With the pressure demanded of us just to keep our lives on track, it can be hard to stay open to what more is possible in life. There may be moments of stillness in order to reflect and clear the cobwebs, and these are precious, but there’s enormous benefit to be had if these moments can be extended and your introspection deepened. In other words, lounging on the couch at night isn’t going to cut it when you truly need to unwind.
When your days are spent focused on completing what’s in front of you, the idea of looking away can feel like an act of sabotage.
The challenge in taking time off without derailing whatever task is at hand is more of a mental game than anything. It takes the right balance of planning and spontaneity, as well as having an intention in mind of how to use that time away. When it comes to taking a break, the value lies not in what you’re doing but how you’re doing it.
Here’s how to get the most out of your time off:
1 - Set an intention. This is the first step in making sure you use your time away wisely. An intention could be to gain clarity on a certain situation, or simply to rest. It could be to check in with your health or spend more time with people you love. Whatever you needs are, keep them at the forefront of your mind for the length of your break.
2 - Make a plan. If you’ve set a solid intention, then this part is much easier. Whether it is a 2 week vacation, a spa day, or a spur of the moment weekend retreat, you want your activity (or lack of) to match your intention. When you’re exhausted and sleep deprived, it may not be the time to join your friends on 200 mile relay race. Remember, this time is precious. Choose wisely!
3 - Commit to taking the time off...entirely. Buy into the whole process by not using this time to mentally obsess about an issue. Allow yourself to enjoy whatever experience you’ve chosen to engage in, and trust that even the toughest of problems will be more easily solved if you can commit to taking a break from them.
4 - Always allow for quiet time. Life can be a bit monotonous at times, and we all can get the urge to party it up. Just be sure that you’re not depleting yourself at a time when you need to replenish. Also, it’s in the still moments when our minds become more pliable, and better capable of problem solving.
5 - Make self-care a priority. It’s challenging to eat well, get plenty of rest, and keep your body in great shape between work life and home life. Why not catch up when you’re away! You won’t regret feeling well nourished, rested, and energetic when it comes time to get back at it!
Most importantly, don’t put this off for too long. Next month becomes next spring becomes next year before you know it! It’s important that you advocate time for yourself, and for the space to see a world that’s often clouded by to do lists and obligations. Make time for yourself a priority, and everything that is important to your success will be better for it.