I know Fall is nearly in full swing and it feels like you might have missed your opportunity for vacation if you didn’t take one already. Tell me you took a little break this summer. If not, get one on the books ASAP.
Vacations are not a luxury… yes maybe where you decide to go, what you do and how much you spend might vary… but the need to unplug from life, responsibilities and likely your phone, are necessary to your mental and physical health.
Candidly, I’ve been burnt out this past year, as I mentioned here. I didn’t “want” a break, I “needed” a break. We all do.
A few years ago I explained the difference between a trip and a vacation. If you don’t know the difference, read this.
Last month Adam and I took an astounding NINE DAYS in California without the kids. We decided to stay in the country since even though our kids are now six and two, they’re still little enough that we didn’t want to be that far.
For weeks leading up to the trip, it’s all I could think about. Obviously vacations are not ideal for pre-vacation productivity but hey, that’s reality.
We all get wrapped up in our daily lives — things are more hectic and crazy than they were even a few years ago — and yet, we give ourselves less and less time to relax. It’s easy to get in a tail spin where you feel like a hamster on a wheel just going through the same insane schedule each day.
Plan something now to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be nine days. Heck, it can be an overnight staycation in a local hotel. Start somewhere.
Need a reason to justify the vacation? Here are five pretty darn compelling reasons:
- Your body and mind need it! So many studies show productivity and creativity ultimately increase when people get a break. You need to decompress, to let your brain rest, to stop the cycle. Yes, I was still coordinating a few school pick-ups, and unplanned doctor appointments from across the U.S. but sleeping in, laying in a hammock, having a real conversation with my husband and doing things on my terms and on my schedule is absolutely rejuvenating.
- It will make you happier! Seriously, you actually don’t need long vacation. I rather take more short vacations each year so I regularly have a trip to look forward to. Plan a day trip to a local spa with your girlfriends or guy, take an overnight or weekend just one county away so you don’t spend all your time in the car, or make an impulse airline ticket purchase and find something under 3 hours away that you’ve always wanted to go. It’s the perfect weekend getaway!
- It can make you more successful! Ok, I’m not sure if there is a study to prove it but this girl says so… that’s something, right?! The more you experience the more you can bring to the table, both the culinary and the boardroom. A week in California gave me so much perspective, in addition to experiencing so many new businesses, destinations, marketing and customer service ideas that I can definitely bring to our clients. I love when my staff can do that as well. That’s valuable.
- The ultimate stress reducer! You need to avoid burnout and nothing sucks more than the same exact schedule, no sleep and crazy demands from people (including little people!) that you can’t control. Taking a break can give you the perspective to seek better work/life balance, too.
- Reconnect with your partner! Man, relationships are hard, and they’re not easier when you throw tiny, needy humans into the mix. My counselor once told me the hardest part of a marriage are the two years after kids are born. I believe it. Nothing is on your schedule or terms, and there are so many conversations focused on individual parenting styles. A vacation gives you the opportunity to connect with your partner in a meaningful way that doesn’t involve whose turn it is to do the dishes. Try to avoid constant chatter about the kids. We took our California trip to also talk about some of our goals, what we want for ourselves, each other and our family, and fun projects we want to do around the house, future trips with the kids, and more.