Do You Ever Take A Day Off?

As I write this, it’s Saturday… the Sabbath in Jewish culture, the day of rest, the day of no work, no flipping light switches, no cooking. And as you’re reading this, it’s probably Sunday, the 7th day in Christian culture, the day we attend church and “rest” as God did. He created Everything in six days and rested on the 7th. Aren’t we supposed to rest too?

Sabbath rest

But who rests? I don’t. I rarely take a day off. I think that’s a problem. I’m exhausted.

Do you take a Sabbath? Do you ever take a day off? What does that look like for you? What do you rest from? What do you take a “day off” from? What do you do instead of whatever you’re resting from?

And how do you do it?

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  3. I’m a copywriter and mother of two preschoolers, and I also just finished the first draft of my first novel. I’m also a workaholic – partially due to personality, but also partially due to need – there’s no way I would have completed this first draft if I hadn’t been able to burn the candle at both ends. But I recently realized the value of Sabbath and regular rest while on vacation on the east coast, and have realized the important role rest plays in the quality of our lives, no matter how busy we are (or make ourselves). I wrote a blog post about it here: http://www.jodimcisaacmartens.com/2011/07/31/the-value-of-doing-nothing/

  4. I decided to work like a marathon runner rather than a sprinter.
    Why? Because I want my life to be productive for the long haul. Sprinters are short lived. I have done life both ways. I have tasted the thrill of the fast paced life style with no breaks. Yes, it was sweet, winning and accomplishing much in a short amount of time. But then crashing, because sprinting isn’t designed to last long.

    If you think you can sprint all your life, you have swallowed a lie. Eventually your body will revolt. Your body is not designed to sprint 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Try it. Eventually you will fail. Wether it comes by sickness, disease, or other failure that stops you dead in your tracks, you will eventually be forced to shut down. Approaching work like a marathon allows you to take that much needed break to refuel and enjoy the run. It’s a rythym of work-rest-work-rest. And in this fast paced world we live in, I’d rather run smart and long instead of fast and short!

  5. I do. For many years I was a workaholic maniac, and I was unhappy and exhausted.
    Then my pastor preached a sermon series on “margin,” and he challenged us to start “observing the Sabbath” and see what happenned. So I did.
    On Sundays, I sleep in. I am free to read magazines and drink coffee as long as I want in the morning. Options for the day include enjoying my family, journaling, reading, Bible study, or indulging in a hobby.
    I thought when I tried it that my life would be a disaster, that all the things I needed to get done would never get done.
    But, as my pastor predicted, I have not fallen any more behind on anything than I ever was and I have a pretty good record of meeting my deadlines on time, and that includes more than writing deadllines.
    I wish I had adopted observing the Sabbath a whole lot sooner. It makes my life feel much more peaceful and satisfying.

  6. What constitutes work can be different for different people. Without children at home I can take Sundays off from the normal routines, but in ministry we’re still involved with a lot of people so I still crave private getaway time, too. We are blessed to be able to have an RV so we plan ahead for scheduled mini-vacations. We don’t often go far from home but we find a quiet campsite close to the ocean, or a lake or river, and read, walk, take lots of photos and enjoy the solitude. Writing has always been therapeutic for me and I write pretty well every day, whether at home or away.

  7. Bethany says:

    I go to the local coffee joint with a few books and magazines and settle in. I walk to the horse farm around the bend. I go swim in the ocean. It’s pretty rare to get a whole day off… so I try to take a few moments every day.

  8. Roslyn says:

    A day off for me is rare. I work full time but spend my weekends on a baseball field with two boys. The “day off” is usually spent grocery shopping, church and cooking. The rare event of having a day to myself is spent quietly listening. I love sitting in places that are quiet. I try to get the usual facial, nails and pedicure or just lay on the couch praying a “Golden Girl” marathon is on tv.

  9. I’m working on taking Sundays off to be with my family. It’s hard to not do blog business though, especially since I’ve been checking in on Sundays for ROW80. I’m going to have to change things up a little so I can take Sundays completely off.

  10. Great post – I am just reading The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan and it is such a good look at our need to take Sabbath and what it looks like to rest in God. I highly recommend it – it’s convicting and challenging, but also refreshing.

  11. Dustin Scott says:

    I rarely take days off as well. If I am not working my weekly job on a weekend due to whatever reason, I have side work, or writing I need to work on, or work around the house (Honey Do) or taking the kid somewhere. Whenever I get the rare opportunity to sit alone in the house I am restless and usually end up doing some more work on my writing or writing career. I only ever get time off on vacation. I like to sleep in and eat lots of food.

  12. Nikki says:

    I have to make the time because a working, schooling, writing, missions working single mama doesn’t have the luxury of trading responsibilities with another for breathing space. However, I am being taught during this season how critical it is to just allow myself to rest. To allow myself to step over the junk sometimes. To allow myself to say ‘no’ to every social invitation. To allow myself the time and space I need to breath. Simplify. Allow time to not be stuffed full of something to do, but just rest in it, with no agenda but to open my eyes and watch the wonder of my little girl at play.

  13. Lara says:

    Simply put? Work-at-home moms don’t get days off.

  14. Sue Harrison says:

    I don’t write on Sundays, not even my blog, but I do have many caregiving responsibilities that don’t let up on Sundays, sometimes intensify. My husband is great at spiriting me away for ice cream or a movie, and church is always a time to renew my soul. I usually save one novel I am loving to read for Sundays.

  15. Susan says:

    It might be better to aim for a slow down day. I don’t know many women who take an entire day off each week, especially if you’re still raising children.

    I do think it’s important to have a slow down day. It could be a day that you try to fit in things you would like to do for YOURSELF or with your family.

    It could be a day where you take the time to paint your nails, go to the bookstore or take in a matinee.

    It’s important to remember, no matter how hard you work to get “everything” done, it may never happen.

    I think I’ve had it happen twice over the last three decades and I had household help.

    I think a slow down day is important for the entire family. It should be a day to give thanks to God and to set an example to your loves ones of the importantce of taking time out to smell the roses.

    You could call it a day of “rejeuvenation”.

  16. Reba J. Hoffman says:

    I do take a day off but it’s not necessarily the same day and usually not one per week. I like to finish a project, then look forward to turning off my mind, kicking back with one of my to-be-read books.

    If a project is too lengthy to finish before I crash, I’ll break it up into manageable pieces with rest times at the end of each segment.

  17. Karen says:

    From childhood Sunday has always been a day of “rest” for me and my family. I go to church, read in the afternoon or nap, then choir practice in the late afternoon. It is refreshing to the body, mind and spirit to rest.

  18. H. A. Titus says:

    I usually try to take Sunday off every week–sometimes Saturday too if I’ve been super busy. I always enjoy writing, but on my days off I do things that relax me–like reading an entire book in one sitting, having friends over, watching several episodes of my favorite TV shows on Netflix, or doing some gourmet cooking. I also go to church on Sunday afternoons.

  19. I really liked reading the meaning of the Sabbath for so many different people, and how they honored it with family time, creative recharge time, time to get outside, etc.

    When the Sabbath means something, you are not taking “time off” – you are in fact recognizing your true priorities, and putting them first.

  20. Rose Gardener says:

    I used to be actively involved in writing seven days a week, at irregular hours throughout the day, mixing work with home life. The result was feeling constantly tired and my muse was too often silent.

    Recently, I developed a more structured approach and reduced it to six days a week. During the day I ‘work’ on my regular writing, ‘play’ in the evenings writing erotica and on Sundays (because the outside world leaves me alone rather than from any religious conviction),I read, read ,read. I now begin each new week brimming with ideas and energy. It’s been a God-send!

  21. Brianna says:

    I actually do. Being Jewish, Fridays tend to be the night I take off. I don’t observe the whole Sabbath – too much going on – but I like to take Fridays and read or spend time with my parents.

  22. I don’t remember the last time I took a day off, and it’s been on my mind a lot lately. I believe in sacrificing in order to achieve your dreams, but some sacrifices are too great. I’m burning out, and I think my health is too great a sacrifice. I can’t give the amount of time that my husband and friends deserve, and that’s not fair to them.

    As writers, we’ve bought into the belief that we have to work 6-7 days a week, 12-14 (or more) hours a day. But is that the most productive model? Wouldn’t our work time be more productive and our output higher in quality if we took gave our minds, bodies, and spirits time to recover?

    I think it might be worth at least contemplating a change in the way we operate.

