My life has been filled with abundant insanity lately. I’ve been traveling a lot, promoting my books, and when I’ve been home, the work has continued. I realized I needed a day off when, after my husband suggested I take one, I stared at him blankly and said “What would I even do?”
Yeah. Time to take a break.
In the three years since I’ve shifted much of my work to focus on my writing, that’s one part of working from home I haven’t done very well with: knowing when to take breaks. The blessing and the curse of working from home is that the work is never far away, which means I can always be productive, but it also means I’ve stopped viewing my home as a place of rest and restoration.
Last week, I decided to take baby steps to change that, and I vowed to take a day off. I still didn’t really know what a day off at home would look like; lately, I’ve gotten myself spun into tunnel vision when it comes to taking a break, and I’d convinced myself that I could only take time off if I left my home. Still, I decided to slow down and consciously use my living space for something other than work, and I was surprised at the results.
I can’t usually sleep in, not because I don’t want to, but because as soon my husband leaves for work, I tend to wake myself up with nightmares and fears that someone will break into my house. (Very damsel in distress, I know.) For whatever reason, though, on my intentional day off, I found that I was able to sleep in and enjoy a little bit of nourishing rest. Score one for this experiment!
From those languid beginnings, my day off continued to be full of happy surprises. I did two loads of laundry and felt amazingly nourished to quietly attend to chores that I usually fit in between work projects. I went out on the back porch and enjoyed the sunshine while coloring a mandala, and I was amazed at how much brighter I felt after. Although I’m not very talented when it comes to visual arts, collaging, painting, and other forms of creation have become an important part of my meditative and magical practice, and the sun-soaked mandala was an impulse that I’m so glad I followed. Afterwards, I made myself a cup of coffee and curled up on the couch, reading a new book cover to cover. (The cat certainly enjoyed my day off, too; if she had her way, I’d spend far more time on the couch every day!)
I didn’t open the door to my home office, and I basically avoided that corner of the house like the plague, so maybe my day off wasn’t a total barrier-breaking success, but I did feel more at ease in my space and less frantic than I have for quite some time.
Have I conquered the danger of working from home? Probably not, but I did prove to myself that I am allowed to slow down, and that relaxation and restoration don’t have to take place away from my home hearth.
How do you renew and restore?