Ever since I was old enough to enter the workforce, I never liked working on Sundays. For me, Sunday is the buffer between the end of the previous week and the start of the next and is the delegated day for rest and relaxation. When I was younger, Sundays were always filled with sports like hockey or other events like volleyball fundraisers. Reflecting now, I think this was because my mom is the Energizer Bunny in human form (she’s in her 50s and still plays 60+ games of hockey per year), and as a result, it was normalized when I was a kid to be just as busy on Sunday as every other day of the week (sometimes busier!). However, now as an adult, I always look forward to Sunday as my ‘free’ day of the week. Of course, I still usually end up doing stuff like grocery shopping or walking the dogs, but in my head, Sundays are the day I could do anything – or nothing, and that’s ok. Nowadays, the ‘hustle’ is over-glamorized; rather, finding balance and harmony between your work and personal life is crucial so that you can live your best life. So today, we will look at 3 reasons why I always take Sundays off and why you should too so that you may fire your old self to make way for your new, best self.
As an entrepreneur, my days are often go, go, go, from the moment I wake up until the second I go to bed. Over the days and weeks, this can really begin to take a physical toll on my body, especially if I’m not taking the proper time to work out, stretch, and relax my body throughout the week (which we know I sometimes struggle with). To understand further why physical rest is so important, let’s take a closer look at the different kinds. There are two types of physical rest: active and passive. Passive physical rest would be something like sleeping, where your muscles and brain are given a chance to recover from the daily strain of physical activity. Furthermore, sleeping allows your brain to release toxins, strengthen neural pathways, and take a dopamine break, so getting at least between seven and eight hours of sleep per night is recommended to keep your body and brain functioning properly. When I first became a freelance writer, I found that my body began demanding extra passive physical rest as it was adjusting to the new expectations and lifestyle. Still, today, if I don’t get enough sleep before trying to work, it just doesn’t go well at all, and I can’t do my job properly. Ultimately, getting enough passive physical rest is crucial so that your brain can function optimally, and you can begin to mold your best life.
On the other hand, active physical rest would be considered things like massages, stretching, or yoga. Essentially, active physical rest is any activity that improves circulation and gives you an endorphin boost without leaving you feeling fatigued or tired (like a typical workout, activity, or sport does). Improved circulation means more oxygen is being sent to your limbs and organs, which is how active physical rest works to help you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Personally, I love going for a good massage or stretching after a workout, but I am not much of a yogi – it all just depends on what works for you! Obviously, it would be best to incorporate active and passive rest into your routines throughout the week. Still, for me, it’s nice to have Sunday as a delegated day to ensure my body and mind have had enough physical rest, and I am ready for the week. So, if that means taking some time on my Sunday to have a nap, or to stretch, or to run a bath, then that’s what I do! It can be challenging to listen to our own bodies, but once we do, we can begin to incorporate essential things like physical rest into our routines so that we can ultimately become our best selves and live our best lives.
Sometimes after a long week, it’s all I can do to send that final email and shut my computer down for the night. With so many clients, proposals, and work flying around, it can be hard for me to turn my brain off and try to mentally relax after a long week. However, being able to take a step back from your responsibilities for a day allows you to re-focus and re-align yourself with your intentions and goals without over-stretching yourself. One of my favorite things to do with a little spare time that helps with my mental relaxation is watching a comedy on Netflix. Right now, I’m watching Superstore, and it’s so stupid and relatable that I find myself just laughing out loud at the TV to myself (well, I’m laughing with the characters, right?). I also used to work retail, so there’s an added layer of personal comedy on my end because I’ve had to deal with many of the things featured on the show. Finding little pieces of joy throughout my day like this allows me to not focus on my work for like 0.00021 seconds and for mental relaxation to actually set in. Personally, I NEED my Sundays off to mentally relax otherwise I know I won’t be starting my week off in the right mindset, and having a proper mindset is crucial so that you may reach your goals and live your best life.
