Necessary Breaks: Staying Sane in the Busy Storm
Whew! These last few weeks were intense. I’ve been quiet here but don’t worry, it won’t happen again – we have a lot to catch up on!
Have you ever had a list of tasks that started out simple then suddenly reared up and became a wall? Between managing work deadlines and everyday “adulting” I felt like I barely had time to sleep. Just three months into the year and I was ready to collapse.
After hitting a huge deadline while another loomed two weeks away, I realized I needed something more than a Saturday on my couch to look forward to. One night over dinner, I started searching for flights and was lucky to find an amazing deal on a round trip to Chicago.
At the time, I was operating at minimum energy; slowly getting things done without feeling accomplished. The moment I had something to look forward to, my energy shifted. Just like breaking up a tough day can help you re-center, taking a pause from a frantic time can get you back to your best self. So the first step to hitting the reset button is choosing a destination!
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This doesn’t even have to involve airfare, it can be as simple as choosing a day to spend in the nearest park. The two keys to maximizing your breaks are:
Go somewhere else.
Do what you want.*
*Hopefully, you want to do things that are completely unrelated to work or outside commitments.
A change in scenery is critical because it forces you to take in the environment in a way that you’ve stopped doing for your daily routine. When I’m in a creative rut, I need to get up and walk away from my desk. The same concept applies when I’m in an energy rut – I need to step away from my workload and life in general.
The toughest part of taking a break is leaving guilt-free. It’s tempting to switch on the cruise control when you have a getaway coming up, but don’t give in! Rewards are sweeter when you know you’ve worked for them, so settle up with work and correspondence before your exit. Otherwise, you’ll end up using that fresh burst of energy on catching up rather than moving forward.
Though my trip was short (3 days), I felt refreshed and my creativity felt rejuvenated. Chicago is a beautiful city with so much to explore that I hope to go back in the summer – it snowed every day of my trip. Until my return, here are a few exclusive shots from my trip:
As always, I want to hear from you! When was the last time you took a break? Did you travel or stay local?