Balance,  Thriving

Four Reasons Why You Need to Take Yourself on a Day Trip

Dear Courtney,

Have you ever thought about taking yourself on a day trip? It might sound a little silly but I’ve recently found that it can be an incredibly effective self-care mechanism. This is especially important if you’re someone who tends to over-plan, over-work, or over-accommodate. We all just need a break from time-to-time and I’m starting to think the solo day trip is one of the best ways to truly dedicate a day to putting yourself first and enjoying some quiet me-time and introspection (check out our post on solo traveling here).


A little background on my recent insight

Just last month I had quite a bit of time to myself as my fiance was out-of-town on business and I was determined to use all my extra hours to check off a monstrous to-do list, getting way ahead on all of my projects, while also making time to see all my friends more often than usual. If you know anything about me, it probably won’t come as a surprise that I over-planned myself in terms of the ‘to-do’s, was adding classes on the weekends, and was effectively being even less social as a result as I was too frustrated with myself to go out and have fun when I couldn’t even finish one of the five things I planned to do that day.

Long story short: I can self-sabotage and then cut myself down because of it like nobody’s business.

You don't need to wait on anyone else—make a plan just for you!As the second (and final) Sunday of my time to myself approached, I looked at the ONE completely free day I had left and thought about all of different projects and tasks I could fit in so as to “get back on track” with the hopelessly flawed vision I had had for myself when embarking on that time. I started to think it would be setting myself up from further disaster and therefore irresponsible if I did anything else. And then I told that judgmental voice in my head to shut up and booked a bus to the beach!

It was absolutely the best decision I could have made for myself in that moment and I guarantee you that if you’re in a similar position it will do wonders for you, too! And you certainly don’t need to be in a dire or desperate state of affairs to enjoy a solo day trip, either. Trust me, we can all use a little more of the following in our lives…


Why taking myself on a day trip was so important

1.) No need to accommodate anyone else: Years of social conditioning told me that I should probably invite someone else to go to the beach with me as it was “a little sad and pathetic” to plan a trip by myself. However, I knew exactly what kind of beach day I needed; I knew that I wanted to leave early and to pack my own lunch, barely moving from the sand during the six hours I would spend there. And I knew that, no matter who I invited, I would end up accommodating their needs and wants too, ultimately changing the scope of the day and perhaps not fulfilling the needs behind why I was taking this day trip in the first place.

When was the last time you put yourself first?

2.) Treating yourself as worthy:
Something that goes hand-in-hand with the socially unacceptableness of planning a trip on your own is the feeling that “it’s not worth it.” Why would you want to put the time, energy, and money into planning and then going somewhere for a day when you have no one to share that experience with? The answer is simple and it’s because YOU are worth it. You deserve a day at the beach, at the museum, in that rural village you’ve been meaning to visit, or where ever your heart would take you if you just listened. So often, we hold ourselves back from what we really want to do and that is usually tied to a (perhaps subconscious) feeling that we are not worthy of whatever it is that’s got our attention.


3.) No distractions: Perhaps most importantly for someone like me who works at home and can then be a homebody on top of that, it makes such a difference to be away from your house when you give yourself ‘me-time.’ I usually consider my home to be my sanctuary and protect my ‘me-time’ within those walls. However, it quickly becomes too easy to ‘just do that one thing I’ve been meaning to’ on my computer or ‘just throw in one load of laundry.’ Before I know it, my ‘me-time’ has taken a backseat to a plethora of distractions. I KNOW all of those things need to get done but when I take away from the designated time to ‘fill up my cup’ in order to accomplish them I’m selling myself short and never fully getting ‘filled up.’ On the other hand, when I truly let myself disconnect and feel no guilt about stepping away from it all, I came back rejuvenated and much more capable of accomplishing those things during the week.


4.) Field trip vibes: Remember those times back in elementary school when you would get totally psyched because of the big, exciting field trip? When you were so pumped about the out-of-the-ordinary plan for the next day that you had trouble falling asleep? I SERIOUSLY felt this way before my day trip!! As I planned and schemed—preparing my ‘sack lunch’ and packing up my beach things the night before—I couldn’t help but feel a little naughty, thinking that I was about to have way more fun than anyone is meant to have on their own. I felt like I was ‘pulling a fast one’ on the world by sneaking in this day trip just to myself. It felt glorious and I honestly had the same smile on my face from the moment I tucked myself into bed that night through the end of the next day.


Moral of the Story

Whether the idea of taking yourself on a day trip is starting to sound really good or whether you’re still skeptical about the whole thing, I bet you that you could use one! Seriously, you don’t have to wait on anyone else to enjoy yourself. Give it a try and you’re sure to come away feeling freer, more refreshed, and even more loved. If you do a solo day trip, be sure to share your story with us in the comments below—where did you go, what did you do, and how did you come away feeling? We’d love to know more about your experience!


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