For those of you who watch Parks and Rec, the title speaks for itself. For those of you who don’t, I have two things to say. 1) The title is a reference to the show, not an example of my grammar, and 2) you should really watch the show, it’s hilarious.
In all seriousness, the other day I had the rare gift of a day off in the middle of the week. Words can not even express how much this day to myself recharged my soul. I spent the day doing only things for myself and ignoring every other obligation I had, which is the main premise of a ‘Treat Yo-self day’. I did not ignore these obligations in defiance, but more because I knew that if I didn’t take a day to be selfish, the other things would never be accomplished efficiently and properly.
How rare it is to take a day- a whole day- to ourselves. Think about it. A day “off” or a weekend usually involves playing catch-up, running errands, and spending time with our [insert important person/s in your life]. Almost never do we get a whole day to bond with ourselves.
On this magical day to myself, I fit in a quick workout in the morning, had a nice big slice of banana bread for breakfast, got my hair cut for the first time in way too long, and spent the day shopping and having lunch and coffee by myself. All alone. And it was pure bliss.
Some people might feel lonely spending the whole day in a crowded mall alone, but for me, it was therapeutic. It allowed me to engage in an activity I love (shopping) without having to worry about another person’s needs, schedule, or preferences. I didn’t have to spend an hour convincing my friend that blue was her color and the dress she tried on was in fact slimming. I didn’t have to help my boyfriend hunt for the right size shirts for work, picking through the heaping pile of men’s dress shirts until we found a sized 16 neck. I was able go into each and every store I wanted to for as long as I wanted to, and I was able to sit and enjoy my fattening and difficult to eat falafel sandwich without worrying about the tzatziki sauce all over my face.
Moreover, my thoughts were completely my own. I was able to use those thoughts in an empty yet enjoyable way, such as people watching. I also used them to contemplate things on my mind recently. Things I have been meaning to mull over, except life is always just a little to busy to do so at the moment. The realization that we rarely have time to just ‘be’ with our thoughts is sad, but etching out a whole day to be with these thoughts, while doing something enjoyable, is so peaceful.
It all felt so good. More than good- necessary.
I wouldn’t be fully honest if I didn’t mention that the retail therapy of buying myself some special things didn’t help. But is it really a coincidence that on this day all about me I just happen to stumble upon the perfectly fitting pair of black skinny jeans or the precise cross body bag that I have been searching for? Hardly. Those items were placed there by fate to make me even happier on an already blissful day. Plus, splurging on fine things is another understood element of ‘Treat Yo-self day’.
Although the inspiring concept for Treat Yo-self Day emerged from a hilarious TV show, the premise is universally solid. Every now and then, we deserve a relaxing day to ourselves, by ourselves. The logistics of this happening may be difficult. They may involve babysitters, “sick days” at work, skipped classes, or canceled plans. Even so, the difficulty of getting that whole day alone speaks volumes as to how needed it is.
I encourage all of you to get out your iCal, planner, calendar, or post-it note, and schedule a Treat Yo-self day as soon as possible. You deserve it.