THINGS I DID OVER THE HOLIDAY BREAK I'M GOING TO KEEP DOING BECAUSE THEY MAKE ME HAPPY
You know how, when you take a break from work, you end up doing things that aren't usually part of your daily routine? I did a 10-day staycation over the holidays and now want to keep doing some of these things once work ramps back up.
- •Read non-work stuff for an hour every morning.Not news, nothing out of my Feedly. Just sit in my cozy chair in the living room while it's still early in the morning and give myself the treat of a great story from whatever book I happen to be reading.
- •Eat port wine cheese spread more often.Christmas time is the time for cheese balls (homemade or store-bought) in my family. There are always 2-3 in the fridge and on the table for every holiday gathering. There's a port wine cheddar cheese spread I love so much, so I'm going to buy and eat it even when it's not Christmas! (such a rebel)
- •Tip 100%.I don't like to go out the evening of New Year's Eve, but I do eat breakfast and lunch out on those days as part of a regular tradition with friends. At both of those meals, for years now, I have given 100% tip on the bill. I don't remember how or why I started doing it, I just did. This year, my breakfast waitress ran outside to hug me as I left and told me how grateful she was. I want to do this more often, so I set aside some money in my budget for more of this in 2016.
- •Take baths.I used to have a Friday night post-work ritual where I'd order Chinese food with one of my best friends and read trashy magazines together. Later that night, I'd come home, run a hot bath and soak in the tub for 15 minutes. No music, no reading, just a soak to think. Since I started my own PR firm in 2001 and work from home, I don't have an end-of-week ritual anymore. And, over the holidays, I took a bath nearly every other day and was reminded of how lovely it is to just be still and soak.
- •Play.It's hard for me to let go, not think about work or the news or what I *should* be doing. Over the holidays, I played Legos with my nephew and card games with friends. No texting, emails, or work talk. It was great! I want more of that on a regular basis. More cards with wine and snacks. More Lego time. More puzzles. More all the fun stuff.
- •See more movies in theatres.Mostly, I hate people. I don't like crowds and I am easily annoyed by others' bad manners in public places. So I don't see movies when they're in the theatre because it's usually frustrating to be around so many others. But, after having gone to the movies 5 times over the holidays, I was reminded of what a good experience it is to get out of the house and go to the movies, and then be able to talk about the movie afterward with friends who also saw it (rather than waiting for Netflix).
- •Morning stretch.Every morning, I get out of bed, walk the dog, make and drink coffee, meditate, write, then get to work. For some reason during this holiday break, before getting out of bed, I laid in bed and stretched every limb and my body as a whole. I'm sure it didn't take long (45 seconds?) it if felt like such a luxury. Something I'm definitely going to continue doing.
- •Eat more waffles.I have an awesome waffle maker. I never use it. Lots of things can be waffled. Making waffles makes my house smell great. Therefore, more waffle regularity in 2016!
- •Turn off my computer and devices.I started this around Thanksgiving, actually. For one 24-hour period (usually Friday night to Sunday morning) I completely shut down my computer and iPad, and I put my phone on airplane mode and keep it stashed in my bag. No talking, texting, Tweeting, or emailing. Nothing. I read, go for walks, putter around the house, and generally give my eyes and brain a break. Need to do this on a weeknight, too.
- •Reflect on accomplishmentsIt's so easy to do all the things, cross them off the list, and move on to new work. Rarely do I spend time reflecting on my accomplishments large (helped change federal law) and small (bought groceries). Over the holiday break, I spent time reflecting on 2015. I reviewed my calendar and old emails and was amazed at everything I had accomplished. I want to do this on a weekly basis, to remind myself to pause and actually celebrate the work I do.