One of my big takeaways from doing my annual review of 2013 was evaluating how I rest on my day off. I discovered in late 2013 that the way I was resting was actually not very restful and did little to replenish me for the week ahead. I made three changes in 2014 and I am seeing a lot of benefit from these simple adjustments.
I work six days a week with my workweek being Sunday through Friday. That means that Saturday is my one day off a week and if I’m not purposeful with it, it won’t take long before I’m sucking wind and burnt out from not replenishing my system with proper rest.
During 2013 my work load and schedule was pretty insane as I was wearing numerous hats and fulfilling a handful of roles as we were replanting the church and rebuilding the staff that I currently pastor. My one day off became more of a crash and burn that left me even more tired and drained the following day. After a few months I decided something had to change or else I was going to need to find another job for my own health and the health of my family.
Here are the three changes I made.
Have a schedule. Most people don’t think about having a schedule on your day off. Why would you want to be bound to a schedule? You’re supposed to be relaxing! Well, I needed to have a simple schedule to help me get the most out of my day off. It wasn’t a rigid schedule but it helped me map out my day to make sure I was doing three important things.
- Begin the morning with my family. We cuddle in bed together. We eat breakfast together. We watch cartoons, sing princess songs, and spend lots of time tickling each other. This is a great way to start my day off and always begins the recharge process.
- Get house projects done. I don’t want home projects to stress me out and ruin my day so I schedule two hours every Saturday to work on them. If I have more than two hours of work to do I spread it out over numerous Saturdays, if possible. I want to be done with these projects by noon so I can spend the rest of the day relaxing and replenishing.
- Replenish my strength. I spend the afternoon and evening hanging out with my family and doing activities that renew my energy and motivation. This could be reading, listening to music, or riding my motorbike. I avoid doing anything that agitates me, causes me stress, or simply does not replenish my energy. Learn how to say no so you can say yes to proper rest. Your body and upcoming work week will thank you.
Accomplish something. Most people spend their day off laying around and not doing much of anything. One of the things I realized when I evaluated my day off was that this sense of non-accomplishment really didn’t motivate me and give me meaningful rest. When we accomplish something it revives us and gives us energy. Now, I always try to accomplish a few things on my day off. This includes a house project like mowing the lawn, fixing something that needs repair, cleaning or organizing something like the garage, etc. It doesn’t need to be anything major, just something that gives me the satisfaction of marking something off the home to-do list.
Do something that replenishes your strength. When I was crashing on my day off I was spending most of my day staring at the TV, playing a video game, or watching my kids play. I thought this down time would replenish me but it just drained me more. I needed to figure out what actually refilled my energy tank. I started paying attention to the activities that did this and figured out that to replenish my strength I needed to actually play with my kids, not just watch them. I discovered that playing video games actually drained my strength because I’m a competitive person and this activity did more to take energy away then put energy back in. Reading is something relaxing for me that inspires my imagination and replenishes my energy for the week ahead. Now, I’m mindful of the activities I partake in on Saturday afternoon and I make sure they are refilling my energy tank instead of draining it further down.
How about you? What do you do on your day off to replenish your energy tank?