Outside view of VIDA Building

Take a Secret Day Off

Person standing in a grass field with their arms raised. Image credit: Kourosh Qaffari

September 2022


You hear a lot about the idea of self-care, but most of the time people engage in it, it’s only for a momentary activity. Even if it’s just once a year, try to extend your self-care to a full day. Call it a secret day off. One where you plan a day of activities that recharge your batteries. And the reason it’s a secret is because you don’t tell anyone what you’re up to. There’s something that makes it a bit more indulgent and a bit more special when you’re the only one that knows. And if no one knows, you’re less likely to do what might look good to others and focus on what feels good to you.

The key is to give the day some careful thought in advance. This is the kind of day that many people would associate with indulgent activities like going to a spa. But it’s more about rejuvenation than indulgence. And since you might have some trouble thinking about what kinds of things would make the day special, consider these questions:

  • What’s something that makes you completely lose track of time when you’re doing it?
  • What’s something you say you love doing but haven’t done for a long time?
  • What’s something you want to do, but keep putting off?
  • What’s something you love doing that not even your friends or family know about?
  • What were your favorite things to do as a kid?

Consider your answers and plan your secret day around the one or more that excite you the most. The best part is, because it’s a secret day you don’t have to worry that some of your choices might seem odd to others. Maybe you want to spend the entire day in a coffee house reading a favorite book from high school. Maybe you want to empty, clean, and rearrange your kitchen cupboards. Maybe you want to go fishing.

If it leaves you feeling energized and joyful, you planned the perfect secret day off.