By Carolyn Owen
Have you ever gotten the feeling that work would just never end?
I remember my days in school, when I would always have a break to look forward to– Spring Break, Winter Break, and the coveted three month Summer Break. Even if it felt far away at times, at least it was motivating.
“Just three more weeks!”
“Just two more weeks!”
“JUST SEVEN MORE DAYS!”
And finally…. It would arrive. Designated time without any responsibilities, and relaxation to look forward to.
At the same time, I was always in such a rush to grow up. I graduated college early so I could immediately begin grad school, and then found a 9-5 job as soon as possible. Then, I thought it was a way to get ahead of my peers, and get my life and finances figured out as quickly as possible.
I wasn’t wrong necessarily, but I look back on that time and wonder if I should’ve just slowed down and enjoyed the time I had without as many responsibilities. And when I didn’t have to request to take time off.
But it is what it is, and now, I have to be much more intentional about the time I take away. In today’s world, corporate is king. While we’re busy climbing the (never ending) ladder, it can be easy to forget that there’s a whole world out there, waiting to be explored.
Did you know:
Now, you might be thinking, “So, what am I supposed to do about it? I have to pay my bills!”
Don’t worry, I’m right there with you. It may feel impossible to step away from work, but I promise, it will be there when you get back. There are a few things you can do to make sure we’re prioritizing our mental health, and avoiding burnout while still being productive and profitable. Here are the things I practice to keep peace of mind:
Try mindfulness exercises, like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing
Write it out: keep a journal, or even jot down your feelings and insights in your phone to be aware of consistent areas of stress
Set boundaries by taking control of your work hours, and keeping your life consistently full of out-of-office activities throughout the month.
Consistently making time for these exercises in my life has been beneficial to my health, but I can’t help but feel like stepping away from the sources of my stress altogether would be just the reset I’d need to feel like a kid on summer vacation again.
In fact, other people seem to think so too:
“It should come as no surprise that vacations that include plenty of free time bring stress relief, but research shows that a good vacation can lead to the experience of fewer stressful days at least five weeks later.” Very Well Mind
While it hasn’t been proven that vacation will ultimately cure burnout, it’s safe to say that alleviating stress is a key element in doing so. Whether your goal is to make a lifestyle change to cure burnout once and for all, or just take a well deserved break, you might as well take a vacation!
I’ll let you know where I end up, right now, I need to plan...
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