I’m outside, enjoying the warm 92˚ air and a sunny sky, though it is nearing eight o’clock in the evening. Why should I be inside when I could be outside doing fun things?! It’s this thought that makes the summer season special and exhausting; it’s why summertime quickly becomes the most extroverted season of the year. Around the middle of July, I found myself gazing longingly at my soft sweatpants thinking, “I remember you, sitting on the couch with me.” And then I think about my couch and the books and movies and shows I enjoyed there during the cold, dark days of winter. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be outdoors! But I also love the confines of a good day at home, resting. My grandmother has always been a strong advocate for taking one day per week to unwind at home, classified as: “just one day not going anywhere or doing anything.” I lovingly refer to these special times as Stay Home Day.
There is much to be said for why we should enjoy a relaxing day at home. Feeling rested and rejuvenated helps us continue working hard and showing up for the life we’ve chosen to live. But the question is how do we find the time to relax at home? Further, how can we successfully unwind and recharge during this time? Below are the four best things I do to create a restful Stay Home Day.
1. We all do so much all of the time that we must schedule time to unwind from it all. The very first step is to plan a day to stay home and relax there – and only there! Remember, this is your day to calm down, breathe, and rest. Pick a day that won’t be sabotaged by other fun plans (I’m thinking of you, summertime pool party!). You should also set yourself up for success by having your food stocked and the day’s meals planned, or have your favorite takeout menu handy. The goal is to not go anywhere at all, not even to the grocery store.
2. Go outside and sit. Whether your outdoor space is an apartment balcony or a vast field, go out there and breathe. You can read, listen to music, play with your child, call your best friend, or simply watch the grass grow.
3. When you’re tired of being outside, go inside to rest by taking a nap or watching TV. Of course, suggestions from #2 can also be done inside :).
4. Most importantly: do not do chores. This is a dedicated day to relax, not a dedicated day to catch up on household chores! Even if you did numbers one through three perfectly, you would no longer feel relaxed if you picked up the vacuum. Allow yourself this opportunity to chill out over the pet hair piling up in the corner. I promise it will still be there tomorrow, and you’ll be all the more rested and energized to clean it up then! But on that note, if you know that something will nag you until it’s done, plan to complete the task the day before your dedicated Stay Home Day. This way, your proactive mind will allow you to relax instead of running through the 1,000 things you should be doing instead of resting.
In all, relaxing and unwinding at home might look a lot like embracing simplicity and boredom, and it all boils down to this: do not put any effort toward achieving anything at all. With nothing to do, we can find everything to enjoy.