On Taking Self-Care Days

Photo credit: kevin dooley on Flickr
I am a workaholic. This is a downside, I suppose, of (usually) enjoying the work you do—I work in a field I love (publishing), and get to spend many hours a day immersed in worlds I create, in worlds other people create, in blog posts and manuscripts and books, and it's a surprise to approximately no one who knows me that I get very immersed in my work.

(This is also a downside, I suppose, of working for myself. There's no one to tell me, "hey, you've done enough work today—go home and relax.")

So shortly after I graduated college, I realized if I wasn't careful, I was going to work myself into the ground. And so I established a weekly self-care day—a day when I'm not allowed to do any work; not answering e-mails, not writing, not plotting, not editing—this is a strictly work-free day.

So what do I do that day? I read a lot, mostly. And watch Hulu/Netflix, and play Assassin's Creed, or Sims 4, or Civilization V when I'm in the mood. And go out, and chat with my bestie, and do all sorts of things that don't involve working, all day.

It's a nice thing, and I do think it's helped, because come Monday (my day off is usually Sunday) I'm ready to dive in to work all over again.

I really do think it's important to take time off for yourself when you can. Writers are notoriously overworkers—many of us squeeze writing in during free hours or minute between day job, or school, or family, or all of the above, or, or, or—and it can be so easy to forget to take care of yourself.

So here is your reminder to take time off for yourself, too, whatever that means. It's important. You're important.

Do you take self-care days? What do you like to do during your work-free time? 

Twitter-sized bite: 
Do you take self-care days? @Ava_Jae talks about the importance of taking time off for yourself. (Click to tweet)

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