Down Time

“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

~Lucille Ball

At regular intervals I like to schedule a “Being Day”. These are days specifically set aside to focus on being instead of doing. My worth is not contingent on my performance, what I contribute to society, how much I get done or what I do for other people. I have innate value that cannot be diminished.

I give myself the gift of a “Being Day” to remember that I am of worth, just because I am – just because I exist.

Maybe you’ll want to start out by treating yourself to a “Being Day” for your birthday this year. This could look like a full-blown creative excursion trip or a day alone at home. Your “Being Days” may look drastically different than mine. You may choose to stay in your pajamas and lounge around your home and farm the kids out to friends and neighbors in order to have the house to yourself. You may stay at a friend’s house or your parent’s home, or you might decide to go camping. You could start scheduling regular “Being Days” during spring, fall or Christmas breaks, or plan your private escape during the summer. It doesn’t really matter when you do this self-nurturing time, it just matters that you do it. Where you go and how you spend your time are secondary.

Decide on a day and write it on your calendar. Get the day off work. Book a hotel room, or if you’re going to stay home, arrange sleepovers for everyone else in your house so you can be alone.

Every year for my birthday I give myself the gift of some alone time! For many years now, I’ve booked a suite in a nearby hotel. I bring two dozen roses, some yummy treats, some new pajamas and I wrap up a special gift for myself. I swim in the pool, sit in the hot tub, take my time getting ready and then take myself to a fancy restaurant and a movie. I spend the day reading everything I’ve written in my journal over the past year. I may attend a yoga class, or go on a long walk, or both. I focus on only doing things that bring me joy. Many times, I’ve decided to stay two or three nights so I can really relax. It’s wonderful to have the time to meditate or take a nap if I feel like it. There have been a couple of times when I’ve even gone out of town. I try to go the weekend before my birthday so I can be home to celebrate the actual day with my children. I take time to focus on who I am and all that I’ve accomplished. I take time to just be me.

I invite you to set aside a day or two to honor and value how far you’ve come and all the lessons you’ve learned. Give yourself permission to spend some time with the person, who should be the most important person on the planet to you – YOU!

Recognize that you can count on you. You never give up – you keep showing up, day after day. Enjoy a day alone. Embrace a day of BEING.