  23. V.V. Denman says:

    I find it difficult to take a day off. I’m too much of a workaholic. It helps if I schedule the rest time. Then I feel like I must do it because it’s on the calendar. I guess that’s some sort of warped psychology I’m using on myself. But it works. 🙂

  24. I take Sundays off from writing, but not household management type things. I draw the dividing line between livelihood and just living. I’ve been doing this for about a year.

    We go to church and sometimes go on a lunch date. I spend the afternoons on pleasure reading or hanging out with hubby. As to how: I honor it as a commitment to the Lord. It’s a standing appointment, and I protect it from double-booking. The thankful attitude doesn’t necessarily lead the charge (and I get the *best* ideas on Sundays too!) but that time always pays dividends.

  25. Patti Mallett says:

    I think you pretty much said it all, Veronica! When God says to do a thing, it is ALWAYS for our good.

    Why do we so often ignore His Words, with a “Yes, but…” attitude? (I plead guilty.)

  26. Veronica says:

    I’ve learned that I’m much more productive on all the other days of the week if I take the Sabbath off. I used to feel guilty about all that I wasn’t accomplishing with my “wasted” day, but then I realized I was running myself into the ground by always being “on.” I really need my day “off,” so I take it without guilt.

    I spend my sabbath reading books and playing board games with my children. I take a nap if I’m tired. Sometimes, we invite friends over for dinner or visit someone who is having a rough time. We attend church together as a family and talk about all the things we’ve learned and experienced throughout the week. We usually skip the big, traditional Sunday dinners and opt instead for easy, microwavable snacks that don’t require any effort. I don’t worry about the dishes or mopping the kitchen floor – these are all things that can wait until Monday morning.

    Invariably, after a full day of rest, I’m ready to face the week with full energy. (Mondays are often my very most productive days!) I think of the scripture that says “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27). The Lord gave us the Sabbath, not so we could do something more for Him, but because he loved us and wanted to give us a special gift – permission to relax every now and then!

  27. Peter DeHaan says:

    I do want Sunday to be my day of rest, my Sabbath of sorts. Although one of my blogs posts each Sunday, it is written on Saturday. With rare exception, I do no writing on Sunday and I put my work on hold until Monday.

    So, my Sunday is a leisurely morning, traditional church, lunch, a nap, some reading and TV in the afternoon, house church at night, and wind down for the day.

    The one thing I want to change is less TV and more reading (but lately, reading has seemed too much like work!)

  28. Great topic, Rachelle….Here’s my profound reply….I TAKE A NAP after church: with freedom….with gusto…with joy…with total abandonment ;)…with my heart fixed on His Goodness in “commanding” us to rest from the usual, one day a week – whatever that looks like for each of us. 🙂 I love my Sunday afternoon naps. (What is is about church that wears me out…???? Hmmmmmmmm…That’s another topic for another time!)

  29. Leslie G. says:

    Dennis Prager, a writer, speaker, and observant Jew, has often asked pastor friends this question: “If I went to your house on Sunday afternoon, how would I know it was your Sabbath?’ Sadly, many say, “You wouldn’t.”

    Sometimes I think we need to learn when less is more.

  30. Lisa Marie says:

    When I was a child, Sunday was the most exhausting day of the week. I had to wake up just as early as I did for school to go to Sunday School and then church. After that, my parents “visited” all of our relatives who lived in neighboring towns. By the time we got home, it was time for me to go to bed. Just thinking about this makes me feel tired.

    My “weekend” days tend to be during the week. But I do manage to get out of the house and do something that inspires me, such as go to a book reading or to a museum or art gallery. Opera is always nice! Something that lets me spend time with friends … and that lets me experience a different kind of beauty.

  31. Jackie says:

    I’ve worked every other Sunday for years. So I’ve gotten into a bad habit of not taking a day off. Now that I’m writing, the thought of a day off scares me. I’m trying to break into writing, and a day off will put me further behind. We recently went on vacation, and my family shamed me into not touching my computer for a few days. I know I came home from vacation refreshed. I also know God tells us to take a day off for rest. So maybe I’ll challenge myself to seek a day of rest on a regular basis. Thanks for this post.

  32. great question and one that comes up a lot for me. we own a motel in Georgia that is CLOSED on Sundays! (we allow stayover guests and give them their towels for Sunday on Saturday-but we don’t do check-ins as we give everyone the day off to go to Church and spend with their families). it’s the best decision we ever made. it’s gives our family quality time together and the “rest” that we need to keep going the other six days of the week.

  33. I try to take Sundays off, go to church, and relax, but the days when I’m stressed, I usually edit my manuscript or update my website.

  34. I would like to say I sit around smelling flowers, listening to waterfalls, and praying. What I really do is something other than my usual. I leave the laptop at home, or I only pick it up after we’ve had a full day. But a true day off always includes a couch and a book. And sometimes cake. But only homemade, which forces me to leave the computer and spend some time with the kiddos in the kitchen. Homemade icing is worth the effort…every time.

  35. I think it’s important to take time off, but it can be tricky to take a day off and truly rest. At least with my current day job, I don’t take the work home with me and I usually have a 2 day weekend (3 days in the summer!) It seems like I’m so accustomed to hustling all week that by the time the weekend arrives, my body needs at least a day to realize we should be going into rest mode.

    A really restful day for me means no cooking, no errands, no chores, and no dealing with other people’s problems.

  36. Loree Huebner says:

    It’s Sunday and I actually worked today in my job outside of the home – 9am to 5pm. I’m working seven days in a row this week – Sat to Fri (I have next weekend off) With working full time and trying to get in some writing time every day…also, dog walking time, exercise, hubby time and everything else, I understand what a full plate looks like.

    I can see that yours is pretty full all the time. I take your *sigh* and raise it a *groan*

    Have a great week!

  37. Today was most certainly NOT restful… but it was a VERY VERY good day!

    I usually try to rest on Sundays. Don’t always do a good job at it, and considering I can’t rest from being a mom and caregiver/nurse to my daughter, I guess the answer is no. But I am learning how important it is to schedule breaks and keep them. Even if it is just an hour, or a *gasp* nap while I give the kids over to my hubby.

    But if I did get a day “off”… I would take a nap… curl up in a chair and read a book… watch a good movie…

    I know that sounds boring… but a day off to me is one of relaxing. Different from a vacation or a day of “doing something” with family or friends.

  38. Rachelle Gardner says:

    The sad thing is… I’ve had a busy day (week… month) and when things finally seemed to be settling down around 5pm, I announced to my family, “I’m taking the rest of the day off.” Half an hour later I was back at my computer trying to get a jump on the week.
    *sigh*

  39. When people come to my house, they say, “I feel so relaxed!” People routinely fall asleep here on holidays. Conversely, when I am around driven people, I feel guilty that I’m not doing something every single minute.

    Yet visitors comment on my clean house. We have dinner at home most nights, dinner that I cooked. I got my latest MS turned in a day early. So the work it getting done. It’s just getting done on my schedule, and God’s.

    My ministry is my writing, so I’m not on any committee at church. If I were, I would be on one and one only. That’s enough. I don’t have to do it all, even though I probably could–that would deprive someone else of a blessing.

    I figure if God says we should rest, then it’s definitely okay to rest. When I’m resting, I usually read. Sometimes I lie in the hammock and think about what I’m writing. Sometimes I pray for family and friends. Sometimes I just sit. One thing I’ve noticed about myself: I am never bored. I daydream a lot. Bet some of you are gritting your teeth just reading this.

  40. I do take a day off every week. On that day I do no writing (although I’m allowed to write down ideas), no paid work, and no housework (if I’m organised enough, we eat leftovers that day).

    As the weekend approaches, I pick whether the sabbath will be Saturday or Sunday, and put a mark on that day. I interpret “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” to mean I HAVE to do something. . . but it absolutely MUST be for my benefit, too. there have been times where my Sabbath was my writing day – because I didn’t have time to write during the day. Whatever my spirit most craves gets its chance on the Sabbath – usually starting with a sleep in.

    Louise Curtis

  41. Olivia Newport says:

    Yes. God created us on the sixth day, and then the seventh day was a day of rest. In other words, we don’t rest from work, we work from rest. Coming to understand that a few years ago made a huge difference. We are healthier in all ways—not just physically—when we work from rest. Now, I’m not legalistic about it. If I have a great idea on a Sunday, I write it down. And I will sort of organize my week on Sunday evening. But on Sundays I try to recognize and receive God’s rest anew— physically, relationally, creatively—so that I can also receive the blessing of work the rest of the week.

