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.
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.
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.
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.