Rihanna’s recent Interview Magazine sit down with Sarah Paulson revealed what she’s been up to the last three years, which included newfound insight on marking “P” days (personal days) on her calendar. For someone of mogul stature like Rihanna, we shake our heads in awe that she’s just now realizing the importance of taking time off. But for many of us unknowns who are working to build something, amidst obligations like 9 to 5’s or family time, taking P days can feel so undeserving. Like we haven’t worked hard enough to earn them.
Celebrate The Small Gains
The truth is simple, as RiRi so elegantly put it, “If you’re not happy, you’re not going to be happy even doing things that you love doing.” The truth is also complex. If you’re not happy, you won’t be until you learn how to enjoy the journey. Have you been told yes in a sea of no’s? Even if it was 6 months ago? Even if you didn’t get the job, did you land a couple of interviews, despite 15 applications put in with no response? Everyday you’re wiser than the day you were before. Everyday you tweak something that isn’t working. Everyday you’re a little bit better. You have to remember the odds of something happening in your favor are high if you put a little time and focus in each day. Don’t get caught up in big breaks. Get caught up in consistency and want. This mindset may take practice, especially if you have anxiety. But it will give you the energy to take a day to yourself, refuel, and get back in the race.
P Days V.s Blowing Off Steam
Blowing off steam is cool. Many would argue even necessary to continue living. A few hours hanging with the girls or guys on a Saturday night is great, but make sure it’s friends or family that really know you. That push you to be the best version of yourself and don’t let you wallow in self-pity too long or at all. Make sure you’re with people that want as much out of life as you do.
Blowing off steam includes the amazing feeling of venting to others usually about what you feel is beyond your control. Smoking cigarettes or marijuana is considered blowing off steam. It’s things that bring immediate gratification, but don’t do much for your mental health in the long run. P Days are about reconnecting with who you are. When’s the last time you visited with your grandma or a relative for no reason? Whenever I take the time to see my parents, no matter how long I’ve put it off, I always feel like I know myself again.
Rihanna took a P-Day back to her hometown to watch a childhood musician play who recently got out of jail. While we can’t all afford or have the circumstances to jet set when we want, maybe a short road trip can suffice. About two hours from my beloved New Orleans is Clark’s Creek Nature Trail in Mississippi. If those waterfalls can’t rehydrate your soul, I don’t know what can.
Why It’s Hard To Take Time For Yourself
When you’re focused on the grind or feel so far away from your goals, forcing yourself to take time off won’t be enjoyable if you’re not actually there. Deep down, we know it’s going to take more effort to unplug than we think we can allow. If you really want to get the most out of relaxing, maybe discuss this with someone who can check in with you throughout the day. They can ask questions about what you’re doing or where you are and how you’re feeling. In other words, they can keep you grounded to what’s in front of you in the present moment. The word, “Mindfulness” has been thrown around time and time again, but according to my therapist and the research, it’s the key to truly optimizing your personal time and the time spent with those you love.