move around? Try out a new routine for a few days or weeks and see if a different schedule works better.  It may take a few tries, but it won’t take long before you find a routine that works for you!

9. Understand that you may have to let a few things go

It’s pretty likely that you’re going to have to give a few things up.  Most of us have gotten into the habit of packing our days so full that we simply have no time left.  

At one point in my life, I wrote down all the things that I would like to get done each day…work, household chores, etc.  I put down a realistic time that each task would take and added them up. The result? 14.5 hours a day! And that didn’t even include time for eating, showering, or relaxing.  No wonder I was feeling rushed, frustrated, and behind schedule all the time! So I picked a few things to let go of. Delegated a few others. And have a much calmer life because of it!

I bet there are a few things on your schedule that you can easily give up.  Some things may be harder. And some are non-negotiable. If you need a little help with this process, check How to Prioritize Your Day in 6 Steps

10. Create distinct “spaces” for productive time and self-care time

Find some ways to signal to yourself that this is productive time and that is self-care time by setting up specific locations or signals for each. 

For example, if you work from home, try to pick one area to work in. When you are in that area, you know that it’s time to be productive.  If you tend to relax in the living room, don’t fold your laundry on the couch.  

Even if you have a small space, you can use signals like changing the lighting or burning candles when it’s time to shift from productive to self-care time. 

By doing this, it will be easier to remind yourself which mode you’re in at the moment.

 

And one final note on balancing productivity and self-care: 

Being balanced doesn’t mean that every single day of your life will feel balanced.  Each day may not (and probably won’t) be balanced evenly between productivity and self-care. Balance happens on a much larger scale.  Some days will be busy. Some days will be easy. So instead of trying to force each day to be the perfect mix of getting things done and taking time to relax, aim for an overall balance in your life.  Know that you’ll have busy days and accept them.  But also even those days out by making time during other days to take care of YOU!

 

How do you balance productivity and self care?

A cozy guide to winter

A cozy guide to winter

A cozy guide to winter

I love winter…There is so much to love about this season of snowy weather and a slower pace.  Whether you’re a winter lover like me, or you’re just waiting for it to be over, this guide will show you how to make the most of this cozy season, without the winter blues getting in your way!  

The holidays are officially over and we’re a few weeks into a brand new year. And that’s just about that time when a new year starts to feel a little less “new”.  Winter is in full swing, with several months to go. How are you feeling about that?  

 

Things to love about winter

Winter really has a lot going for it! The sparkling snowflakes…the cozy blankets…the nights spent staring into the warm fireplace. There is so much to love about this sleepy season! A few of my favorites are:

The sound and lighting on a snowy night

Have you ever noticed how quiet and muted everything is after a good snowfall?  How the lights look warmer at night and the sky has a lovely glow? Enjoy that quiet with a mug of something warm while you watch the snow fall!

Winter seasonal foods

I’m pretty sure I could live on soups and stews, but they just don’t sound as yummy during warm weather.  So take advantage of the cold months! Winter squash and root veggies are everywhere and winter meals can simmer all day, making home smell like the most welcoming place in the world!  Comfort food is calling!

The excitement of a good winter storm

I’m 100% one of those weirdos that LOVES a good winter storm forecast.  Yes, they can be a little scary, especially if it’s more ice than snow…or just a LOT of snow for your area. The excitement of knowing that I may get snowed in for a few days or that the forecast could be completely wrong, and the suspense of waiting to see what happens, is one of my favorite parts about winter.

Sledding, ice skating, skiing

Winter doesn’t have to mean that you’re trapped inside.  Go out and play! Try snowshoeing. Embrace your inner child and hit the local sledding hill.  Spend a day skiing. (That one will probably work out better if you’re a little more coordinated than I am.  I can’t ski…not at all. The one time I’ve tried, I didn’t even make it to the tow rope to get to the beginner’s slopes.  But it still sounds like fun…)  Bundle up and get outside to shake off the cabin fever.

Cozy clothes

Flannels, plaids, and knits.  Hats, sweaters, layers, thick squishy socks.  All the boots!  Do I need to say more? It’s hands down my favorite fashion season!

No bugs!

