I’ll be honest – it wasn’t my plan to not write a post last week. I’d had a few things planned but never hit the button to schedule them, so they didn’t happen. But for the first time in a long time, I took a vacation where I was totally, completely and 100 percent offline for a whole work week. And let me tell you…it was wonderful. And I’m writing to you today not to advocate for vacation (which I think you already know is great), but to make the point that actually being offline – whether that’s personally, professionally, etc. – is something that’s sorely needed every once in a while for our mental health.
Everyone has their own approach to taking time off. Whether that’s time off from work, school or other responsibilities, we all have our own goals and what we want to get out of time that is completely ours.
In the time I took off, I was surprised to find that my approach was actually much different than I thought it would be. I thought I’d spend a bit of time playing some games on my phone, reading and sitting outside.
But by my second day, I’d abandoned my phone and even my Fitbit tracker because I realized I wanted to focus. I wanted to focus on my family, and being present with them. I wanted to focus on the beautiful weather, and recognize how it was boosting my mood. Most importantly, I wanted to focus on resting and recharging for when I returned from vacation.
I’m not saying people can’t focus if they have certain things around them. But what I am saying is that I’m not one of those people. I started to recognize what distracted me, what stole my attention. I even recognized a few instances where my anxiety was triggered (unwanted notifications, sudden noise) that I don’t think I’d always known about. I don’t know if this is common for others, but I got to know myself during this time in a way I never had before – and it was nice.
For a long time, I’ve believed that I don’t deserve certain things. In this case, vacation is certainly one of them. But over time, trips like this teach me that I am just as deserving of this time and space as everyone else. We all deserve some time to rest and recharge for what’s next (and given the state of where I live, I know I’ll need it!). Each one of us deserves it, and so do you. And when we forget it, a gentle reminder every now and then is always helpful. Have a good week, friends.
What is your approach to taking time off? What do you hope to get out of it, and has that ever changed? Let me know in the comments!