How can you have the perfect Yes Day?

Yes days don’t have to only be for children. It’s a perfect opportunity to set aside your normal routine for the day, remember your childhood sense of wonder, release yourself from judgment and do the things that bring you joy. What makes for a happy experience is unique to each person – all that matters is that the ideas come from you. Here are some of our suggestions for designing an ideal day…

Illustration: Kuba Ferenc
Words: Chloe Rhodes

Top tips for planning a Yes Day

Focus on feelings. Thinking about how you’d most like to feel is a good place to start. Do you long for real relaxation or are you pining for adventure? Mulling over what’s been missing from your average day could provide clues about the most fulfilling way to spend your special time.

Think back. If the options feel overwhelming, think about when you last felt uplifted or free. Where were you and what were you doing? Could some of these activities be included?

Pick up a pen. Free-writing – where you scribble down your thoughts without censoring yourself or worrying about spelling, grammar or sentence structure, is a great way to connect with subconscious desires.

Plan ahead. Think carefully about each element of your ideal day and make any preparations needed to turn it into a reality. If you’d love a trip to the cinema, theatre or a sports event, for example, you might need to book tickets.

Share the joy. If your dream day includes spending time with others, fill them in on your plan and invite them to be part of it. You could also suggest to friends and family that they devise yes days of their own and let them know you’d be happy to help make them happen.

Where does the Yes Day idea come from?

The term comes from the title of a US children’s book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld, which inspired a 2021 film of the same name. It stars Jennifer Garner and Édgar Ramírez as parents Allison and Carlos, who say no to everything and have forgotten how to have fun. To reconnect with their carefree former selves and give their kids a break from the rules, they promise them a day during which they can do whatever they like.

It’s for the adults, particularly Allison, that the day has the most profound impact. She’s released from the stern, authoritarian role that she’d fallen into and rediscovers the confident, life-loving part of herself that had been consigned to the shadows for so long.