“Stop and smell the roses,” people often say. Then they smile
ruefully, because everybody knows there isn´t enough TIME to
stop or, as my daughter says, to “chill.”
This is the Conventional Wisdom and I´m here to tell you that
the CW is simply WRONG. Researchers in Positive Psychology
find that people actually get more done if they take time out to
SAVOR their day. Not only that, but, over time, people who set
aside a few hours every week are likely to be healthier, more
relaxed, and better able to cope with the stresses of everyday
Why not try it? Give yourself the gift of Savoring. (Hey,
stress is all you have to lose!)
To start, make a list of 10 things you REALLY enjoy doing,
whether or not you´ve made time for them lately. I´m talking
about stuff that gives you real pleasure. They may be things
you do alone, or with one other person, or with a group. Look
over the list, and see if one thing says pick me.’ Choose
one of those activities that you enjoy.
Now: Take out your calendar, and SOME TIME IN THE NEXT MONTH,
block out at least a 2-hour period that is JUST FOR YOU. Half
a day is better. A whole day is best of all. Do whatever is
needed to make that time free. Ask a neighbor to baby-sit.
Tell your spouse you´ll be busy. Say no’ to the half-dozen
requests that will almost certainly challenge your Savoring
And when Your Day comes . . . GO FOR IT, whether you´re making a
picture, walking in the woods, going to a movie, or just sitting
still. What matters is that you´re doing something you really
These tricks will help you get the most out of your day:
Give yourself permission this is Your Day. It is absolutely
100% okay for you to be taking this time. Leave your cell
phone at home, or at least turned off. When kill-joy thinking
comes along (and it will), play with it. Pretend it´s a
stick floating in a stream, and just let it drift away.
Keep the day alive collect a souvenir or take mental
photographs to help you hold on to this special time.
Focus as though you were taking a photograph, adjust the
depth of field.’ Focus on selected aspects of the experience
and let the others go.
Immerse Yourself Try not to analyze the experience, just
be there. You´re savoring, remember?
Tell the story Share your experience with a friend or
partner the joy that´s shared multiples by ten.
Write it down. Read it over as a reminder in a few days
When your Savoring time is over, celebrate! Pat yourself on
the back for challenging the Conventional Wisdom. And, while
you´re at it, why not take out your calendar and make another
date for Savoring Your Day?
Maureen Killoran, MA, DMin, is a Life Coach and Unitarian
minister, with a passion for helping people connect their
strengths with their vision. Maureen offers dynamic
individual and group coaching, work team empowerment training,
teleclasses, and a free monthly e-zine, “Seeds of Change.”