Furthermore, if you find after taking a delegated day off, whether that day is Sunday or not, that you are still mentally exhausted, try taking more breaks throughout the times that you are actually working. So instead of grabbing your phone and scrolling on social media next time you need a short break, consider finding some sunshine, going for a quick walk, or journaling with a warm drink in hand. Breaking up your work in this way can help you increase productivity and get more work done because your brain is rested, re-energized, and ready to re-focus on the task at hand. I talk more about how to increase your productivity and knowing when you need to take a break in a previous article entitled “5 Ways to Become More Productive.” Ultimately, being able to create boundaries between your work and personal life is crucial to allow yourself time to mentally relax so that you may begin molding yourself into the best version of yourself.
Regardless of how mentally draining it can be to handle all of my customer relations, send invoices, and respond to every email (without even mentioning the writing process), the amount of creativity that my job sucks out of me is insane. (I know I literally chose the vocation of a writer, but even technical pieces require my creativity as a writer to be effective). And I choose the word ‘suck’ deliberately here because sometimes it can feel like getting the last little bit of my creative juices flowing at the end of a long day is like trying to get the last little bit of your smoothie or milkshake through a straw; challenging and futile. That is why it’s imperative that I take some time to creatively recharge at the end of a long week. For me, my creativity feels like a well. If you use too much at once, then it can potentially run dry; otherwise, the well replenishes itself consistently over time to ensure you are never without creative juices. Therefore I need my Sundays to replenish my creative stores and why I refuse to even reply to most clients on my day off. Taking one specific day off a week allows you to creatively recoup and re-align yourself with your goals so that you can live your best life.
On another note regarding creative recharging, it’s important to monitor how you are feeling throughout the week. For me, I have a creative ‘limit’ where if I work for too long and use up too much brainpower, I literally ‘hit a wall’ and cannot continue working. This typically happens after about 5-7 hours of work, which is a lot considering I don’t count coffee breaks, chat time, or getting settled into my workspace, but rather I count the actual time I’m sitting engaged in creative work. Honestly, if you don’t do a job where there is a creative element, you might not understand why creative exhaustion is “a thing” and why we need to recharge afterward. Let me put it this way through a few examples. Recently, after a long day at work, I was talking with my boyfriend about something, somewhat struggling to find the words to describe what I wanted to say, and he said to me: “Don’t you work with words all day and write for a living? Why can’t you clearly communicate your ideas to me right now?” And I just replied with, “Because I used up all my creativity and fancy words during my workday, and I have nothing left.” This is literally how I feel at the end of a long day or week. I want to say to myself: “What a fabulous day! Through my expertise and knowledge, I was able to complete all my tasks, and now it’s time for a rest!” But instead, it comes out more like: “I did good, rest now” (LOL). As someone who utilizes creativity in their everyday life for work, taking some time for a creative recharge is essential so that I can do my best work and begin to mold myself into the best version of myself.
In today’s fast-paced world, many of us (myself included) are trying to be like the Energizer Bunny, never stopping, always on the move, and looking for the next task to undertake. However, we aren’t powered by batteries like the fake rabbit from the commercials. In fact, if we ignore things like physical rest, mental relaxation, and creative recharging, then our bodies and minds may begin to deteriorate until we are forced to pay attention to them. I’m sure we can all think of an example of someone (maybe yourself) pushing themselves too hard to the brink of exhaustion and having to take some time to recuperate. For me, this is why I always need to have Sundays as my own personal day of rest. As mentioned, as a child, I was always extremely busy basically every second of every single day and then rinse and repeat for each week. This has led me to be prone to burnout as a young adult, but I find that being mindful of my physical, mental, and creative state is crucial. By ensuring I get enough passive and active physical rest, schedule enough time for mental relaxation, and allow my creative stores to replenish, I can safeguard my well-being and work towards becoming my new, best self. Ultimately, taking a day off for yourself during the week, whether it’s Sunday or not, is crucial so that you may learn to Fire your Old Self to create your New Self while remembering Life’s Short, Love the Life You Live!