You owe it to yourself to find time to rest and relax. You’ve worked hard and probably haven’t taken enough time off all year, so now is the time to take a few days (or more) off. The power of rest should never be underestimated – taking time off to truly rest and recharge can help to drastically reduce stress and decrease the likelihood of burnout.
Here’s how to make the most of your time off:
Truly disconnect from the workplace.
It’s not enough to simply not work, you have to actively disconnect to reap all of the rewards of taking time off. Close the door to your home office, turn off all notifications on your phone, tablet, and computer, and enlist the help of a partner or friend to hold you accountable for not checking in with your team.
The more you can disconnect, the more relaxing, restful, and stress-reducing your time off will be. To make this a reality, set clear expectations with your team prior to taking time off so that everyone is on the same page. Appoint someone you trust as the go-to person and ensure that everyone knows who to contact in case of an emergency.
Make the most of your time off, no matter how short or long it is.
Whether you have two days, two weeks, or any length of time off, you can find ways to make the most of it. With a shorter amount of time off you have to be more intentional with how you spend that time, but even two days off can be enough to go back to work feeling refreshed.
Give yourself a loose idea of the things you’ll do, as well as the things you won’t, but don’t worry too much about creating a daily schedule or anything too strict. It’s best to simply let yourself go with the flow. If you feel like taking a midday nap in lieu of the activity you had planned, go for it. The best way to recharge is to listen to what your body is telling you it needs.
Take the time to do things that you enjoy.
To make the most of your time off, spend time doing the things you enjoy the most. Without the burden of work on your mind, you might find that you enjoy them even more. If you have things that you don’t enjoy that you’ve been putting off, you can take the time to do a couple of them but make sure that you’re still spending the majority of your time on things that you find enjoyable and relaxing. The big project you’ve been putting off can wait for a weekend, not your time off.
Relax, recharge, and reset.
To get the absolute most out of your time off, you’ll want to do all three of these things: relax, recharge, and reset. Relaxing looks different for everyone, so do whatever it is that relaxes you. The only wrong way to relax is by checking in with work, everything else is fair game.
To recharge, make sure that you’re giving yourself some time during the day or in the evening to relax your mind. This can be by reading, listening to music or a podcast, watching TV, or anything else that isn’t overly stimulating. It’s important to give your mind a chance to rest too. Doing so will help you recharge mentally.
To reset, on the last day before you return to work, take stock of how you’re feeling. Think about what you did during your time off to rest, relax, and recharge. Think about how you can incorporate some of those things into your routine to help reduce stress on a daily basis.
Remember, even taking just a couple of days off can be beneficial, so find the time and take them as soon as you can.