Many Americans don’t use all their vacation time for multiple reasons, but mostly because we have become workaholics and even when on vacation, many companies expect employees to stay plugged in via computer and/or phone. I just took a much needed vacation with my better half and realized the first few days how long it was taking me to unplug and unwind. I had a week off and I finally started feeling relaxed after day three. It was nice to get up with no schedule. I was able to read and relax over a cup of coffee, do yoga at different times of the day, meditate, take a walk and really take in the nature around me without thinking of what I had to do next. Checking out different beaches, playing golf late afternoon while laughing and joking (even though I am not very good) and watching the sun set knowing I could do this again the next day was so refreshing. While driving to Key West with the sun shining we felt for a short time like we didn’t have a care in the world!
On the last day as our flight was delayed, which meant we would not be home until after midnight and I had to return to work the next day. I started looking at my schedule for the following week and felt the stress come back quite quickly. I put on my headset and listened to a short 10-minute meditation to try and rewire my brain back to calm! It is so important to get away from phones, computers and the everyday routine and kick back and enjoy life as I tell others in my class. I need to practice what I know is true and what I try to teach others in their pursuit of life balance! On the flight I watched a downloaded movie so I would enjoy the last couple of hours without reviewing all I had planned for the work week.
Monday morning came quickly and I was back to work and feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. I realized I was the one who was going to have to make the changes needed to take mini-vacations or breaks during my work week and ultimately my life. This weekend was my first weekend home and I usually jam pack it with going to the gym, running errands, cleaning the house etc. I decided I would not do this. I had a friend over for lunch last minute and did a quick clean instead of what I normally do in the house. I asked my honey to go to Sunday brunch and we relaxed and talked over coffee. I joined him while we took the dogs for a walk (something he usually does without me while I am doing something else in the house) and we enjoyed the nice weather. I read the paper and took a nap. I have decided I need to try and unwind on the weekends. I need to make sure I take my lunch breaks even if my co-workers don’t since I need to take a break for my own well-being. If I don’t finish my “to do” list so be it – it will get done the next day or the day after that. I will take the time when I get home from work to do a 10-15 minute meditation without going right into starting dinner and going through mail and personal emails. I will try to make sure I put enough fun, rest and relax in my days since all work and no play makes for a dull day and in turn a dull life that is out of balance! Here are some photos from my vacation: