Often people think about completely detaching from anything professional, giving attention to personal needs or desires, when taking a day off. But I have found it can be enjoyable and productive to take a day during the work week, without much planning, driven by the spontaneous motivation to focus on yourself.
Having done this for a few years, I’ve come up with some favorite things to do while taking a professional ‘recess.’ So take a break from the usual work or activities and give these a try:
1. Get fit. Perhaps you’ve wanted to check out a studio, gym, or trail. Maybe you just need extra time to switch up that exercise routine or incorporate something new. Recess is about focusing on your overall physical and mental health.
2. Connect. Head to a local cafe for a beverage of choice. Instead of immediately tapping into the Wi-Fi, strike up a conversation with someone unknown. ‘Strangers’ often get a bad rap, but connecting with a new person can be a great opportunity to grow your personal and professional network.
3. Binge learn. Find a place where you can focus … a co-working space, library, or home. Stream documentaries, watch inspirational videos, read a book, listen to a podcast, and/or take a massive open online course. Developing during your recess can lead to new learning habits.
4. Shop till you drop. Go to the mall, buy online, or do both. This is your day to spruce up that wardrobe, get some accessories, or maybe a new scent.
5. Craft your story. This is the perfect opportunity to work on your Modern Résumé Suite.
6. Take an excursion. Find a city, suburb, or town that is a short trip away and visit. Walk around, grab a bite to eat, and observe the locals. Going to unfamiliar places is good exposure to a different society and could result in new ideas or opportunities.
7. Initiate social interaction. If online then look at profiles and like, comment, endorse, or thank connections. For in person, consider attending a meet up, volunteering at a school, or organizing a happy hour. Regardless of how, choose to nurture and build quality relationships.
Taking a professional recess should be at minimum a yearly routine. It’s not self-centered … rather it can equip you with confidence and the ability to give more.