Ok, I know you are saying – what is a lump day? Well, it’s a day when you actually cancel everything and take time to do nothing. It’s not a day to get your laundry sorted or catch a great sale, game or whatever. It’s a day to go inside and I’m not talking about going indoors. Rather it’s a time to just go inside your mind and think, don’t think – it doesn’t matter. Just try and give your mind a rest, a chance to recharge. Sleep more than normal, or go for a walk alone and try not to engage with anything or anybody. I know this sounds like some type of meditation – a concept that scares some people- especially Type A personalities who think they can’t shut down and actually might fail at something. You can’t fail at meditation. What ever you do or don’t do when you try and quiet your mind is ok – its a process. Think of it as a spa day for your mind.
The late, great Maya Angelou wrote that once a year she would go on a “walk about”. She would cancel her appointments, meetings, phone calls and then she would literally walk alone all day. When she finished her ‘walk about” she realized that all the issues, crises, critical decisions being made that day were managed by others. It showed her that she was not indispensable. Life goes on with or with out you and if you don’t take even one day to recharge -it could overwhelm you. Take a Lump Day – you are worth it!
Children and Lump Days
My kids always knew that they had one lump day a semester. This day couldn’t be used to escape a test or a paper that was due, but rather a day to catch – up or do nothing at all. A mental health day. They had to choose this day very carefully. It was like a treat that you wanted to eat at the right time and savor – eat it too soon just because it was available and you would regret it when you were really hungry and needed it. This day really gave them special time, a secret source of pleasure that they had autonomy over. It was a huge stress reducer. It gave them a time to sleep a little later, especially when they were teenagers and their biological rhythms were way out of synch with the archaic 7 am opening hours of many schools. Happily, research is now helping to show educational authorities that many times teens sleep walk through their morning classes and would be better served by later start times, but that’s a whole other blog. Anyway, it’s a great day for their minds and bodies. Additionally you earn great parenting bonus points.
Everyone needs a lump day once and awhile!!