Are you one of the almost half of Americans who did not take a vacation this summer? Do you often find yourself rushing from A to B with no time to breathe, working seven days a week and not taking time for lunch? If so, it’s time to take a break.
When you are building a business or climbing the corporate ladder or assuming others’ responsibilities, it’s easy to become caught up in work and routines and easy to forget that we are not machines. Taking a break is not only necessary for the well-being of our minds and bodies, but a real need. Ironic, isn’t it, that if one waits for the perfect time to take a break, it never seems to come, because there is always something to do and take care of, instead of taking care of ourselves and accepting that well-deserved break.
Summer just came and went. It promised adventure, romance, fun and leisure; but did your dreams become reality this year? Or did you continue to dream of white sandy beaches, quiet cool mountain views, the solitude of the desert, the excitement of an action-filled adventure vacation, or even of distant lands?
The only thing stopping us from fulfilling our dreams is ourselves. There is always a way if we prioritize. Taking a break doesn’t have to be about going away. During the past 10 years, more and more people have realized that taking a break can be as simple as not answering the phone or e-mail for a week, hanging out in pajamas all day, spending time alone or with friends, and perhaps, best of all, not having a single plan of what to do, doing absolutely nothing. How about a retreat with no traveling and no financial outlay?
You could simply investigate and experience the sound of silence for a few days. Don’t use your voice, communicate when you must with pen and paper. Those who have experienced the bliss of silence are full of praise for the many benefits derived from this simple, yet different approach to taking a break.
When was the last time you took a break from those that you love? A friend recently found herself taking a real break alone for two weeks. Her husband and children took a trip abroad and she chose to stay at home. It was her first break on her own for more than 25 years. She looked forward to it with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. By the end of the two weeks, she reported that she had thoroughly enjoyed her own company and that the single life was a lot simpler and most enjoyable.
Even in the most wonderful relationships we can find ourselves again and breathe a breath of fresh air by taking a break from our partners and being even for a short time separate units.
Need a Breather?
If you feel like you can hardly remember the last time you took a break, check the following 10 tips to taking a break from life, reality and yourself. You are guaranteed to start to feel rejuvenated, revitalized and ready to take a real break sometime soon.
— Make a shopping trip especially for something new to wear, which is bright, colorful and just perfect for breaks and vacations. Then leave right away and enjoy your purchase.
— Take a break from skipping lunch at work and making do with eating fast food. Instead, eat something simple, colorful, fun, exotic or with wild flavors and textures. Enjoy!
— Take one day out of your life and vow not to say a single word. Relax, enjoy the peace and silence.
— Take a break from routine. Drive to work a different way. Break your usual daily habits. Expect the very best all day and be ready for the unexpected.
— Dream a dream of your perfect break or vacation. Promise to put a little money aside regularly to make it happen. You’ll be amazed of how easy and painless it is to do.
— Take a break from life as you know it by sitting down and being still for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and relax. Let your thoughts come and go. Focus on your breathing. Allow your body to relax and your mind soar.
— Take a break from the image that you have of yourself and the image that you project. Just let yourself be whomever you feel like being in the moment. Give yourself permission to be you.
— Make a regular practice of stopping whatever you are doing and checking in with yourself to feel how, who and where you are in the moment.
— Take a break from reality. Look at a simple object, a flower, a tree or a building. Imagine you are looking at it as if for the very first time.
— Take a break from barriers and boundaries. Do something you did not know you could. Overcome your fear and amaze yourself.