Zero Days

Lupe and Brian talk about “Zero Days”. What is a zero day? Is it OK to take a zero day? Do you plan a zero day or does your body tell you that you are taking a zero day?

Lupe & Brian:     Welcome to another episode of Sjogren’s Strong.

Brian:    This is Brian.

Lupe:     And this is Lupe.

Brian:    And this is your weekly podcast discussing how to live an active and healthy lifestyle despite a diagnosis of Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Lupe:     Today, we are going to talk about “zero” days. Last week I made a post about how I’ve accepted my new norm and how it’s okay to take zero days, when you need them. And a fellow Sjogi, she asked me, do I plan “zero” days? And before I answer that, we want to explain to you what is zero day is, so Brian.

Brian:    So, in athletics or endurance sports, a zero day is a day where you do not work out. For example, if you’re riding your bicycle across country, a zero day, you ride no miles. If you’re hiking, you hike no miles. If you’re working out, going to go hit the gym, you don’t. So it’s a day to rest the body, rejuvenate your muscles and just take a day to where you’re not exerting yourself.


Lupe:     That term is kind of new to me, I learned it within the last year. I liked it and I thought that I would apply it to my Sjogren’s when I need a zero day.

Brian:    So, Lupe, do you plan zero days?

Lupe:     I actually do not plan to zero days.

Brian:    Are you sure? Because some mornings, on the weekends, you walk out and you’ll say, I’m lazy. And I know that’s a zero day for us.

Lupe:     But it’s that plan. I mean, did I plan for it yesterday or did I plan for it last week? No, it just happens. For me, it just kind of happens.

Brian:    So you wake up in the morning and you’re like, today’s a zero day.

Lupe:     It depends how I feel. Um, and yes, that’s when I decide. For example now, if it happens during the week, if I wake up on a Wednesday and I feel really tired, obviously I can’t take a zero day, because I have to go to work.

Lupe:     But when I get home, I put on my PJ’s, my t-shirt, whatever, I sleep in and I just put my butt on the couch and I decide, I’m not going to get up. Brian’s going to have to wait on me.

Brian:    And she doesn’t get up. It’s I need more water. What’s for dinner?

Brian:    Yeah, guilty as charged. But thanks Brian. I appreciate when you do, do that for me.

Brian:    No, and I know when you’re hurting. And I want you to rest. And I want you to recover, especially if it’s a work day. Cause say you’re at 50%, when you get home and you sit down and you can recharge your batteries to 80%.

Brian:    Well, the next day you’re going to go back to work and you might come home at 40%. But maybe you can recharge to 70%, if I’m taking care of you. And that’s good. And that might get you through the work week. Maybe you can get to 100% . The next day you’re golden. And we don’t have to take a zero day on the weekend to recover from the work week.

Lupe:     That’s correct. Because as many of you know, we can sleep 24 hours and still not wake up rested. So it’s very important to take your time off, your zero days, your zero hours, when you need them.

Brian:    And yeah, I’ve noticed some of your zero days come the afternoon, 2-3 o’clock, you get a little restless. And you’ll get up and you’ll start doing stuff. Is that just cabin fever? Or are you feeling really good and you want to do something?

Lupe:     Like on the weekends you mean?

Brian:    Yeah.

Lupe:     Um, I think I do get a little cabin feverish, sometimes, but not all the time. Sometimes I just really want to do nothing.

Brian:    Yeah. Which is, which is acceptable. So on zero days, again, it means you’re not giving 100%. You’re not cycling miles, you’re not hiking miles. But you can still do things to pamper and take care of yourself, you know.

Brian:    I might prepare her a foot soak. So, you know, she’s still taking care of her feet. Or she might strip the fingernail polish off her fingernails, or she might do things at home to take care of herself. Because she doesn’t like the nail salon. She doesn’t like massages. So, we tend to do a lot of self-care at home.

Lupe:     Does that make me rare? I don’t like mani-pedi’s. I don’t like massages. Massages, for me, they’re painful.

Brian:    As far as rare, I can’t speak to that, but I know I like it cause you’re not dropping 100 bucks at the nail salon.