Love winter or hate it, I think we can all agree that any season without mosquitos is welcome.  Right?

Cozy bedding

What other season is cold enough for flannel sheets, fleece blankets, and piles of pillows?  There isn’t much better than snuggling into a warm bedding nest on a cold night!

It’s “socially acceptable” to just stay in

This is probably at top of the list of reasons I love winter. Fellow introverts, are you with me on this?  Winter is the one season where it feels a little more acceptable to stay in. A season of hibernation, that allows you to live life at a slower pace. 

How to handle the icky parts of winter

I live in Cleveland and I love it here!  But winter here is looong.  The last few months of winter tend to drag a little bit, even for us winter lovers, with Christmas lights gone and a few months of cold weather already behind us.  But since there is still some winter left before spring, here are a few ways to make the most of it and fight off those winter blues:

 

Change your mindset about winter

As with most things in life, winter will only be a lovely as you allow.  Instead of constantly thinking of all the downsides to the season, start looking for the benefits!  For example, you don’t have to run straight home from the grocery store…you can leave ice cream in the car while you do other things and it will be just fine!  And maybe you’ll have to let that car warm up a little bit, but the steering wheel won’t burn your hands! Embrace the positives.

 

Look for things that can only be done in the winter…and do them!

Make a list of all the things you can do during winter that aren’t possible during any other season.  And then do them! Each season has it’s own pleasures…so go find them!

 

Dealing with the dark

Winter haters, I get it.  It’s dark when you wake up.  It’s dark when you leave work.  Even during the day, if it’s cloudy outside, it can be kinda dark.  But there are plenty of ways to combat that darkness! Take advantage of products that will help you wake up, like this sunrise simulating alarm clock:

Embrace the dark evenings by lighting candles and getting cozy.

Try out a light therapy lamp and take a vitamin D supplement if you’re feeling a little sunshine deprived

 

Learn about Hygge

Look into hygge and take some tips from our Danish friends.  They are EXPERTS at thriving during long, dark winters. To learn more, check out this post or these books:


Make a reading list or movie list

Take advantage of the slower pace during the winter months and catch up on all the books you’ve been meaning to read.  Or the movies you’ve been waiting to watch. Make a list, start marking them off, and winter will be over before you even realize it!

 

Start building new habits

The slower pace of life, combined with a brand new year, makes winter a great time to start building new habits into your life.  Check out this post for tips on habit building.

 

Declutter and organize your space

Winter is also the perfect time to start organizing your home before the fast pace of summer arrives.  You’re probably spending a little more time at home than normal, so why not make it a calm, cozy, uncluttered place to be?  Learn more here: 

 

Pick up a new hobby

Are you a wannabe-maker? Or already a maker, but you’d like to learn a new craft?  Winter is the perfect time to settle into a project! Pick up a new hobby or learn some new techniques for an old one.

 

Go out and play

Winter can be the perfect excuse to stay inside, but you don’t HAVE to!  Dress for the weather – good clothes like this coat and these boots make all the difference!  Gear up with hand warmers (and even boot warmersand you can be perfectly cozy, even outside in the cold.  Get out and hike, snowshoe, ski, sled, or even build an igloo

 

Houseplants

Bring a little outside in with some new houseplants to brighten up your home. Try out a plant subscription box like this one. Or, start planting your spring garden inside

 

Love it or hate it, winter is going to be here for a little while.  So run with these tips and make the most of it!

 

What are your favorite ways to make winter just a little cozier?

Why you should have a Do-Nothing Day

Why you should have a Do-Nothing Day

Why you should have a Do-Nothing Day

Sometimes it feels like every minute of every day holds something that needs to be done.  That there’s always something you should be doing.  Have you ever been in bed on a Sunday night, wishing that the weekend had its own weekend?  If this sounds like you, it’s time for a Do-Nothing Day!

What is a Do-Nothing day?  

A Do-Nothing Day is exactly what it sounds like.  Well…almost. I don’t mean a day where you just sit and stare, David Puddy style (Seinfeld fans, anyone?) It’s not a day where you literally do nothing. (Although it CAN be, if that’s what you need.)

