Deciding to start going on Nice Days Out (taking a proper day off once a week to go visit / do / see something interesting) was one of my best decisions of recent years.
I've visited loads of fabulous galleries and museums, seen lots of great exhibitions, explored many new-to-me places and met up with dozens of lovely people along the way. It's also helped me escape from the pressure that I (like many self-employed people) feel to just keep working all the time (there's always more to do!) and it has helped me unwind and de-stress, ready to return to my projects refreshed and re-inspired.
But I have to admit that I started skipping my days out at the end of 2014! I had so many deadlines all at once, I fell back into old habits and started saying "oh no I can't take a day off this week, I'm much too busy!" week after week after week. Not good.
So this year I am determined to get back to my regular Nice Days Out. There will definitely be times when I have to skip a week or two due to deadlines or illness but I will do my best to "catch up" whenever that happens and make sure it doesn't become a habit.
To help me stick to this plan I've looked up lots of interesting
places to look forward to visiting (including lots of places with an Art Pass
discount, hurrah!) and I've set myself a "Nice Days Out" budget
separate from the rest of my budget, as a special ring-fenced fund that I
can only spend on going out and doing fun stuff :)
I've also treated myself to a year's membership of Kew Gardens
(where I spotted all these lovely snowdrops last week) so even if I
don't have a particular exhibition, etc, that I feel like visiting on my day off I can
just hop on a train to Kew and spend lots of happy hours wandering round
exploring the wonderful gardens.
Sadly even after resolving to get back into these good habits it is haaaaard getting out of the mindset of "but I need to work!" and actually take a proper day off.
The year started well with an early trip at the start of the month, and then I got caught up in doing my accounts etc and my To Do list was so long that I just kept putting off my days off... for days then weeks. Even the day I'd decided to take my first trip to Kew I woke up and lay in bed feeling guilty about going, umming and aahing about it and thinking "but maybe I should just stay here and work??" Ugh.
Of course, after eventually deciding to go out as I'd planned, as I strolled round the gardens in the winter sunshine the stress just melted off me and I had a wonderful, relaxing, happy day. I need to remember this feeling, I thought, this isn't some special treat I only deserve after I've magically finished "all" my work, it's a necessity.
Note to self: take your own advice and remember to schedule some adventure!