BC Counsellor - Fall 2014 - (Page 13)
go Ahead - 'Waste' a Day
When was the last time you took an entire day to yourself? No work,
no deadlines, no goals. Just you and a day with no plans. See why
the simple exercise of doing nothing can bring many benefits.
The aroma of tea tickles my nostrils as it
wafts in the steam drifting from the cup
nearing my mouth. It is both relaxing and
stimulating as my taste buds anticipate the
tangy sweetness and the thought rises -
why is it called wasting time to spend a
few moments with ourselves? I believe one
of the most important lessons of adulthood is to learn how important it is to like
myself; to feel comfortable with my inner
thoughts and outer person. People come
and go in our lives, but we are going to
keep ourselves company our entire life.
Since I'm going to live with myself, I might
as well learn to get along with myself.
This focus on 'me' carries negative
fallout from the narcissism of the me
generation (see book by Jean M. Twenge,
Ph.D., Generation Me: why today's young
Americans are more confident, assertive,
entitled - and more miserable than ever
before). Yet, we still focus hugely on self -
be it through self-care, self-help, self-indulgence, or any other self-named activities.
Have we lost sight of ourselves that we
need so much self-seeking advice? Yes.
North American society has intruded
into our lives to the extent that we are
easily able to distract ourselves away
from ourselves. We turn on the TV for
background noise or company; the radio
accompanies our commute; handheld
devices connect us whenever there is a
spare moment; we're even bombarded
with dings and beeps to divert us away
from anything other than electronic connections. When do we connect with ourselves in the midst of so many demands?
We don't, unless we do it consciously.
Many people have embraced the
importance of time without task, of time
when our mind can dwell in side spaces
and wander through cobwebs. Meditation,
yoga, prayer, journaling - all are important
activities that bring body/mind harmony.
Many people engage in these activities on
a daily basis; some less often. But a whole
As a child, my family attended church
services on Sunday morning and again
Sunday evening. In between those services
we had fun visiting friends or spending
time together as a family. Some Sundays,
my mother declared a moratorium on
childcare and sent us children to entertain
ourselves while she sat with her feet up
and a book in her hands. Those were our
best Sundays. Mom was still around if we
BC Counsellor | Winter/Fall 2014 | www.bcschoolcounsellor.com
needed something, but mostly we didn't
need anything more than the expectation
that we would solve our own problems.
I share this from a child's viewpoint, but
with respect for a woman who did, without guilt, take a day.
A whole day can carry benefits for
months. It will stir in our memory as a
warm breeze on a cool day. When the
memory fades, it's time for another day. A
whole day is not self-indulgent; it is good
mental health care. It is a pool of feel-good
chemicals in the brain that regulate our
bodies and minds. It is enough time to
really get to know ourselves.
Your day and my day will look different. Yet, they will be the same. Our days
will be ones on which we have shed the
daily responsibilities and have unplugged
from others and plugged into ourselves.
Our days will have time without worries,
deadlines, and stress. I think I'll pack a
lunch and ride my bike to nowhere in
particular or maybe spend a day on the
water in my boat. Maybe my husband will
join me, which is okay since he values
silence and understands the importance
of separateness with togetherness. What
will you do?
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BC Counsellor - Fall 2014
The Fine Print
Empowering Others, Empowering Ourselves
Counsellor Compassion Fatigue: How to Find Balance
Go Ahead – ‘Waste’ a Day
Stress and Children’s Self-Regulation
More Than a Yoga Butt!
Index to Advertisers
BC Counsellor - Fall 2014