Every person needs to take one day away.
A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.
Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us,
and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.
Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted,
no solutions searched for.
Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.
Maya Angelou (full poem here)
Perhaps the trend of sharing inspirational quotes and phrases online is seen as cheesy by some and I suppose there are some more famous quotations that get bandied about to the point of cliche. However, personally I’m thankful for this type of sharing because I think there’s something so special about coming across words that really resonate with you.
It might just be for a moment; you read a quote that lifts you up, provides inspiration or spurs some motivation that you were otherwise lacking. Or sometimes you come across quotes or phrases that speak to something deeper inside you and you know theses words will stay with you for a lot longer.
That’s how I felt when I first read A Day Away by Maya Angelou. Discovered on Instagram of course, these words although articulating something so simple just resonated with me. They are beautiful yet they feel instructional too; like a recipe for a more joyful life. Everyone needs A Day Away – to find some headspace, to unplug, to defend against burnout – it just makes a lot of sense doesn’t it?
For me a day away definitely involves a ‘digital detox’. I feel like it’s a cliche to say that these days, but I think it’s so important to take a break from the constant checking notifications and the mindless scrolling. Especially because all the apps and social channels are tools of my work, if I’m having a day away proper then I really have to disconnect entirely. I rely on social media daily; for distraction, for inspiration, for community and comfort, and to be honest I don’t mind relying on it for those things, but it definitely feels good to break the habit every now and then. I find that after a day or two of a blanket ban I am much more mindful of my usage – at least for a little while.
Ideally a day away for me would mean getting out of city; to the sea or the mountains. My head becomes the clearest when out in the wild and breathing in fresh air. I’m sure you might feel the same. That said, a day away doesn’t, and shouldn’t, have to be about literally getting away. It could be taking yourself to your favourite cafe or park, to a spa or to see a film.
I think the key, taking our cue from Maya Angelou, is a day spent not thinking about obligations or worrying on problems. Often it’s in those moments when you’re not searching for answers when things suddenly become oh so clear.
Maybe it’s something in the Spring air but I’ve noticed a couple of my blogging friends have recently put down thoughts in a similar vein. I urge you to go and read Lyzi’s post on Taking Time as well as Siobhan’s Lessons from the Mountains. Both are beautifully written, insightful pieces on taking a day (or days) away.