Holiday Vacation And Self Care

I always hoard some Paid Time Off for the holidays. This has become an important part of my annual ritual and some sense of a self care routine.

Some years I spend a few days traveling while others keep me closer to home. This year, is not a travel year. My routine so far has been sleep in, shower and dress in clean pajamas before tackling the day. Even on Christmas Day I broke out some festive pajamas for our quiet celebration.

I did leave home yesterday to do some post holiday bargain shopping and put on my most pajama-like street clothes – a warm sweater and leggings.

Today will be cold again and I have zero interest in leaving. So I’ll dash to the bird feeders and then enjoy the view from my window (that’s the view pictured above) while I live my very best life in pjs again.

I do have plans this week- a chiropractor visit, lunch with a friend and a family dinner. I’m toying with the idea of heading to my favorite antique mall in Dayton or maybe to see a movie. I’m dying to see The Fablemans so maybe I’ll do that and hit another vendor mall closer to home.

Who knows? The point is that for once in my adult life, this vacation isn’t about exploration as much as it’s about rest and about feathering my nest.

My body has taken a lot of abuse this last year, seemingly from the inside out as my thyroid symptoms have persisted even as my blood work is improving. This is another conversation for a different day. Rest assured, I have big plans.

As much as I hate to, it’s time to start collecting all the little holiday touches around the house and freshen things up a bit. Scout is fascinated with artificial pine and I worry about the health and safety risks of having it out so it’s time to go. Not to mention, I enjoy redecorating using things I already own. It’s a fun challenge to make a room look new simply by rearranging the same stuff.

For today, it will be lots of water, de-Christmasing the house and tackling a closet and room that have been weighing heavily on my mind. I have this thing where I clean my house before vacation because I wouldn’t want to die while I’m away and leave my family with a dirty house. This dumb room needs attention for the very same reason.

Yes, I know I sound crazy. That’s part of my charm.

That’s the thing about self care. It isn’t always bubble baths and gratitude journaling. Sometimes it’s cleaning out that sock drawer that no longer closes or taking time to do meal prep to ease weeknight dinners.

For me, this week’s self care will include water and rest and maybe a few fun things. It’s also going to be getting the house in order. It won’t take that long if I just settle down and do it.

And I’m darn grateful that my collection of pajamas is so extensive that I have plenty to choose from this week!

Sunday

Franklin Park Conservatory.

Sunday is a day to recharge, to reset intentions, to ready for the week and to rest. There will be chores today, small things that I’ll do to prepare for the week ahead. That amounts to laundry, a little food prep and some tidying around the house.

However, my most important project will be resting my body and recharging my mind for another busy week ahead. I hope to read, to do some writing and to maybe hit the sack a little early.

This is part of my weekly routine which I value and guard because it’s essential to my well being for the next six days. It’s not quite a day of rest but it is a day of doing what’s good for me.

We all need that sometimes. We must seize the opportunity to protect our most valuable assets – our body, mind and soul. Have a peaceful Sunday and be kind to yourself.

Self Care Sunday

I protect my free time on Sundays the same way a mama bear protects her cubs. If I agree to do something on a Sunday, it must be really important or I must really like the person who invited me.

The phrase “self care” sounds self indulgent but I’m not lazing around in a bubble bath all day. Instead, this day is reserved for certain household chores, laundry and preparing for the week as well as for more traditional self care efforts.

I respond well to structure and planning. I also respond well to rest and relaxation and to the sense of accomplishment that comes with a well spent Sunday.

This is what I seek on an average Sunday:

Wake up naturally. The is the only day out of seven that I am not ripped from my sleep by an alarm and then forced to leave the house. This simple act feels decadent.

Eat well. Breakfast is normally a really good smoothie with peanut butter on toast. This is my normal daily breakfast but on Sunday there’s time to actually enjoy it. I aim for healthful foods on this day because there are no excuses when there’s time to cook.

Be enlightened. I typically watch CBS Sunday Morning, a magazine show that covers lifestyle, history, current affairs, entertainers and almost anything else the folks at CBS can dream up. Sometimes I kick up my feet and watch but some weeks just listen while doing chores. Much of what they cover doesn’t sound at all interesting in advance but I nearly always enjoy the stories and learn something.

Do laundry. Starting the week with an empty hamper ensures that whatever I want to wear is clean and there are plenty of clean towels. I typically put together some outfits to choose from including scarves and other accessories to save time on work mornings. Also, the bed sheets are always changed on Sunday because there is nothing more decadent than clean sheets.

Meal prep. Grocery shopping usually happens on Saturday or maybe Friday after work. On Sunday, I cook a few things to make weekday meals easier. This is the ideal day to experiment with new recipes or to make things that require more time. Soups that need time to simmer or beans that take hours to cook are good candidates. Homemade granola always happens on Sunday too.

Sweat. At some point, I like to break a sweat. This typically happens on the treadmill or maybe with an exercise dvd. This is followed by a hot shower and clean pjs. That’s right, I wear pajamas all day. Judge me all you like but it makes me happy.

Work the brain. This means that I kick up my feet and curl up with Scout to read, journal, do crosswords or catch up on other things that give my brain opportunity to stretch.

Embrace the quiet. Soft music, smart stuff on tv and plain old silence are important to this introvert. It allows me opportunity to calm my mind and mentally prepare for the week ahead.

Whatever I please. Real work always comes first so that the last half of the day can be devoted to whatever I feel like doing. Sometimes this means decluttering a drawer because this makes me happy. Sometimes I process pictures, write a blog post or watch a movie. If I’ve been too busy to keep up with housekeeping it often makes me happy to do some chores. It really just depends on what I’m in the mood to do.

Rest. Going to bed early on Sunday sets a good tone for the rest of the week. I love to take a book to bed early and then wake up feeling good on Monday.

In short, everything I do on Sunday is aimed toward improving quality of life during the work week and making myself healthy and well.

It’s not a bad way to live.

Do I feel like I’m missing out on something by basically hibernating one day a week? Not on your life. I feel stronger and happier for it.

The weeks when I skip my routine are harder weeks. The simple acts of staying fed and clothed take longer and eat up valuable time that could be used for fun, rest, exercise or basically anything else.

It’s not that I can’t function without my Sunday routine, it simply makes life more pleasant and easier.

Clearly, this wouldn’t work so well for someone with kids or a significant other. This is one benefit of being on my own and I am milking it for all it’s worth.