If you’re like most working adults, chances are you’re shortchanging yourself on vacation days. In today’s growing economy, most professionals have little to no vacation benefits.
Vacations are proven to be beneficial to both employers and employees. Taking a break from work increases productivity and prevents burnout.
While there’s no substitute for an adequate vacation policy, you can make the time between your getaways more pleasant and satisfying. Here’s a few ideas for taking mini-breaks in and away from the office.
Taking Small Breaks at Work:
1. Switch up your tasks
Take a fresh look at your job description. Find ways to spend more time on the responsibilities that help you to achieve a sense of flow. Try delegating or alternating between tasks to break up the daily monotony.
2. Redecorate your space
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. Get up, 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.
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 exercise while you discuss business matters.
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. Silence your phone
If possible, avoid taking calls or checking emails related to work. Do your best to balance after-hour emergencies with your need for personal space.
3. Me time, work on your hobby
Studies show that active leisure is more refreshing than watching TV. Pursue your interests in wine collecting or building furniture. Visit museums and public gardens. Play sports and board games.
4. Connect with others
Honor your own needs for solitude and social time. When you’re hanging out with your friends and family, use your time together to validate and support each other.
5. Look forward to the future
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 ahead
Schedule breaks each day 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 your spouse or a stranger smile.
3. What’s 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.