I’m someone who loves working.
I also know that in order to avoid burnout, I need to pump the brakes just long enough unwind, re-energize, and reconnect. Going at hypersonic speed for months on end is not going to serve me, or my loved ones. Which is why I’ve been working on becoming a “relaxed woman” (like Elizabeth Gilbert) and keeping July a slow, sacred month.
Taking a holiday is integral for our mental and physical well-being but also productivity and performance. You can’t give the world your energy if your well is dry. Since March 2020, an overwhelming majority of employees have shortened, postponed or canceled their vacation time, according to one survey. Another recent study found that 26% of respondents had never taken two weeks of vacation at one time. Furthermore, according to new research, it takes FOUR days to fully shake off the stresses of work. That means we spend just three days of our week-long vacation fully relaxed.
Breaking the normal routine is important, from a psychological point of view – not only does it release stress and boosts heart health, but it actually improves the capacity to learn. “Neuroscience is so clear, through PET scans and MRIs, that the ‘aha’ moment comes when you’re in a relaxed state of mind,” says Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time. A relaxed brain is able to consolidate knowledge and brainpower. That’s why our best ideas pop up when we’re walking, showering, or on vacation.
If you can my friends, prioritize some downtime this summer. Whether it’s a staycation or an epic journey – take the time off, dammit, and use it to reconnect to your breath, your people, and your purpose. Nothing matters more right now than taking care of yourselves and each other.