We’re in peak summer time here in the United States, which means beautiful sunny weather, sometimes scorching temperature, and figuring out the age-old question of going on vacation. This would be a good time to post about why vacations are important for wellness, but since the logistics of going on vacation are still pretty difficult (worldwide pandemic and all), I decided to go even broader with my message. Even if we can’t get away this summer, it’s still important to take time off. Whether it’s from work, school, the lifestyle of a grinding entrepreneur, etc. there are many benefits from taking time off to relax and restore your wellness. Here’s why!
One of the things I’ve learned during this pandemic is the importance to make time for yourself. There are plenty of ways to do this, and it can be extremely helpful to create pockets of time throughout your day to relax and maintain wellness. But it took me several months to learn that sometimes, taking time for yourself doesn’t have to involve any activities. Sometimes you just need time off.
For a long time, I conflated taking time off with taking vacation. The only time I would take off work is if I had a trip planned. Even then, it felt like I had to have a significant vacation on tap for me to feel comfortable taking that time off. The idea that I could take some time off just for me to decompress and rejuvenate my wellness was a foreign concept, and that didn’t change until last summer.
Even though we couldn’t go anywhere, I took a few days off last summer with the purpose of being off work and not having a schedule. If I’m being honest, I didn’t do much. I ate good food, watched a some good movies, and sat in the sun for a little while. And it was wonderful. I severely underestimated the value of taking time off, and I also saw the positive long-term impacts once I returned to work.
At one point or another, people get tired. Work is hard; school is hard; keeping up with people is hard; hell, existing is hard! We need time to recalibrate so we can continue being our best selves. And going on vacation can certainly do that for people, but a well-timed day off here and there can also have a tremendous impact.
If it seems like I’ve missed a post or two in the past few weeks, that’s because I’m in the middle of taking time off. And even in doing so, I don’t know if I did a perfect job of prioritizing my wellness. But, as with everything else in life, I’m hoping that I’ve learned another valuable lesson in how to be the best version of myself.
We all deserve time off – from whatever we need to be ‘off’ from – and rest. I hope in the next few months you’re able to find that time, and if you can’t, that you can make that time soon. Existing is hard, and we all need a break sometimes, even if we have to create that break ourselves.
Are you taking time off this summer? What impact does that have on your mental health? Let me know in the comments!