  42. Sundown Friday to sundown Saturday is my day of rest and I really look forward to it. Having to shut down my computer and focus on other needs is important, and it recharges my batteries–spiritual and physical. Plus I get in an amazing amount of reading in because I’m restricted in my other activities, those that constitute “work”.

    For some of us it’s not just a good idea, it’s the Law.[g]

  43. Sophia Chang says:

    What a freaking timely post! My clients know that I work 7 days a week. Guess that caught up with me because I just became sick yesterday. I’ll probably still work on my writing even if I can’t go anywhere.

  44. I take the weekend off from painting (my ‘day job’) and take Sunday off from both writing and painting. Having a day off gives my creative side a breather (even if my subconscious might still be hard a work). It also gives me something to look forward to. A day when I don’t have to produce word count, worry about clients, or wash paint brushes.

  45. Sarah Thomas says:

    Rest is critical. Everything else goes better when you’ve had sufficient rest. I usually have my times of rest on Sunday afternoons. I read, sometimes write, walk the dog, watch TV or movies with my husband. Basically, I only do what I want to do.

    Throughout the week I think it’s good to take “mini rests.” That might be walking the dog for 30 minutes right after work. Connecting with my husband with no electronic devices to interupt. Reading before bed. Or my favorite thing of all–a 45-minute soak in the tub with a cup of hot tea (or glass of red wine) and a good book. Ahhhhhh!

    Oh and SLEEP. I don’t think I’ve stayed up late to work on ANYTHING since college. Eight hours, please.

  46. On at least one morning a week, my husband and I like to stay in bed for at least half an hour after we wake, enjoying being snuggled up, the cats playing around us, and talking about what we’d each like to do with the weekend. It doesn’t happen every weekend, but it’s the way I like to start the day.

    If I have a few spare hours, I like to move slowly. From the breakfast table to the couch with a warm beverage, to read a magazine. Then maybe back to bed with my laptop and a book (to either read or write), not hurrying to get anything done.

  47. Emily says:

    Sundays are sacred to me. I worked every Sunday for over a year at my current job, and finally just had to say, “NO MORE.” Sundays are family days. We don’t cook or clean. We usually go to our respective churches, then go out to a long, leisurely lunch. After that I just spend the day around the house, reading, watching TV, sometimes writing. I think leisure days should be about spending some time catching up with the ones you love and then doing whatever it is you want to do. It has to be important enough to put off doing whatever else is tugging at you.

  48. Bonita says:

    A few years ago I started taking Sunday as a day of rest. I’m not legalistic about it, but I genuinely try to make it a day to rest and relax. It makes a world of difference in how I feel physically and how I feel about life. I look forward to every Sunday now.

    What I do on my day of rest:
    Go to church.
    Read- books, blogs, whatever.
    Watch movies.
    Often I sit in the yard and absorb nature and think.
    Spend time with family.
    Anything fun and not too mentally taxing. I use my brain enough throughout the week!

    Today I was extremely fatigued so I slept in, piddled around, and our family is going to a picnic this evening.

    I highly recommend taking one day a week to rest!

  49. Elle Strauss says:

    I haven’t been lately, but I do think it’s important. Our church meets every other Sunday, so the off Sunday is supposed to give you even more time to rest and hang out with loved ones, but it’s tempting to fill it with work.

  50. I was thinking how cool it would be if I could take a day, probably Sunday, and unplug. Rest for the internet. Even….gasp….email! Oh, but that would be a challenge! Yet I think it would be refreshing all at the same time.

  51. Well, I tried to take the day off on Thursday, but then I remembered that I have 3 small kids. Thursday night rolled around and the internet went out and stayed out for almost 24 hours and – voila! – I kinda had a day off.

  52. Joanne Sher says:

    One day a month (from bedtime Monday to “waketime” the first Tuesday of each month), I take the day off from my computer and texting–only use my cell for calls, which I rarely make (maybe one call on it a week or less). I read, clean, and write by hand those days, and try to spend time with family.

    I started it at the beginning of this year and it has made a HUGE difference in my anxiety level and stress.

  53. I agree with the church goers here. I rest from all things works related. No shopping. No vacationing. Normally I don’t even read blog posts (but this looked appropriate =).

