The Importance of Downtime


Lulu & Georgia Moroccan Pouf, custom Society Social chair, Pottery Barn sisal rug

This summer was one of the best of my life. We were lucky enough to travel almost every week, and when we were home, our weekends were packed full of plans and projects. It was a non-stop blur of activity. Last weekend was the first I’ve had with only a few plans in literally months, and it blew my mind. I woke up on Monday morning feeling so much more relaxed, refreshed and, well…normal.

Like many of you, I get terrible FOMO when I see my friends or other people out at dinners in the West Village or apple picking in the country or pretty much doing anything fun. My mind immediately goes to a place of panic, thinking that I need to get out and do something exciting. I’ve been known to scramble for last-minute plans just to avoid this feeling with an added bonus of making my Instagram feed more exciting. Shameful and so embarrassing… I know!

Maybe it’s because I’m 30 and finally getting a little wiser, or maybe I’m just burnt out from the summer of insanity, but I have a serious craving for downtime lately. Time with no plans, no where to go, no one to meet, knowing that it’s ok. It’s ok to read a book for three hours or go for a walk with no real direction. So here are my thoughts on downtime and what I’ve learned about it in the last few years.

1. The importance of making time for downtime. I am a big fan of saying that I hate relaxing which really tends to piss off certain people (aka my husband). It’s taken me years to realize that relaxing isn’t “doing nothing”. It’s resetting my systems and letting my brain unwind, a rare luxury in this fast-paced world.

2. Put it in your schedule. If you’re like me, and relaxation doesn’t come naturally to you schedule an hour or half-day (or, if you’re feeling really crazy, a FULL DAY) in your actual calendar for this personal time. Since we’re all glued to our phones and iCals, this will make it feel more “normal” for even the busiest of busy bees. You might be tempted to skip it when the alert pops up but try to remember how much better you’ll feel and how much more productive you’ll be if you actually do it!

3. Make it count. When I have a few free hours on a Saturday, I get excited because I can fill them with productive things like blogging, photo shoots, cleaning, or running errands. None of those things count as downtime, people! Use the time to truly unwind, disconnect, and reset your physical and emotional bodies. Some of my personal favorite activities to do during this time are: reading, watching your favorite movie, chatting with an old friend on the phone, grabbing a tea (or green juice) with a pal, or sitting in the sunshine with a glass of wine and a magazine.

4. Even the tiniest bit helps! If you’re truly someone who is “doing it all”, and an hour of relaxation is not in the books, that’s ok! Put 10 minutes in your work calendar to get up and take a walk around the block. This will do wonders for your productivity… and your eyes that have most likely been staring at a screen for hours.

How do you take downtime? What do you do with that time? I’d love to know!

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  1. Alyssa Thomas said:

    This is so important. Thank you. It took me so long to realize I deserved downtown!

    Alyssa | Glitter and Grey

    9.22.15 · Reply
  2. It’s funny. As much as I gripe that I want downtime, when I get it, I’m very restless. We were away recently and my husband took our boys for a hike which left me alone at the pool with a magazine and a drink. Although I enjoyed the peace and quiet, after about an hour, I missed my family and couldn’t wait for them to get back. I did find that I had more patience with the kids that day so I guess I needed that time more than I realized. It’s definitely something I need to carve out each week:)

    Taffeta & Tulips

    9.22.15 · Reply
  3. Down time is like a unicorn for me, it almost never exists! And once I have it, I have no idea what to do with it. This whole past weekend I had to spend by myself and it was the most unproductive weekend I’ve ever had. I watched a lot of Netflix and ran some nonchalant errands. I love relaxing with a good book (which I’m out of, I need recommendations) and a cup of sleepy time tea right before bedtime!


    9.22.15 · Reply
  4. Ally said:

    Downtime is such a struggle for me these days. I never thought of myself as a workaholic but it has definitively happened. Trying to relax once in awhile!

    Xo Aly

    9.22.15 · Reply
  5. Kiki said:

    So much easier said than done, but I couldn’t agree with you more! Even something as simple as painting my nails or getting to read a book. That’s my down time. Our jobs should have dedicated time for “down time.” (;

    9.22.15 · Reply
  6. Heather said:

    I’m right there with you! I always wonder when people possibly squeeze in downtime/time to read/time to just sit – but it’s definitely something that has to be prioritized right up there with meeting friends for dinner or planning an instagram-worthy weekend outing.

    Pineapples and Pearls

    9.22.15 · Reply
  7. Katie said:

    Love these tips! I definitely need my down town but it’s hard to take time off (especially on the weekends) when you think of all of the fun activities you may be missing!


    9.22.15 · Reply
  8. Maggie said:

    I love downtown 🙂 Favorite part of the day. We need to recharge every once in a while, and sometimes that’s hard to remember.

    9.22.15 · Reply
  9. Surprisingly cooking tends to relax me, I get an hour by myself to prep dinner with some music in the background and unwind before my husband gets home and it’s so nice. My husband has a great advantage of this because he gets a delicious meal every day. haha 🙂

    9.22.15 · Reply
    • I hear you on that one! I love cooking (with a glass of wine!) to relax.

      9.23.15 · Reply
  10. Paola Blanc said:

    I love reading, watching movies with my family and cooking with my daughter

    9.23.15 · Reply