Lupe:     It’s funny that you say polish my nails cause I don’t even do that. But anyways, yeah, so basically that’s what a zero day is. Um, if you, let’s say you don’t want to go run an errand, don’t run errands, don’t go to the grocery store, save that for tomorrow. Send your husband, boyfriend, significant other and just go do whatever you want to do for yourself to make you feel better.

Brian:    If you don’t have a significant other, can you phone a friend?

Lupe:     Absolutely. Call your lifeline. If shopping is your happy place, go shopping, go window shopping, whatever it is that you enjoy doing, do that for yourself.

Brian:    You know, for example, a couple of weeks ago, it was hot. It was a weekend and it was hot. So the activity we planned, it was a partial zero day. We went to the movie theater. Um, we’ve said it before, we don’t have air conditioning at home.

Brian:    Usually, you know, living in southern California, we can open windows and get by, but on really hot days, we’ll go someplace where there’s air conditioning. So we went to the theater.

Lupe:     I don’t remember what we saw.

Brian:    I was just going to ask you, what did we watch, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.

Lupe:     Oh, is that it?

Brian:    That was it. So we go to the theater where there’s air conditioning. We can sit, rest. We’re not exerting a lot of energy and take in a movie and enjoy the AC.

Lupe:     Or you can go to the mall, you can go…

Brian:    To the library.

Lupe:     Hey, I’ve been wanting to go to the library. You can go to the bookstore.

Brian:    We spend quite a bit of time at a Barnes and Noble.

Lupe:     I don’t know why, I already buy anything. But I want to go touch, feel. And then I buy an Amazon. Hey, that’s retail therapy too.

Brian:    She’ll scan barcodes and price check on Amazon and be like, um, I can wait for this. So I buy it on Amazon.

Lupe:     Do I need it? How bad do I need it and or want it? Hmm. It can wait. Okay. I say five bucks. Who wouldn’t?

Brian:    So, those are some ideas of what a zero day is. And going back to the question, do we plan zero days? We personally don’t. Lupe, do you think you would ever say, this Saturday, I’m taking a zero day.

Lupe:     Oh, wow. That’s hard to say. Um, probably not.

Brian:    So you’re feeling good, you’re having a good week. It’s Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. You’re feeling strong. Would you plan a zero day for Saturday?

Lupe:     Not if I’m feeling good. Okay. If I’m not feeling a 100% or I feel that I’m going on a downward spiral, as the week progresses, I might plan for a zero day. But the thing about me is, what if I did plan for a zero day and I woke up feeling like a million bucks. I don’t want to spend my good day at home. So, I want to go do something. You know, I love hiking, lets plan a short hike. But for me it also depends on the weather too.

Brian:    Yeah. And I’m sure for a lot of us it’s weather dependent. We spend a lot of time watching the weather, tracking the weather. Try to plan an activity because of the weather, so weather is very important. And this isn’t an episode on weather, but weather’s very important. And I’m sure all of you guys pay attention to the 10 day, seven day and five day forecasts.

Lupe:     I think it’s easy for us to just get up and go, sometimes if we’re feeling good, because we don’t have kids. Some people do have kids and it’s not too easy for them.

Brian:    I had that same thought process of if you get up and you’re feeling good, go make the most of that day. Go Live Sjogren Strong. If we are going to do outside activity or anything strenuous, we plan it for a Saturday. So if we do overdo it, we have Sunday to recover and get ready for the work week.

Lupe:     Like yesterday, it was hot. But in the morning it wasn’t too bad. So we got up, got around, um, we took a drive and we thought we would record in the field and so that didn’t turn out too well because we chose a spot that was way too close to their airport. And every two minutes there was a plane flying overhead.

Brian:    But it was beautiful and we still got to hang out together, outside.

Lupe:     There was butterflies, it was beautiful.

Brian:    Yeah.

Lupe:     Until it got hot, then we went home.

Brian:    Yeah. So again, a zero day, again is a day of rest, rejuvenation. Maybe you sit home and catch up on Netflix. Maybe you go hit the spa, but you’re not doing anything strenuous and whatever it is you are doing, is completely selfish and pampering and that’s okay.

Lupe:           Absolutely. I agree with that 100%. until next time, sip constantly and stay hydrated.


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