    I hope this doesn’t sound redundant, but God knows everything and he knows that our bodies need a day to recoup. It’s the same with getting a good nights rest. We aren’t going to be worth much if our bodies can’t function. And it isn’t only the physical rest that we need. In my religion (LDS), we believe that a day to focus on things religious (not that you forget all the rest of the week) is good for the spirit. It uplifts us in a way that nothing else can. This focus on Christ (or God, or whomever you worship) gives people hope, which in turn makes them happy, which in turn helps them live better, more charitable lives (which we all need, am I right?).

    I know that if I didn’t have religion in my life I’d probably ignore this and kill myself with wearing myself out, not taking a break. (And I wear myself out enough as it is =).

  54. Kelly Combs says:

    Two years ago I took the month of December off from blogging, a time of rest to truly immerse in the Christmas holiday and just enjoy my family. My blog readership dropped from about 90 a day, to 20 and has never recovered. I don’t know why “they” never came back. But still, I continue to take sabbaticals from writing, as needed. Probably not the greatest “platform” building in the world, but definitely a great refreshment time for my body, mind and soul.

    Sometimes the best decisions are the hardest.

  55. I Thompson says:

    Lately, even my cat Blackie is stressed out and needs a day off. He comes in from the 103 heat like a mini business man who’s had a horrible commute. I think everyone in my house, cats included, need a vacation in the mountains.

  56. Jillian Kent says:

    I think a day of rest is critical for me, like BK said, but I don’t do it. And I think I pay the price for that in wellness. I try to focus in on sleep issues instead. If I get enough sleep then maybe I don’t need that day of rest I tell myself, but I don’t think it’s healthy at all.

    I’m grateful for this discussion. I’m going to try it next Sunday and see what happens. 🙂 That will be more than challenging, but it might be the best thing I can do.

  57. Liz says:

    One of the best things I ever did for myself was make it a point to take weekends off from writing. This was very hard to do at first, but those two days have become invaluable.

    I usually spend Saturday catching up and getting ahead. I do all the laundry. I put all the things that have collected around the house away to where they need to be. I check in on blogs and read news articles I’ve flagged throughout the week. I clean up the files on my desktop. I spend an hour writing blog posts (sometimes one, sometimes five) and schedule them to post throughout the following week so I don’t have to worry about it….

    And then I spend Sunday doing whatever I want to do. No house cleaning. No book writing. I watch TV, eat lush food, read a little, play computer games… You wouldn’t believe how much you can get done throughout the week if you give yourself a day to do absolutely nothing.

  58. Jo Eberhardt says:

    The downside to having many roles (day job, wife, mother, writer) is that I never really get a “day off”. The upside is that a change really is as good as a holiday, and I always feel rested if I can focus heavily on one of those on a particular day.

    • Kristen says:

      Jo, that is so true. I have wrestled with sabbath-keeping for years because it is so hard to put all of those roles down for 24 hours straight. OK, the day job is easy to put down. The rest…not so much.

      I’m sure women cleverer than I am can figure out how to get all the laundry and cooking done on Saturday, but so far, that accomplishment eludes me. So the closest I come is usually half a day off on Saturday and half a day on Sunday.

  59. Ray S says:

    For the last 48 years I’ve worked in a profession where I’m on-call 24×7, including holidays and even vacations if they can contact me. Be

    I take mini-breaks – 10 minutes of reading, writing (or puzzles) amidst the work. The closest I come to getting out of the rut is doing an occasional Sweat Lodge when visiting some Lakota friends.

    Different strokes, eh?

  60. Giora says:

    Rachelle, your faithful blog readers don’t take a rest. In two days your Google friends more than doubled from 310 to 650. About a week ago, a woman posted here that she’s amazed how you juggle family, work, daily blog and much more. Maybe that’s the reason for you being exhuasted. So if you feel slight pressure to come with an interetsing daily blog, feel free to take a rest, maybe every Sunday. Your supporters here will understand. Have a great Sunday.

    • I second this. Feel free to take a break on your blogging schedule! You are consistently providing a lot of high value content on a very regular basis – way more regular than the vast majority of other industry blogs. You aren’t going to lose readers if you go down to three blogs a week or something like that (you won’t lose me, anyway).

