Sometimes when you’re pushing the hardest is the best time to take a pause and disconnect. I was reminded of this last week when our family took a short trip out of town to celebrate our youngest’s birthday. We have been high-rev for the past 3 years running at what seems like full speed the entire time. We were fortunate with the lockdowns and work seemed to ramp up while the whole world seemed to wind down. This season has been trying on a lot of us. The uncertainty. The confusion. The mandates. The restrictions. It’s been exhausting.
To be honest, it’s been so busy in our world this was the absolute last point in time we felt like we could take a break. In hindsight, it was the best thing we’ve done for self-care and for our family in probably 3 years.
We headed to the beach for some much-needed downtime. We turned off the phones, the emails, the distraction and just connected with nature, entertainment, friends, and experiences.
The takeaways were clear:
Allow yourself to Disconnect: We got an immediate sense of recharge. Coming back from vacation can sometimes feel overwhelming, but we kept a distant eye on our inboxes to make sure that there was nothing that needed our immediate attention. One or two times something popped up, and we got it handled without it causing a major interruption in our time together. Ensuring that we had someone at home to cover us also came to be helpful, neighbors watching the house and co-workers holding down the fort in the office provided us with a lot more peace of mind.
Planning Ahead Pays Off: I recently started a new workout program and didn’t want to be off rhythm with my health - after all, change comes with consistent lifestyle habits. We rented a house instead of using points at a hotel so we could have the space to wake up, work out, and access a kitchen so we could eat on our terms. This made our morning smoothies, healthy lunches, and prepared snacks so much easier. We also didn’t go away and feel like we ate terribly and then needed a detox from our vacation.
Take a Day to Get it Together: We came home on a Saturday so we could spend Sunday getting settled. It was perfect because it allowed us to unpack, clean up, and relax before jumping back into the grind. Getting back into things was easy as we had a clear mind and felt ready to tackle the things that came our way.
Casey Imafidon writes for Lifehack about the reason WHY you need to have a vacation regularly. Among his list, he writes that vacations decrease stress levels, get your creative juices flowing, open your eyes to new perspectives, gain quality time with both yourself and your family, and so much more. We all crave to be able to spend time on ourselves and our mental health. For us, vacation was the perfect time to do that! Many of us in our fields of work lose sight of the end goal, so taking a step back and taking a breath of air brings about relief and is grounding.
In the grand scheme of things, taking care of yourself and resetting in general compounds onto itself and can save you and your family from the explosion of stress. Make sure that you have time for yourself and time to spend and connect with your family; This is the key to making true productivity happen.