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the importance of giving yourself space to breathe & 25 ways to take a quiet day...


Hey everyone how are you? Remember how I said I'd been crazy busy at work the past couple of months? Well I can't complain too much about that, because I am lucky enough to have a job where any overtime I do, I get to take back (flexi time I love you!) which means my average working week at the moment is 4 days. I know. Don't hate me.

I love having an extra day tagged on to my weekend, or midweek, when everything feels a little quieter. My weekends tend to be pretty busy, and sometimes I go back to work more tired on Monday morning than when I left, so instead of filling these extra days with more plans I like to take them a little slower.

Some people hate having time alone, but I relish it. A day where I don't have to please any body else, or fit into another persons schedule is bliss for me. I used to feel a little guilty about spending time alone, or feel the need to justify how I'd spent my days off to others, but now I've realised these hours to myself, are how I indulge in a little self care. Of course, I love seeing my friends and my boyfriend, and visiting big cities or exciting events, and when you've been crazy buy at work, it can feel like you need to cram as much as possible into a rare day off. But as much as I love doing all of that, and those things have their own restorative effect on me, I also need to give my mind a little space, to breathe and switch off. This is definitely something I've become a lot more comfortable with as I've grown up, and the more I read into mindfulness the more it resonates with me. At work I am all go, and I quite often bring work home with me, stress over things that haven't happened yet and probably won't, and like to fill my spare time with new projects. I have trouble powering down. I'm gradually getting used to meditating, but I must admit, it is by no way a daily routine. Right now, I don't slow down everyday, but I at least make sure to put some time aside each week to just breathe.

There is a quote I have on a post it note on my kitchen wall that isn't really from anyone but should apply to everyone:

There gets a point in every day where you just have to say to yourself
'ok that's enough'

Me taking a quiet day, is my way of saying that I've done enough. That I AM enough. I don't always need to be doing more or getting better.

So I put together a list of things I fill these quiet days with for anyone who finds themselves at a loose end when faced with an empty day or like me needs to learn how to stop checking their work emails and take off that unwarranted pressure to be going somewhere and doing something. What would you add to the list? Are you like me, and crave some alone time, or would you fill every minute with company and excitement?

Live life & take a day off x

  1. Lie in

  2. Have a late and leisurely breakfast

  3. With a pot of fresh coffee or tea

  4. Get your house work done in your pjs

  5. Paint your nails, and enjoy having enough time to let them dry without smudging!

  6. Read that ever growing pile of magazines - Can I justify a subscription to Flow magazine?

  7. Write and read blog post after blog post after blog post...

  8. Sew

  9. Go swimming

  10. Or running

  11. Get outside

  12. Or stay in and get hooked on a new TV show - Why do I love Grimm so much?

  13. Tidy up all your life administration

  14. lock yourself in your flat and neglect real clothes

  15. Listen to your favourite podcast mine is Being Boss

  16. Make notes about everything and nothing

  17. Take a bath

  18. And let your hair dry naturally

  19. Cook, bake, eat, repeat. Gluten free, vegan chocolate cake anyone?

  20. Call that friend you've been meaning to

  21. Finish your to-do list or ignore it all together

  22. Turn off your email notifications

  23. Sit in your favourite cafe all afternoon

  24. Or adventure somewhere new

  25. But most importantly please yourself.

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  1. This sounds like perfection!! Such bliss :D I love days like that, I'm tempted to take a day out of my holiday at work just to do exactly that! Even when I'm working I somnething get to the point where I'm like "ok, that's enough" and give myself 5 minutes off to do my own thing - like right now for instance! ;) Alice xx


  2. Exactly, if I am honest, this week I've not been very productive at work (I blame you sunny weather) HOWEVER, today I've got more done this morning than the rest of the week put together, so I figure 5 minutes to myself is a well deserved treat! xx

  3. Great list! I love a day where I can only be with myself sometimes. Although I still feel like I have to justify how I spend my days off to some people, isn't that silly? :)

  4. I rarely get days to myself but when I do I absolute relish them.Catching up on blog posts, finding new TV shows and taking time to paint my nails and actually leaving them to dry instead of being a a smudgy mess are also some of my favourite things to do.


  5. Thank you for sharing the great tips. I agree that turning off your email notifications and staying away from the phones are useful ways to enjoy a quiet day.

  6. Oh definitely, I am TERRIBLE for checking my work emails on day's off and evenings. My manager actually tells me off for it! It's about finding that line, because I don't want to be so out of touch I then feel stressed about being out of touch, but that stressiness only comes from being addicted to stress in the first place! xx

  7. It really is the simplest thing isn't but whenever have a day off, one of the first things I think about is doing my nails! Mind you, not smudging them, and not chipping them are two very different things! xx

  8. I love this! I am so guilty of always trying to be busy, sometimes you need to be selfish and spend sometime with yourself! :)

  9. Lovely list! I love having slow days once in a while. If it's more than a day I start climbing the walls, but after a long week of work and activities, it's so nice to just have a day where you can do whatever you want (or nothing at all).

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

  10. Oh I'm definitely the same way! And I have to be in the mood for a slow day, some days I plan them and by 10am I'm thoroughly fed up of my own company - and I won't have got out of bed until 9.30! xx

  11. I totally get where you are coming from! A colleague of mine, never takes back his overtime unless he has somewhere or something specific to go and do. Where as I'm like, 'it's Thursday, that's a good enough reason to take a day off' xx

  12. Exactly, if you don't look after yourself, how can you ever look after somebody else? xx


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