Reclaim Your Life - Extraordinary Self-Care DayWhen was the last time you took a day just for yourself? If you're a small business owner or anyone else for that matter, you answer is probably never. I first learned the principal; of Extraordinary Self-care Day at a workshop given by my friend Terri Levine the author of Work Yourself Happy. Essentially an Extraordinary Self-care Day is taking one 24-hour period where you take care of yourself. You do no work at all. I know, I can hear your protest. I protested too when I first heard this idea "But you don't understand, I have to check my voicemail, I have to return phone calls, I have to answer my emails and on and on." I protested in my very best entrepreneurial voice. The truth is any of us can take a day for ourselves without consequence. Believe it or not, the world will keep spinning. Calls will wait as will email.
This is a day just for you. If you normally do the cooking on your Extraordinary Self-Care Day, you will refrain from making meals. Trust me your family will not starve. Obviously if there are small children or infants that depend on you, you would have to modify this. Overall try to do nothing that is related to your normal work. This is a pampering day just for you.
The first time I did this, I discovered just how my work relates to things that I do on any given day. Most of my reading was centered on business topics. Being an entrepreneur and self-employed, I was convinced I had to be working all the time. I was wrong. Kicking and screaming, I embarked on my Extraordinary Self-Care Day. I took a walk, read part of a novel, took a luxurious bath in our soaking tub (something I never used to do) and just hung out and took care of myself. What a concept!
It's been a year now and my Extraordinary Self-Care Day has become an integral part of my life. I not only feel better, and am having more fun, I have my life back. Doing this regularly has enabled me to put my work back into perspective. I no longer work seven days a week and I no longer do email throughout the day.
The interesting thing is that because of my taking this time to nurture myself, I'm actually more productive. Because I'm taking better care of myself I have more clarity and I'm able to better focus on the task on hand. Because I am taking better care of myself, I am more creative and productive. Most of all, because I am taking better care of myself, I feel better and have more happiness, after all isn't that what it's all about?
So your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to schedule one 24-hour period, sometime within the next 10 days, when you can give yourself an Extraordinary Self-Care Day and then go and do it. Once you've done this, see how you might be able to do this weekly and when you feel really ready, schedule an Extraordinary Self-Care Day for what would have been a normal work day.