Rejuvination Sunday: Treating Yourself When Your Schedule is Hectic AF
Giving yourself at least one day a week to completely chill out is one of the most important things you can do to take care of yourself. The importance of this hit me a couple of years ago about half way through my degree. I would study all week, work Saturday and catch up on class work on Sunday. There was no mental break, no adjustment. I was overworked, stressed, constantly anxious and exhausted. Lilly Singh (aka iiSuperwomanii on Youtube) coined this idea of giving yourself a day a week to rest and recover 'rejuvenation Sunday' (because her chosen day was Sunday at the time). I follow her and everything she does because I admire her hard work and compassion, and I think it took someone I admired telling me It was okay to chill out once in a while to actually do it.
The more I've done it, and the more I have read about the idea, the more I realised how invaluable giving yourself down time when you work incredibly hard is to your productivity, your effectiveness, and in the case of myself and all my creative babes out there, your creativity and inspiration.
Sunday's are the only day of the week where I feel like I have complete control over what happens. No one I am obligated to see, nothing I am obligated to do (unless I have a shoot booked). So Sunday is pretty much the only day in a week that I have to make this happen for myself.
Clean up my space
So I am pretty lazy, and I don't enjoy cleaning, but I function far better and feel a lot more happy when the space I am in is clean and tidy. On Sunday I typically set aside an hour or 2 to do just that. Its an accomplishment thats sets the tone for the rest of the day as well as keeping my space decently tidy during the week. Occasionally this will morph into a several hour, all out binge cleaning, but only when I am feeling particularly pedantic over clearing out the space. This often happens when I've had a partciularly stressful week.
Coffee and wandering
I have 2 kinds of Rejuvenation Sunday. One where I stay home and don't get properly dressed, and the other where I make an effort to get out of the house and go somewhere just to explore and chill, rather than racing off to be somewhere for a purpose. My go to is heading to a cafe for coffee and something small to eat, either by myself or with friends, and wandering around the shops somewhere. This is typically done in Newmarket, sometimes in Ponsonby or Herne Bay (or Onehunga to go to 'Hard to Find' books after 🙌). Going out for a few hours because you can is a totally different vibe to leaving the house because you have to every day.
While I try to work out as many times as I can during the week, some days I genuinely just don't have the time during the day. On Sunday I do. I will either go for a run in the later afternoon, or do some pilates in the morning. Sometimes in summer I will grab some friends and any of the pets in the group and go for a big walk somewhere the dogs can run free. The point of a rejuvenation day is to make you feel good, and a workout will definitely help you to achieve that. For the past year I have been suffering from RSI, and working out hasn't been the easiest, but I find that pilates and yoga have been really good for relieving tension in my muscles after working on a computer all week.
Be healthy, but treat yourself
I typically try to eat decent food for most of what I eat. Some of that isn't necessarily "healthy" but is still quality food. Sunday is a day for the soul, and sometimes the nourishment of your soul includes some comfort food. What ever your comfort food is, something warm and full of carbs, or a sweet treat from your local cafe, if you want it, go for it. I feel like the best thing you can do for yourself when you are trying to relax and keep yourself happy is let yourself indulge without guilt once in a while. Look at this day as your guilt free day. Having said that, don't go and binge on terrible food. There is a difference between a KFC for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a brownie from the cafe. Nourish your body, or you will feel horrible mentally and physically the next day.
Go tech free
Not the easiest of tasks for the technology generation, but going without using any tech for even just 30 minutes to an hour can do wonders for your well being. That constant state of awareness of your phone goes away, and you are free to be in a little bubble all by yourself for a while. Read a book (like a proper physical copy of a book), read a magazine, go for a walk. Just do something without the potential obligation of tending to your phone. If I go out to breakfast by myself, I'm typically reading a magazine and will leave my phone on silent and buried in my bag for most of the time I'm there to get a break from it.
Sneaky Work Session
Okay, so no one is perfect. Some Sundays I have to get some work done. I currently have several sources of income. My main one is a 9-5 most days of the working week doing social media and online content management. The end of the week and the weekend ends up being when I focus on The Creative and all my freelancing work (and this here blog). I'm just at a time in my life where only getting a bit of time off is inevitable. I can go weeks without having a day to myself. As horrible as it is, its just life. It's one of the reasons I but so much effort into pampering myself as much as I can on a Sunday. Millennials are working insane hours and are constantly in amongst the hustle and bustle, and need to dedicate serious time to taking care of themselves to help balance that out, because overtime is a necessary evil most of the time whether you work in there creative sphere or not.
Prep for the week
This could entail a lot of things for different people. Some like to take Sunday as a meal prep day for example. When I was studying, I would prep myself for the week ahead by going through my schedules and assignments and map out what I need to do this week and by when. I made sure I have all the readings I need printed or marked out and that I have read anything that needs reading. I now do the same thing, but for work, and I typically do it on Saturday at the end of my work day. I'll write a list of things I need to do next week, as well as re-write down the things that got missed in the past week. It allows me to get all the stress of trying to remember everything for the week ahead out of my mind.
I normally take advantage of Sundays to do all the little beauty things that I don't always have the time or energy to deal with during the week. My eyebrows are one of those things. I also typically do a face mask, file my nails and paint them if I feel so inclined. Little things like that that are important to you feeling confident, as well as being presentable for the rest of the world during the week. Mini tip: do your brows during the day if you aren't going anywhere, and in the evening if you are, so that there is time for the redness to calm down.
People who know me know that I only wear makeup maybe 30-40% of my life. Probably less. This is because I am incredibly lazy, and really would prefer to be comfortable most of the time. For me then, having a dedicated makeup free day is less necessary. If you are like most people and wear makeup daily, I really do recommend you try to do this, even though it will be incredibly hard at first. It allows your skin to breathe which is incredibly important for it, whilst giving you a day without any gunk getting in your pores. It also lifts the stress of having to check on your makeup all day, and avoiding rubbing your eyes. Go for comfort on your lazy days!
Get a good nights sleep
When you don't have a lot on during the day, you don't need as long during the evening to unwind in preparation for bed. This means you can head to bed a little earlier than you might during the week to make up for the loss of sleep from the week prior. It also gives you an energy head start to your Monday. The last thing you want to be on Monday is exhausted. They are hard enough as it is.
Every Sunday is a combination of some or all of these, and I mix and match it depending on the kind of week I have had. If I have been out most evenings during the week, I typically stay home all day and indulge in a sleep in and some Netflix + Sims 4. If I have been trapped in the work to home and back again rut all week, I will go out and explore. Lots of makeup during the week, makeup free Sunday. Miss doing makeup because I have been lazy all week? Put on makeup. Not worked out at all? Intense work out. Worked out most of the week? Chill workout. It is a day for balancing your mental and physical state. Sometimes a stressful week can make us feel like we aren't ourselves, this is your chance to fix that.
And now, because of this, I always get grumpy when my Sunday is taken away from me (just ask any of my friends). That is how important they have become to me! What do you do to treat yourself? And if you don't yet, what sort of things make you happy when you do them? These are the things that you should incorporate into your chill days!