Personal Days: Take Them & Enjoy Them

In case you aren’t familiar, a personal day is a type of leave different from vacation or sick time that many companies give as a benefit to their employees.  Many of my colleagues take a personal day on their birthday so that they don’t forget to use the day, and so that they can have their birthday off.  Some of my favorite days off have been personal days.  I typically use them when my home chores are building up most likely because I have been too busy or traveling for work, and I just need a “catch-up” day at home. 

     A couple of weeks ago, I took a personal day, as I was anticipating a work trip and feeling a little overwhelmed.  I’m a lark, so I got up at my usual time and jumped into one of my projects for the day—clothing sorting and changing out spring and summer clothes for fall and winter.  I put the current season’s clothes in order and also had a large pile of clothes and shoes to donate.  That project took a couple of hours, and I finished by putting two big garbage bags of clothes in my trunk, so they would be ready to drop of for donation. 

     Then, I took a long, luxurious break.  Made myself a delicious lunch. I binged on Netflix.  Updated my bullet journal, sorted papers and paid bills. 

    And, long about mid-afternoon, a wonderful thing happened!  I got my second wind and cleaned my entire house.  House cleaning was made especially fun because a good friend was also cleaning her house, and we Voxed as we cleaned.  At the end of the day, I took a luxurious Lush bath in my clean tub and relaxed.  It was amazing.  On other personal days in my history, I have tried new recipes and food prepped, decorated the house for the new season, walked outside and enjoyed the fall weather, and run errands I have trouble fitting in on the weekends.  Maybe it’s the autumnal version of spring cleaning, but a special day at home to see to some personal projects and have time to relax, really lights me up and energizes me this time of year.

     How do you use your personal day(s)?  If you get them, I strongly encourage you to take them.  You may think that you can’t really get that much done in a day, but you would be surprised at not only what you can accomplish, but at how rejuvenating a 24-hour break can be. 

How to Have an Excellent Personal Day at Home:

  1. Pick one project you want to accomplish.  Don’t try to pick too many things.  (Cleaning my house was a bonus—I would have been very content if I had just gone through clothes and shoes.)
  2. Pick one fun thing you want to fit into the day.  Write it down
  3. Have some back-up ideas in mind—projects in case you are feeling extra motivated, and fun things in case time allows.
  4. Leave room in the day for spontaneity.
  5. I strongly encourage you to get up at the same time as you normally would to maximize your time.
  6. Connect!  If you are home alone all day, you might get lonely and wants some interaction.  Try to save an errand so you will have a reason to get out—or treat yourself to lunch out.  If you don’t want to get out, try listening to an Audible book or podcasts to have some “company” while you work.
  7. Celebrate your accomplishments at the end of the day.  Do your full evening routine—bath, hot tea, gratitude journal, a chapter of the book you never have time to read, massage your feet with a good, rich moisturizing lotion.  Light a scented candle and enjoy having a serene space before bedtime.

I would love to hear about how you use your personal days away from work.  Please share any of your tips or ideas in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Personal Days: Take Them & Enjoy Them”

  1. I like the personal day idea. If not once a week, perhaps once a month. Just some me time everyday. I like to nap or read.

    1. That would be amazing, Rebecca! I think we hesitate to take breaks because we feel the need to be “productive,” but I think when we take care of ourselves, we get more done in the long run. I am with you on the napping and reading ideas!

  2. What great ideas! I’ve often lamented that I can’t take a day like this unless I’m sick. I’m a stay-at-home wife, so in a sense I don’t need time off from work. Yet we all need a break from routine, whether to get other things done or just relax. I’ve sometimes thought I should take a personal day, and now you’ve inspired me to actually do it! My favorite days are a balance of getting things done plus doing fun things or resting, like you described.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Barbara! I would love to hear what you end up doing on your personal day. Yes–whether we work in the home or outside of it, we all need a break from our regular routine.

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