It IS a day where you take a break from all the “doing” in your life…It’s giving yourself permission to rest and enjoy, instead of focusing on everything that needs to be done.  Time to spend on the things you don’t normally make time for. A day dedicated to whatever sounds fun at the moment. A day to ignore the to-do list, in favor of a little fun or rejuvenation.

Why on earth is a Do-Nothing Day a good idea?

If you’ve gotten used to always being busy, the idea of taking a day to do nothing might make you cringe.  Maybe you’re a little bit of a productivity junkie and taking time off seems foreign to you. I get it and I’m right there with you.  I still can’t sit down to watch tv without hearing my mom’s voice in my head telling me to do something productive… (She was limiting my screen time, and that’s not a bad thing, but it followed me right into adulthood!)

But taking a day off of “busy” to enjoy life is worth getting past the initial discomfort of the idea, for several reasons:

A Do-Nothing Day will actually make you more productive.  Taking a little time off from doing will re-energize you and when you get back to it, you’ll find that you have so much more motivation!  

A Do-Nothing Day is a great self-care idea.  I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again.  It really is okay to take a break! Use that time to take care of yourself and simply recharge.

And because life is about more than just getting things done.  While “doing” does get things accomplished, how often do you really remember the days that you spent marking things off your list?  Probably not that often. It’s important to take a break from everything now and then and actually live.  Everything on your to-do list will wait, I promise. (By the way, if your to-do list is getting a little out of hand, check out this post: How I Stopped Letting My To-Do List Control My Life

 

How to plan your ideal Do-Nothing Day

It sounds a little silly to plan for a day without plans, I know.  If you’ve been with me for a while, it’s no secret that I’m a planner.  I make a plan for everything.  And a Do-Nothing Day is no exception!  Why in the world do I plan for a day that is, by definition, a day without plans?  For a few reasons:

First, having a planned day to ignore my to-do list takes away any guilt I would usually feel about not spending the day being productive.  I’m not being lazy or avoiding work, I PLANNED to do this.

Also, I like to have things prepared. I’ll make sure there is food in the fridge ahead of time, so I don’t have to worry about figuring out what to eat.  I’ll make sure I do a few normal chores a little ahead of schedule so my day off doesn’t lead to more work later.

And finally, I plan it out because it doesn’t happen often and I want to make the best of it!

The first thing to do is decide what your ideal do-nothing day would look like.  If you woke up one morning with nothing at all that needed to be done, how would you spend your day?  Chances are, this is going to look very different for every single one of you reading this. If you’re an active person, it might involve going for a long hike.  If you’re a social person, it might mean brunch, then a street festival with friends, followed by dinner with your besties. Introvert-types might want to stay at home all day and not talk to one single person!

My perfect do-nothing day usually looks like this:

Start the day by sleeping in…no alarms, no rush to get moving.  Have a simple breakfast and a quick shower, put on some cozy lounge clothes or pajamas.  Curl up on the couch for an ENTIRE movie. (You know, without pausing it every 45 minutes to fold the next load of laundry.)  Then, probably spend a little time with whatever I happen to be crocheting, or maybe just reading a book. If I’m feeling particularly energetic, it might mean a little baking or cleaning out a closet that I’ve been meaning to get to.  And finally, snuggling up on the couch in front of the fireplace with my husband.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that you plan out each minute of your Do-Nothing Day…that would defeat the entire purpose.  But I do suggest at least planning for the following things:

Check the weather 

If you want your day is likely to involve outdoor activities, make sure to schedule it on a day that the weather will co-operate.  Also, if you want nothing more than a whole day to spend reading, rainy or snowy weather is perfect.

Let your family or friends know you have “plans”

This is your day.  You’re off-duty. You’re free to say no to invites and free to accept them if you’d like.  Just remember that you’re allowed to have a day off now and then.

Get your supplies ready

If your Do-Nothing day involves baking, cooking, or eating, make sure you have the supplies on hand.  Nothing ruins the vibe more than having to unexpectedly run to the store for supplies

Now you’re ready!  Take the day you’ve planned and enjoy it to the fullest!

What does your ideal Do-Nothing Day look like?  Drop a comment below and let me know!