The Tiny Guide to Parke Diem

Maybe you’ve got carpe diem figured out. You go after it every day, work hard, are adventurous, productive, and fill every waking moment with a big, full life. But, if your carpe diem feels less like seizing the day and more like missing the day, it’s time to consider parke diem.

I find great joy in doing nothing, in finding space in my day with nothing scheduled. Lately that means lounging under a big tree in the park with my pup. Having the time to do this doesn’t mean that email isn’t piling up, or that I don’t have other projects and commitments that need my attention. I just know that I can’t give any of that my heart and soul if I don’t take care of my heart and soul first.

Taking that time doesn’t make me less productive either. In fact, it fuels my work. My last under the tree lingering inspired this Tiny Guide to Park Diem.

The Tiny Guide to Parke Diem


Defining Parke Diem

What is parke diem?
Time, space or activity for the sole purpose of warming your heart and soothing your soul. Instead of seizing the day and giving your to-do list ultimate control, enjoy the day by parking your butt under a tree, or dangling your legs over the side of a dock, whatever it takes to take care of you is the best way to practice parke diem.

Why practice park diem?
Endless giving, serving, doing, accomplishing is exhausting. Keeping up, catching up and exceeding expectations will wear you down. Parke diem will help you reclaim clarity, energy and a general feeling of wellness and happiness. It will also inspire you to do less of all of that other stuff.

Simple ways to Parke Diem

Guided meditation and mindfulness.
10-20 minutes a day of quiet reflection will do wonders for your insides and your outlook. Try this free guided meditation (I do these almost everyday), or enjoy 30 days of living with ease.

Go to the park.
Get literal with Parke Diem and go to the park. Bring a picnic lunch or your favorite book. Kick off your shoes, turn off your phone, find a shady spot, and stretch out.

Love yourself.
My friend Amanda offers great ways to take care of you, and reminds us that “self love and self care is not selfish. It’s smart. And necessary to lead a full, good life.”

Linger over lunch.
Instead of drive thru in your car, carve out time to linger over your lunch. If you don’t think you have time, read this.

Take a nap.
Lay down in the middle of the day and close your eyes for 20 minutes.

Start a journaling practice.
Write about your day. Write about what you see, how you feel, what you’ve experienced and what you want to experience. Doodle and draw and write and dream. See how Tammy uses her journals and enjoy her tips on how to start your own journaling practice.

Write a love letter. (to yourself)
Write a love letter or a sweet thank you note to yourself. Compliment your best qualities. Give yourself permission to parke diem. Say thank you for all of the ways you take care of yourself and everyone around you. Tape your note to the bathroom mirror or pop it in the mail. If might sound silly, but a kind note in the mail will always warm your heart. (even if you sent it yourself)

Walk without a goal.
Leave your Fitbit at home and go for a stroll. Don’t worry about the calories burned, steps stepped or distance covered. Try the destination-less mini-mission and walk on the road, a trail, the beach, or wherever you want. This walk has no rules, no specific distance, and no pressure. This walk is not a competition. This walk is just for you.

Get lost.
You don’t always need a map or a plan to get through the day. Release control, close your calendar, walk out the door and see where the day takes you.

Give parke diem a chance to work in your life. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes a day to start, break away from your go, go, go, and lean in to rest, quiet and joy for your heart and soul.


  1. says

    Thank you for these resources, Courtney. I meditate for a bit, quit, curse myself for quitting, then start again. It’s been too long, so thank you so much for this.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Thanks Tammy. I like to mediate on my own and with guided lessons. The best thing about quitting is that you can get back to it when you are ready. 😉

  2. says

    I have been doing this since summer started. I feel great. I am a teacher and have summer off (with my 3 kids). My problem that when school resumes its craziness. Love your tips. All good ones!

    • Courtney Carver says

      That’s great Joanna, Now it’s time to build a little park diem into the school year. 😉

  3. says

    Thank you so much for this. I am in the process of packing up my stuff and moving to another town and am just feeling overwhelmed from having to pack my stuff, my daughters stuff, our stuff, and the hubby who has not packed any of his stuff in three days and we will be moving July 5. I am in full on panic mode. I have been frustrated, tired, feeling worn down, needing a break and this now gives me the excuse I need to stop doing and do a bit of self care for me.

  4. says

    I’m doing just that today, actually. I’m going to yoga and a poetry reading with my boss. It’s weird, I know, but I’m super thankful to have a boss I can be friends with.

  5. says

    This truly resonates with me! Most of my life I’ve been a typical good girl. Wanting to perform well and show results. But since I started on my own journey to simplify life, I’ve been less concerned with performing and more in to being, Parke Diem fits right in.

  6. MelD says

    I was a bit startled – this is normal for me… Now I feel even luckier :)

    We did really notice that some US visitors (Californian at that!) last summer were bemused that we should keep taking breaks in a café or park for no particular reason than to just sit and look around – I guess they lead the crazy life! Sad.

  7. says

    We have a lot of animals, or perhaps they have us. Either way we had to have our springer spaniel put down last month and now have a Newfoundland and a Jack Russell. We also have five cats. Add Jack Russell to five cats and cat flap and you probably see our problem. We live in the back of beyond and the Jack Russell believes the woods on the other side of the lane to belong to him…. alone.

    So today the JR chased a cat out of the cat flap, the cat headed into the meadow and darn dog headed into the woods.

    I followed him in anger and frustration and then I caught up with him and realised I could stay pissed off or I could walk home with him. forage for herbs on the way and enjoy the unexpected diversion.

    I didn’t plan a 30 minute mid mornng walk, bit I had a choice to either go with the flow or get crosser still. I opted for the former.

  8. kyenne says

    great summer time advice that’s good for the entire year. lovely lovely lovely

  9. Bette says

    Your “Plea for a Longer Lunch” has been on my bulletin board for nine months now. It’s one of my very favorite posts and I read it every week. Even more important, I’m inculcating the wisdom contained within! Thank you!