Usually, when I read the daily entry in 30 Chic Days, I highlight a few parts and add the occasional inked star to emphasize a part I especially like or underline a phrase that really resonates with me.
For Day 22, “Build rest and repose into your daily routine,” I finally just dog-eared the starting page of the entry and added a sticky-note flag. (The only other place I’ve done this was on Day 6, “Be your own French aunt” on the section about “doing your practical homework.”) Seriously, this one is that good, at least for me, who often struggles with Calvinist ideas of “Why aren’t you busy? Are you a lazy slug? How dare you have time off!”
So let’s take a deeper look at this one, which felt very much as if Mme. Ferris was kindly and patiently talking directly to me. Among the gems in here are “I would never expect someone else to work without pause, but I wasn’t applying that permission to myself” and “Working full-on one hundred percent of the time is neither healthy nor reasonable yet some of us need to be reminded of that.”
But how? Fortunately, Mme. Ferris gives practical, real-world advice here. Among her tips are:
- Resist the urge to push. Make that “to do” list, but concentrate on one task at a time.
- Don’t underestimate the need for good sleep, which includes “wind down” time away from screens to send the signal to your brain that it’s time to start shutting down for the evening.
- Set a sleep schedule and stick to it – consistency is good for your psyche, so if you rise at 6 am during the week, as hard as it might seem at first, do the same thing on the weekend.
- Have a periodic day of R&R at home. Make a list of 20 things (it’s that “20 Ideas” concept from yesterday!) and choose one or three of them to do. (DO NOT think you have to do all of them!! That’s just more pressure. As crazy as it may sound, I really needed to hear that.) She includes her own ideas here for reference, such as “research and plan a holiday to look forward to” and “take ages blow-drying and straightening my hair so it’s perfect and hairdresser-worthy.” (I actually really like that one. I tend to give my hair a “lick and a promise” – I think I’d enjoy spending time on it without the pressure to get out of the house at a certain time for some big social event like a wedding or holiday soirée.)
I think these ideas are fantastic, especially this close to the holidays which are often – let’s be honest here – rife with stress and strife. Seriously, have you seen how people act while driving at this time of year? We can all benefit from a little extra kindness towards the other people with whom we share the planet right now.
Be a little extra kind tomorrow. I’ll do the same.