If you’re like most working adults, chances are you’re shortchanging yourself on vacations. In today’s growing economy, many professionals have either no or little vacation benefits, have vacation benefits but don’t take them, or they’re somewhere in the middle. Or worse yet, you have a boss who discourages you from using your leave time. In that case, it’s time to start looking for other work!
Where do you fall? Do you often feel you don’t have time to take off from work? Or maybe you just never get around to it?
I’ve talked before how recharging is important and, yes, while vacations can help, you don’t have to always take the common vacation route. Even staycations can be beneficial!
Taking a break from work increases productivity and prevents burnout and it’s vital to your self-care practice to take time away from work whether you’re self-employed or an employee.
While there’s no substitute for a fun vacation away from home AND work, there are things you can do to recharge without taking a vacation. Check it!
13 Ways to Recharge Without Taking a Vacation
Taking Mini-Breaks While Working
1. Vary your tasks. Take a fresh look at your job duties. Find ways to spend more time on the tasks that help you to achieve a better sense of flow. Maybe you can delegate the ones that don’t flow well or at least alternate between them to break up any monotony. This also helps to ensure a higher level of productivity and sense of accomplishment.
2. Redecorate your workspace. A change of scenery can brighten your mood. Bring in a flowering plant that will be easy to care for. Set out pictures of your family and pets. Start a collection of miniature toys or unusual desk accessories.
3. Stretch out. Stand up, and do some simple exercises about every half hour. Bend forward and reach for your toes. Raise your arms over your head and lower them down slowly to each side with your palms facing forward. These stretches will feel reeeaaallll good after being in a static position for so long!
4. Walk around. Ask your colleagues if they’d be interested in scheduling a walking meeting. They may like the idea of going outside for a little fresh air and get some movement in while you discuss business matters.
5. Take a nap/meditate during the day. Even if it’s only a quick 15-minute nap or meditation break, it’s worth it!
Taking Mini Breaks Away From Work
1. Shift your focus. Do you find yourself thinking about the office even when you’re at home? Make a deliberate effort to disengage. Create rituals that help you to put work behind you, like going to the gym or taking your dog for a walk when you arrive home.
2. Turn off your phone. If possible, avoid taking calls or checking emails related to work. Talk with your boss about how to balance after-hour emergencies with your need for personal space.
3. Work on your hobby. Studies show that active leisure is more refreshing than watching TV. Pursue your interests in wine collecting or building furniture or whatever floats your boat. Visit museums and public gardens. Play sports and board games. There’s so much in this world to do – get out and do it!
4. Connect with others. Honor your own needs for solitude and social time. But it’s also important to hang out with your friends and family. Use your time together to support each other and have fun.
5. Explore future destinations. Research shows that planning a vacation can be almost as beneficial as the actual trip. Give yourself something to look forward to by sending away for brochures or talking with others about their ideas. Build anticipation by sampling local dishes or watching foreign movies.
1. Plan your day. Schedule breaks just like you schedule everything else you have to do instead of waiting for things to slow down. Your mind and body need ongoing rest.
2. Give generously. Thinking about others makes us feel less burdened. Do something to make a stranger smile.
3. Consider your purpose. Any task is more bearable when you remember the reasons behind it. Ask yourself what you like about your work. Protect your career and take care of your health by giving yourself enough downtime to refresh and recharge.
When a vacation is out of the question, treat yourself to some rest and relaxation wherever you find yourself.
What do you do to recharge at home or at work?