Everybody knows the importance of rest and relaxation. It helps clear the mind, reset creativity and keep emotions in check. The sad reality though is not a lot of people are intentional in getting the needed R&R. It always takes a back seat when it comes to life priorities, as work demands and family duties pile up.
As a result, people have forgotten the art of actually resting and finding relaxation when they do finally get time off. Some even could not stand the idea of taking a break, precisely because they have been too wired for work and stress. Soon, they find themselves burnt out and so spent that no break can cure their breakdown.
Before you even reach that breaking point, do not delay your R&R yet again. If you find yourself uneasy with it, here are some core principles to help you jumpstart it.
R&Rs are for regrouping thoughts. It is essentially self-care, and a huge part of that is being conscious of what is on your mind. A lot of people find self-reflection sessions difficult precisely because they cannot focus.
To avoid distractions, one crucial step to take is to change your environment. Your home office or breakfast nook, no matter how cosy it is, may not help in promoting that reflective state because it will remind you of responsibilities. So, take an intentional time off when you can really get out of the house, perhaps stay at a boutique B&B in Bath.
No pressures from work or home. Not too long of a time away from responsibilities, but just enough to ponder about things. When reflecting, you want to focus on three things: what you accomplished recently, what is happening at present and what you can do in the next days, months or years.
If you have postponed R&R for quite a while, chances are you have had abandoned some hobbies. Pick up those interests again or look at them with fresh eyes. Perhaps you have loved experimenting when cooking, but when the kids came, you have stuck only to the family’s favourites. Revisit that hobby and cook again for yourself, even just for this time.
Perhaps you have delayed solo travel plans because you had to arrange and prepare for a wedding. Now that you have already been five years married, maybe it is time to push through with those plans of exploring Bath’s historic city centre or walking the streets of Paris. Take a trip down memory lane and trace the things you have always wanted to do.
With everyday pressures from work and family, there is almost always little time to have good conversations with people. Social networking sites and other technologies do not help either. When you look at dinner tables, people are slouched over their phones, missing opportunities for real-life interactions.
Reconnect with the people you have missed during the times you were busy. Do avoid connecting to the internet and instead, try to connect with people you are with. Be sincere in knowing what is happening with your friends’ and family members’ lives. Listen actively. Strengthen relationships by doing things together.
Rest and relaxation is not something that will just happen. You have to will it to happen. Reclaim the lost of art of taking a break today.