Do you feel like you take enough time just for you? If you're like most Americans, the answer is no. In an informal survey by Domain.me (the .me domain provider), 70 percent of respondents reported not spending enough time on themselves. And so, in an original combination of domain promotion and social movement, Domain.me is touting March 16 as "Me Day," and encouraging busy people to honor the day by taking time to do something nice for themselves.
Domain.me is inviting people who are celebrating Me Day to "join the conversation" by posting their Me Day thoughts and activities on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #MEDay. Those at the South by Southwest conference can also celebrate Me Day at the Me Day party, thrown in conjunction with Domain.com.
But a Me Day celebration doesn't necessarily need to include partying. "A ME Day will be unique to the individual--the important thing is consciously making it a priority," says Tony Stubblebine, CEO and founder of Coach.me, which connects users with coaches.
Here are some thoughts about how you might celebrate ME Day:
1. Think outside the spa.
The traditional idea of "me" activities includes things like taking a bubble bath or getting a massage. If that's your idea of how you like to indulge (it is mine!) then that's a splendid way to spend ME Day. But there are many different ways to celebrate the occasion. The important thing is to do something that you choose, that takes you outside your normal routine, and that you truly enjoy.
2. Doing nothing might be better than doing something.
A very busy lawyer with a large, active family once told me that the best vacation he ever had was a week spent drinking beer, eating Oreos, and watching game shows. If that sort of thing is your idea of nirvana and, like him, you rarely have the opportunity to slack off, then giving yourself permission to be lazy might be the perfect ME Day celebration. Try taking a small step in that direction by turning off your alarm and allowing yourself the simple pleasure of sleeping in.
3. ME day can be an unselfish day.
Spending part or all of ME Day on volunteering could be a great way to honor the day. But remember--do something you never or rarely do and that you truly will enjoy. If volunteering doesn't fit those criteria for you then save it for a different day.
4. ME Day can be good-for-me day.
Joining a health club, studying a new language, musical instrument, or art form, or going for a run or a hike are all good ME Day activities--as long as what you do is something you really enjoy.
5. ME Day needn't be solo.
As a solopreneur who spends too much time alone in my office, one of the best ways I know to take care of myself is to call up a friend for a long chat or a get-together. That's a great way to celebrate ME Day as well.
6. You can celebrate ME Day at work.
Another way to honor ME Day might be to emulate Google's famous 20 percent time, in which its engineers could spend one day a week working on a project of their choice. If you have a pet project or initiative you'd love to tackle but haven't found the time, celebrate ME Day by setting everything else aside and digging in. Extra points if you give that same freedom to your employees. (Here's more on how to empower them.)
7. ME Day doesn't have to be all day.
A full ME Day is nice if you can swing it, but if not, try taking a ME break. Take the morning off and come in late. Or take a luxuriously long lunch hour, and indulge in a slow meal at your favorite restaurant, or a stroll in the park, or a mani-pedi. Or take yourself shopping with the assignment to buy yourself a nice present.
8. Don't limit yourself to once a year.
ME Day may not come around again for another year. But that shouldn't be the next time you do something nice for yourself. You'll be happier, healthier, and--yes--more productive if you regularly take a "mental health day" and make time to try new things you've always wanted to do. (Here's more on how taking time away from work makes you more productive.)
And you'll have a more enjoyable life if you make yourself a pledge to do at least one thing that makes you happy every single day. So--365 ME Days a year? Sounds like a good idea to me.