© Sarah Wallcave 2005. All Rights Reserved.
Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation
June 5, 2005

Introduction: Sarah, age 16, has just completed our Coming of Age (COA) program and also gotten her California drivers license, all in the same 6 months. She gave this homily for a Sunday service planned and conducted by the COA youth.

You wake up but stay in bed. You're trying to pretend that in five minutes you won't have to get up and get ready military style to rush off to work or school. Do you suffer from Sunday-itis where your Sunday nights are lame just because you have to go to work the next day?

And tell me how many of you are prejudiced against Mondays because that is the first day you have to go back to work after your relaxing weekend; back to the grindstone? Is your life in a rut? Are you stuck in your daily routine?

Routines help us stay organized; they help us get our work done and accomplish what is necessary. They allow us to have order in our lives and give us control over the tasks at hand. However, they can also trap us into living without really living our lives. They can make us run on autopilot and can make our lives monotonous. Routines are dangerous and we must learn how to balance them with living.

Sometimes do you look outside and see what a beautiful day you are going to miss because you have to go to work? To quote Ferris Bueller, "How can I be expected to go to school on a day like this?"

Well you should try taking a mental health day. I like to call it a Day For Me/ What is a Day For Me? It is a day when you take time for yourself to do something outside of your daily routine. The purpose of these days is to make sure that you do not spend your whole life in a routine and not sampling every aspect of your life.

Many of you parents watch your kids play in the sandbox or in the dirt but when is the last time you actually got down there and played with them? As a kid I remember I always wondered why my parents were so boring. How come my parents didn't want to play as much as I did? Why don't they have an imagination like we did? It is important to stretch ourselves because we need to get out of our routines.

Taking a day off is important for mental health. It can rejuvenate you. Just make sure to don't take a day off to do all those errands and tasks that need to get done.

Even if you don't have enough work or sick days available for Day For Me, it is still important to set aside time for your mental and emotional health. You could make it as short as five minutes, though I would recommend more time if you can.

What can you do? You could soak in a hot tub, lie in a hammock, listen to music, dance, take a walk, read a book with a hot cup of tea. Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed with schoolwork or responsibilities, I lie in the hammock, swim, or cook. (Cooking is relaxing for me because I don't have to do it every day!) Whatever you choose to do, just make time for yourself.

The benefits of taking this time for yourself are that you will be less stressed and usually you will feel better about yourself. It is definitely more relaxing and it can even help you get focused because it helps to be less cluttered.

Taking a day off for yourself is beneficial to yourself and even your family. So to quote Ferris Buellar again, "If you have the means I highly recommend it!"

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