Now that summer is in full swing, let’s talk about vacation for moment, shall we?
How many vacation days have you taken so far this year? And I don’t mean the kind where you have a couple days off to get stuff done around the house. I’m talking a full-fledged vacation day where you spend the night in a different location.
One thing I’ve learned recently is that in order to truly benefit from taking time off work, it needs to also be time spent away from home. Because, let’s face it, you spend every weekend at home and that’s NOT considered vacation. So even though you take a full week off work, you’re still at home surrounded by all the family drama, household projects, and unfinished items on your to-do list. You’re not really relaxed. Your mind is not disengaged from the day-to-day.
That’s why it’s important to spend at least three nights away from home. Preferably out of town too.
The brain needs new things to engage with. New sights, sounds, smells, people, emotions. It needs new things to think about too. That’s how we continue to be creative at work. When we break out of our daily routines and habits, and stop working on auto-pilot, we are open to new thoughts.
And speaking of creativity, it’s actually really good for you to get around water. All your electronics put off positive ions which lead to negative effects like fatigue and headaches. Water puts off negative ions which helps restore health and boosts creativity. (Why do you think writers and artists are typically drawn to ponds, lakes, and oceans when writing their novels or painting landscapes?) If you’ve ever had a shower thought, you know what I mean!
I know that staying away from home can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! I personally love the website VRBO.com. You can find homes, townhomes, and condos owned by individuals and available for short-term rent. I’ve never seen a place that didn’t have at least a small kitchen, so you could easily cook your own meals to save money instead of eating every meal out.
Even just renting a condo with a pool a few hours away from home will really help you relax. And while you’re sitting pool-side, take along your favorite adult beverage and a nice fiction book. (Nothing self-help or business; remember, we’re not thinking about bettering ourselves or doing a better job at work!) Reading works of fiction also leads to a more creative mind!
I challenge you to go, right now, and block out 3-5 days on your calendar for a vacation to take place in the next three months. This weekend, actually take some time to decide where you’d like to go, and book it. You’ll spend the next few months looking forward to that vacation and you’ll come back to work with a fresh set of eyes and ready to jump back into productivity. (Trust me; lounging by the pool for three days is fun, but after a while you get the urge to do something!)
And if you’re thinking about taking some work along with you, then this article about setting boundaries should be your next stop.