  61. I have to rest. I have to take mini-vacations throughout each day. Even if it’s just a pit stop at Starbucks or a thirty minute walk so I can think.

    For a long time I didn’t know what self-care/rest was but then I became a counselor. I knew I was pouring so much out that I had to put something back in.

    Plus, it’s good modeling for my clients when I say I’m taking a vacation or going to a movie with friends. If I don’t take breaks throughout each day/week/year it’s as if I’m telling myself, “You don’t matter.” Just as the rests in a sheet of music are as important as the notes, time off is critical.

  62. otini says:

    I always intend to take a day off but then I feel guilty and find some project to deal with. Damn this workaholic OCD! LOL

  63. Alexis Grant says:

    What a question! I do take days off, but I think what I really need and don’t get is several days off in a row. That’s how I really relax and find my center. I need to make it happen more often. Thanks for the reminder.

  64. I do try to make Sundays a day of rest. I go to church, take a nap whenever possible on Sunday afternoon, spend some time contacting family by email or phone, take care of little chores or tasks I don’t have time for during the week (not heavy duty stuff and not writing — writing is my job I’m resting from), and try to relax with some evening tv. I try to guard the day from extra responsibilites and meetings, etc. (yes, even the church can try to add too much to our Sunday schedules…)

  65. M.E. Anders says:

    I err on the side of workaholism myself. I feel most alive when I am working on a project. When you love what you do, it’s tough to disengage.

    When I do feel creatively exhausted, I usually spend some time puttering around the pantry in the kitchen. I do some bulk-cooking and stash the goodies in the freezer for future busy days. Works well for me. 🙂

  66. I probably shouldn’t take a day off, but when my mind gets frazzled I know it’s time to vegg out.

  67. Kristen Joy Wilks says:

    Sunday night is a “date night” for my husband and I. I don’t write the next day and he doesn’t have guys over to play board or video games. Once we put the kids in bed we stay up late and watch “Psyche” or whatever tv series we’ve rented from the library (don’t get tv) and snuggle on the couch together. It is refreshing just to be together.

  68. I pretty much do what I love so I don’t think about not doing it. However, when I went on vacation in June to my daughter’s wedding, my plan was to post a ‘guest napkin’ (a napkin I find wherever I happen to be) every day. But I found I really wanted to take a break from that. Not the drawing of the napkin but the posting with it’s writing and technical elements.

    So I posted on a few days but not on others and it was nice to not have to hassle with it. And that was the key, it was a hassle instead of what I love to do.

    I am thinking of taking a no-tech sabbath day sometime soon, that would be a good thing for me I think.

  69. I’m in yet another “Sabbath season”…waiting on God and walking in faith…it’s actually difficult to rest, especially when it’s more than a day!!

  70. J.D. says:

    There is a lesson on writing here. Do I take a day off? Yes, I do … no, I don’t. The truth of the matter is nobody gives a damn whether I do or not. It’s the equivalent of starting a book with a description of the sunny sky.

  71. s.p.bowers says:

    We observe the sabbath, so Sunday is going to church, spending time with family and friends. We put aside the world and worldly work and focus on the spiritual side of life.

  72. Sunday is a day of rest for me. I try to cook the day before and go to Church Sunday morning. In the afternoon I may go to the Library or Chapters. If I want to write I do because it is never work but pleasure. I may do a craft then also. I think it’s extremely important to have a day of rest, if God tells us to do something you can believe it’s for our good!

  73. Usually if it’s a day off from my day job, I write. However every once in a while, I take a day in which I refuse to cook, clean, or run errands. I don’t even write. I usually lay around with a good book, or watch movies. On my birthday and Mother’s Day I don’t even feed the dog or get myself something to drink. It’s the two days of the year my kids wait on me hand and foot. Every once in a while a day off is necessary to refresh and recharge. Unfortunately, it’s not once a week.

  74. My Sundays are usually church and friend focused… so it’s a change – not so much rest.
    I often feel rested after I’ve written something new.
    I think we all need to rest and do nothing more than we do. xx

  75. Reading for me is a break because I’m the type of reader that if the author has the characters on an island, I’m right in the middle of all their business. When I was a kid I helped Nancy Drew solve all her mysteries and I also told Nellie Olsen a thing or two when I read Little House on the Prairie.

