Working from Home: The Duvet Day

Yesterday, I decided to have myself a duvet day.

In my defense, it was Black Monday: officially the most miserable day of the year. Black Monday is the day when the weather, work and the fact that we’re all still broke after Christmas, combine to make more of us than usual decide to call in sick and crawl back under the duvet.

For once, I was one of them.

Taking a duvet day – or any kind of unscheduled break – was actually a pretty big departure for me. It’s the first time I’ve done it in almost four years of freelancing, and even although I badly needed it, I still felt guilty. But Saturday night had been a bad one: I’d had one of my infrequent bouts of insomnia which meant that I didn’t sleep at all until (as is the way of it) minutes before I had to get up on Sunday morning.

Sunday was a long day, too. We were out for most of it, and didn’t get home until after midnight, by which point I’d been awake for getting on for 36 hours, and was feeling almost jet lagged with tiredness. When Monday morning dawned, it took me just a few minutes to decide to snuggle back under the covers and give myself a break.

Not that it was much of a break, mind you. I’m too much of a workaholic to be able to take an entire day off, so although I let myself sleep as long as I wanted to, and only completed those tasks that were absolutely necessary, I did spend some time at my desk. The short break did me good, though, and reminded me that sometimes it’s important to be kind to yourself, and let yourself have some time off now and again. When you work from home, or freelance, it can be very easy to get into the trap of working non-stop, and feeling guilty every time you allow yourself to sit down and put your feet up for a few seconds. I know I’ve felt like that for years: in fact, it’s only recently that I’ve started to allow myself to have weekends off, and even then I feel the need to rush to the computer every chance I get. It was never like this when I worked for someone else…

My point? Sometimes we all need a bit of a duvet day. Even those of us whose offices are just a few shorts steps away from that duvet.