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Time Off Isn’t a Luxury

“Although it is important that we be productive citizens and put in time at work, maybe we need to respect the importance of leisure time and relaxation a little more.”
Sage Wilcox

I’m exhausted! I love what I do and the people I serve and sometimes, I need time off.

This is something I hear often from the people I work with. And I find myself saying this, too, when I’ve gone too long without some “real downtime”.  

Here are some possible hints that you need some time off. You’re feeling:

  • cranky
  • impatient
  • overwhelmed
  • and one of my favorites… like a mistake magnet!

What happens when you’ve waited too long before taking time off?

Unfortunately, many of us, myself included, often delay taking time off. It sounds so silly when I write that. Why do we wait? One popular reason is you’re busy, and you don’t want to miss a great opportunity! This can feel risky. Additionally, it can take a lot of preparation to ensure things run well when you’re away. Sometimes it may not feel like it’s worth it.

Having a solid work ethic is admirable; yet there are many benefits to taking time off. For example, vacation can be a wonderful attitude adjuster. When you’re not immersed in your day-to-day life, it is much easier to step back to see what is happening. This is also a good chance to determine what changes you want to make. Switching up your routine can help to clear your mind, reduce your stress, and improve your perspective.

Many people feel they must spend lots of money when they go on vacation. Traveling to new or favorite places you’ve been to before can be fun, exciting, and rejuvenating. However, a trip isn’t necessary to enjoy your time off.

Are there things you can do close to home that can offer the same benefits of a trip (e.g.,
fun, exciting and rejuvenating)?  Here are some ideas to get you thinking…

  • Is there a new hike you’ve always wanted to do?
  • Are there town events you’ve been meaning to check out?
  • Is there a book you’ve wanted to read and just haven’t had the time to?
  • Are there friends who keep saying “let’s get together”, but it just doesn’t happen?
  • Would you really enjoy getting up late, sitting on the porch with a piping hot cup of coffee or tea without having to answer to a schedule?

By taking time off, you are taking good care of yourself. This, believe it or not, can help you to be more productive AFTER you return from vacation!  Before vacation, you may find yourself,  

  • spinning your wheels
  • jumping from one thing to another
  • cleaning up mistakes
  • taking longer to come up with solutions
  • snapping at people.

Once you return from vacation, you’ll be focused, calmer, and clear about your next steps!

Another great benefit of taking time off, is you will be more creative. This can help you come up with new ideas and/or solutions. Once you’re more relaxed, it feels like these ideas/solutions “pop up” out of nowhere!

Taking time off usually requires planning. This year, I marked my time off in my calendar at the beginning of the year. And, even if it’s not in your calendar, yet…there’s still time to get it on your schedule. You can also check your schedule for some gaps that can allow you to take a short spontaneous vacation. A day or more would be great. Sometimes spending an afternoon doing something you love can be very restorative, too.

Remember, giving yourself permission to take time off isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity. Your body, mind and spirit need time away from your normal routine to function at their best. This will allow you to return refreshed, rejuvenated and raring to go! 

Helen Kosinski

I’m a coach and an animal communicator. I love to partner with ever evolving people who want more clarity, so they can make a bigger impact!

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