I’m on vacation this week, so I’m reposting this article with some of the reasons why. I used to be the one who wouldn’t take a break. Now, I know it’s not only good for my health to take a little time off, but it boosts my productivity when I return. This repost will tell you how to make it happen, even if you are in for a staycation.
It takes more than a change of location to access the benefits that come with a vacation like better sleep, (even when you return), a healthier heart, better immune function, lower stress, and more joy.
To maximize those feel-good qualities, you’ve got to shift your focus from the stress-producing routine to something that lightens and inspires you.
In other words, while away, step away from the phone. And the Internet. And the Ipad and any other device that keeps you hooked in and revved up. And for a week, an afternoon, even 15 minutes during the day, back away from the gadgets and the daily routine and take a rest.
You’ll find that when you return to it you’ll actually be more productive, more focused and efficient. Here are some tips for making it work.
3 Tips for Making Your Break Powerful
Do what you like. Seems obvious, but often we end up spending our break time doing what others want to do. Make time for something you define as fun whether its tinkering with car, solving a crossword, weeding the garden or laying on a deck chair poolside – find something that says AHHHHH when you think about it and make it a priority in your week.
Get out of the noise. The hum of the computer, the buzz of the fridge, The Wiggles CD playing in the background – even the joyful sounds of life contribute to feelings of overwhelm. Find a moment of quiet every day (lately I’ve been getting up an hour early to get a moment of conscious quiet. My friend finds peace in the bathroom – not kidding) AND make time for some solitude while on vacation. It restores mental balance and peace of mind.
Set a time, but, skip the plan. Plan for an hour off or a weekend away, but don’t plan what to do (other than maybe childcare) until the day of your get-away. Keeping up with the minutiae of a daily schedule is stressful and exhausting. Wake up the day of your break, smile because you know you’re going to get some time off, then go where your inclinations lead. Notice how you feel. Have Fun. It’s invigorating to be spontaneous once-in-awhile and nice not to have to plan every detail.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, I’m too busy or too broke to take time off right now. But, there are plenty of ways to fit mini-breaks into the middle of your day. Instead of eating lunch at your desk, go to a park, or head home for a power nap – which provides a great stress release. Or take a night off from your evening bedtime chores, let your partner take the kids, and go do something that makes your heart sing. Skip housecleaning Saturday morning and go to a state park for a picnic. Find the time and in return you’ll be more productive when you do get back to work.
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