life Work

Feeling Better

February 8, 2024

An Intentionally Light Day

I am giving myself the gift of an intentionally light day today.

When I worked full time (and to some extent, during my 80% days), I occasionally took a day off when the kids had school and did whatever with it. These days were not frequent, but I looked forward to them with fervor and can remember them well. I did not really assign myself anything to do other than to relax; after all, my work was at work and my days off were off.

Now that I am fully committed to hybrid work, I do clinical things Mon/Wed/Fri and my own thing Tues/Thurs. I did put a lot of pressure on myself last year to maximize this nonclinical time. I am thrilled that I was able to create so much, reach a good number of people, and (I think and hope!) make a positive difference in people’s lives. I said “yes” to almost everything and kept iterating to find out what worked best, which took time because everything had its own learning curve.

I am not telling some sob story about how I overextended myself, because it was all very intentional AND I definitely had some lovely breaks in there, including a 2 (2!!!) week family vacation. At the same time, I do not think the pace I was setting was entirely sustainable.

I enjoy writing, recording podcasts, conducting interviews, teaching courses, all of it!! But sometimes we all just . . . need a break, or at least a slower cadence. I need space to do bigger picture thinking, back-end drafting, and to just rest. I kept assuming lighter days were coming but then they never did.

I saw that today was entirely EMPTY until 3 pm (in terms of hard landscape obligations) in my planner and vowed to keep it that way. So here we are. I actually decided that I would benefit most from time blocking out a day that included built-in downtime. That way, I could work on a few select things AND achieve my aim (paradoxical or not?) of getting in some relaxing downtime.

This post is part of a ‘relatively fun light work’ window from 10 – 11:30; after I hit publish I will work until 11:30 addressing the rest of my family’s holiday cards because YES, I still have some to send out.

(Note: I already sent cards to anyone who sent US a card, so the rest kind of feel like a bonus and I don’t feel bad that they are late. Also, I received a couple of texts from people who were chuffed to receive a holiday card in early February. So no regrets there!).

The 2023 memories are still fresh enough.

PS: the PMS clouds have officially parted, so yay.


  • Reply Lisa's Yarns February 8, 2024 at 12:40 pm

    Good for you for carving out some time for yourself. This is something I’m working on in 2024. I didn’t take many days off in 2023 and when I did take days off, it was for a sick child or a family trip. And while I enjoy your family trips, they are not a “break” and can be more taxing than working (because toddlers…). So I’m taking Feb 29th off this year for a “shouldless day” and then I took the following day off since it’s my son’s 6th bday and he doesn’t have school so we’ll have a mommy day together and I’ll come in recharged from having the day before off!!

  • Reply Alyce February 8, 2024 at 3:43 pm

    I am taking today and tomorrow off of work. I’ve been feeling frayed around the edges (after a very productive January) and just needed a break. I did some decluttering (a major 2024 goal given that we have to move out later this year for our renovation) and I went to an in person stretch class. A whole hour just spent stretching! It was deeply decadent. Next up, a bath and a home pedicure. Tomorrow will be more decluttering work, but I really needed a low key and easy day first.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 8, 2024 at 5:43 pm

      So glad you will get some recovery time!!

  • Reply jennystancampiano February 10, 2024 at 8:21 am

    Yay! It sounds like a lovely day- we all need those days. I don’t work on Wednesdays, so SOMETIMES I’ll have a day like the one you’re describing (sometimes they’re taken up with annoying appointments and errands, too.) About the “holiday” cards- they are totally appropriate for February! It’s not like they say “Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah” (that would be weird.) Maybe this is a lesson for all of us- make your holiday cards non-holiday-ish so you can send them out whenever you want.

  • Reply Elissa February 13, 2024 at 1:38 pm

    Wrestled with this so much in the past year. I am glad you chose to intentionally rest.

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