  76. domynoe says:

    I’ve gotten to the point where my body will force it…or the weather (a big enough pressure change from the weather will knock me flat). The brain refuses to come up with the words to write, I have no energy, and I end up on a one or two day vacation no matter how hard I try not to be. I’m sort of learning to give in when this happens; pushing it only makes it worse. If I let it go for the day or two my body demands, it doesn’t last longer than that.

    These down days have been happening a little more frequently with recent stresses to the family, but other than that, they usually aren’t too frequent.

  77. Julie says:

    I never get a day off, I work in Kuwait 6 sometimes 7 days a week and 12-14 hours a day……I am also writing, having just finished one book, I am editing another and have a 3rd on the go….I am 50 years old and cannot wait to get back to the UK in September and breath I am to old for this now, luckily I keep my sense of humor…….its been fun though, in a sick weird kind of way…..but now I need some normaldom.

  78. john says:

    I walk with my partner of 25 years. Usually on Sunday but if our unpredictable weather threatens we flip and go Saturday. We walk at least fifteen miles, sometimes nearer twenty, along a long distance path. It’s not rest as such but it is in a way; we get the chance to remain in touch with each other. It is very therapeutic and we get tired legs.(which is a good thing) Avon valley today… (Salisbury to Christchurch, but we will only do half today)

    • Jackie Ley says:

      I identified with this one, John. We spend part of each year in rural SW France and yesterday joined a day-long ramble when we walked 10k through the beautiful French countryside, got a chance to practise our French and make friends with fellow ramblers, sampled the fruits of a melon farm and a local vineyard, visited a chateau and enjoyed a very convivial lunch around a long trestle table in a barn. I didn’t write a word yesterday and didn’t even log on to my computer, but there were so many sights and conversations that my writer’s brain logged away for future reference, it was a very productive way to have fun!

    • Yes… walking. We take family walks as much as possible. It has turned into our times for the best conversations – the calm ones with lots of comfortable silences, and the occasional oh yeah! did I remember to tell you…?

  79. DR says:

    Oh god.
    1:37 in the morning for me right now. My eyes are currently bleeding and my fingers are going to fall off any moment.

    Anyway, I have no rest. I have a mother getting me to clean the house, online classes, and writing.

    NO SUCH THING AS REST FOR A WRITER.

  80. BK Jackson says:

    It took me a long time to learn the lesson but Sundays are my day of rest. (w/the exception of teaching a Sunday School class). I do not write (w/rare exceptions), clean, or do other things on Sunday.

    There are times I fall behind in my writing quota and am tempted to write on Sundays, but most often, I feel strongly prompted to persist in resting, and as a result I usually have a more productive week afterward.

    A day of rest is absolutely critical for me, not only because God pointed it out, but because I run full tilt all the rest of the week from the time I get up to the time I collapse into bed. I MUST have a rest day. Wish I was superhuman, but I’m not, and this geezer needs her rest. 😎

  81. I have been trying to lately. At least from the writing related stuff. I don’t touch revisions or drafts on Sundays any more. (As of maybe a handful of weeks ago.) I go to church, every other week I teach at church, and when I come home from there I relax. Maybe read, maybe watch some television or a movie. Sometimes there’ll be some sort of church function to attend after our meetings.

  82. Rochelle Edvalson says:

    Yes. I take a full day off, every Sunday. It is so nice to be able to say, “I’m not writing, shopping, watching tv, or doing house work (other than dishes and quick clean ups.)” My family goes to church, and plays games and has the extended family over for meals. It’s still busy, but a different kind of busy. I feel better equipped to tackle the next week, and I think I am more productive for it.

  83. Depends on what the day off is from. I get one day off from my day job every week and occasionally grandparents or friends will whip my kids away for a day so I get a day off from being a mom. On those rare occasions the two coincide, it’s writing time!

    I guess with 3 full time professions, it’s difficult to take a real day off.

  84. For me “a day off” includes getting all the things done that I don’t have time to do when I’m working. If I’m not doing something productive on a “free day”, I just end up regretting it.

  85. Jen says:

    Sadly, I don’t take a day off. I am always ON. I’ve tried so many times to observe the Sabbath-ANY Sabbath-and failed miserably. I can count on one hand how successful I’ve been, but on those days I could feel myself recover. I need more of those days, and sooner rather than later.

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