Why we need #dayoffbrags

Our Social Media Manager, Sarah A. Parker, likes to opine on all things social media from time to time, so we’ve given her space to do just that here on our blog. She’ll cover everything from the new and unusual to the outdated and annoying. Got something she missed our something you’d like her to cover? Find her on Twitter @SparkerWorks

In addition to being a Social Media Marketer, I’m also a runner. And this year I got struck down by one of the afflictions runners dread most: Plantar fasciitis.

At first I tried to run through it, taking maybe a week or two off here and there. I tried icing my feet, buying new shoes. I went to a podiatrist and physical therapy; worked on changing and improving my running form. I stopped wearing anything other than running shoes, with special 3D printed inserts and a lift. I rolled my feet out twice a day and slept in a night splint. Cut my mileage down to nothing.

Nothing was working.

Eventually I had to admit that I needed to stop running completely, and that was a bigger blow to me than I ever thought it would be. I’m not a natural runner; I’ve had to fight for every mile and every second of increased speed. I worked my way from multiple iterations of Couch-to-5k to running half-marathons. And now I couldn’t run at all. Did that mean I wasn’t a runner anymore? Was I going to lose all of my fitness along with that part of my identity?

Luckily I had discovered something during all of this that would really help me: #RestDayBrags and its accompanying accounts on Instagram and Twitter. Like I wrote about in my column We need to talk about “the grind”, athletes also suffer from this always-on mentality. #NeverMissAMonday and #NoDaysOff are hugely popular hashtags on fitness Instagram accounts. I’m guilty of using the former. But you know what? I do miss Mondays when I need to.

#RestDayBrags was started by a couple of athletes who wanted to make bragging about days off of training just as big as bragging about big heavy training days that go well. You crushed that 20-mile training run? Awesome. Now crush a glass of wine, 12 hours of sleep and 12 tacos.

Because resting is training.

I think this is something the working world- and especially the tech industry- could benefit from making their own. Brag about your days off. Start with bragging about your hour off. Start somewhere.

You spent 12 hours finishing that presentation and nailed it? Won that big account after weeks of late nights and early morning calls? Awesome. Now crush your day off. Brag about how much screen time you didn’t log today because you went on a really long hike with your dog or spent too long at the breakfast table with your family. Brag about just stepping away from the computer at lunch to sit outside or go for a walk.

Real days off are part of work, because actual breaks make us better at our jobs. It gives us the time and space to connect those unrelated ideas that often push us forward.

I’ve experienced a healthier shift in my mindset since adopting #RestDayBrags in my athletic life, so I figure it’s worth a try in my professional life too. Let me know what you think.

Photo by Danny Kekspro on Unsplash