Well, my 11-year-old stepdaughter’s magic worked. It’s a snow day!
She completed the snow day ritual – flushing the mandatory ice cube down the toilet, putting her pajamas on inside out and putting a spoon under her pillow. She and all of her friends are so delighted! I remember that eagerly awaited anticipation of getting a snow day, the chance to “break the rules” and not go to school. Remember how much fun we had? Getting up late, eating pancakes, playing in the snow, and breaking from our normal routine. Remember how recharged we felt?
How do we lose that wonder as we grow up? Or maybe you haven’t? If not, good for you!
Let’s look at why a snow day was so much fun and such a good opportunity to change the pace of life. As mature adults, we have often established time-tight schedules and routines to fit everything we need to do into a day. While our first reaction to a snow day could be, “Oh no, there goes the schedule,” that is exactly what we need to think. “Yes! There goes the schedule!”
When our schedules are tightly constructed, any little change can throw us off course for the day. So let’s reframe a snow day from one of unexpected changes in things we cannot control to one of making the most of an unexpected situation. Let’s embrace the opportunity. Why not fully enjoy the opportunity for renewed energy, laughter, fun, frolic and joy.
First and foremost, a snow day is a break from the normal. We all need a break from the normal routine. If you are a small business owner, entrepreneur or a high level professional in corporate America, you probably don’t get a break. Many of us work 7 days a week to keep up with the increasing demands of corporate roles. If you are a small business owner, there really are no days off while you are building your business. So, call a snow day! You don’t necessarily need to wait for snow, particularly if you are in a region of the country that doesn’t get it! Call it what you wish – just take one!
I expect those I work with to take an occasional “mental” health (snow) day. I not only suggest it, but often help them to feel “ok” with taking time for themselves. As a coach, one of my responsibilities is to offer you another point of view. If you are like me, you’ll probably feel a little less guilty if something outside of your control initiates that snow day… like someone suggesting it is for your own good.
So now that you have decided you are going to take a “proverbial” snow day, fully embrace it. Drop the feeling of guilt, the “shoulda’s” and “coulda’s” and embrace the day. This is the time to catch up on your “me” time, choosing to do, or not do, what fulfills you the most. For some, it could be a highly active day, running off to have breakfast out, catching a movie or taking on that “new” thing you have always wanted to try. (Bungee jumping? Nah, not me!) For others, it will be a day of calm, quiet and relaxation at home. Maybe a spot of tea, a good book and a nice long nap.
Whatever you choose, make it something that helps you feel recharged. Enjoy the opportunity to break the routine, slow the pace and to embrace yourself out of the context of “running through your day.” Break from the norm and put yourself into a new place – a mental place, that is – so you can fully receive the gift of having chosen to recharge and renew yourself.
So don’t wait for me, someone else, illness or snow to get you to take a break from your normal routine. Make the choice to take a snow day.