You made it through tax season – and an extended one at that! You deserve to take a break. How will you do that?
Recharging your batteries isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity!
While you may think you don’t need to, taking time to unwind is actually essential. Think about what flight attendants say to all passengers before take-off. You must first secure your own oxygen mask before you can help others. It’s so simple. How will you be any good to anyone else – yourself included – if you don’t take care of yourself?
Like most of us these days, it’s really hard to check out and unwind…to truly relax. I am super guilty of it myself. So, if you can’t get away for a real break, here are a few things you can do that will help you recharge and regroup.
Start by taking care of your body.
- This means you need to get moving. That will look different for each one of us. Even just taking a walk outside once or twice a day will get your circulation going and give you a nice dose of Vitamin D. Plus, stepping away from your work and taking a walk in nature has a calming effect and can help you think more clearly.
- You should also be thinking about what you’re eating. Are you making healthy choices? Many times, the food we eat can suck the energy from us and we don’t even realize it.
- Get the proper rest. We all require different amounts of sleep. I know I work best on a solid eight hours of sleep, while others function great on six.
Schedule something non-work related that you enjoy doing.
This can be time spent with a good friend that you haven’t seen in a while, taking a class to learn more about a special interest you have – like painting or photography, attending a function with your family that you haven’t been able to make time for, or maybe a vacation — if you can afford to get away. Even if you absolutely love what you do, it’s important to take a break. Too much of anything can begin to take its toll on you.
Unplug for real.
This means you need to turn off the TV, the gaming devices, the computer, and the cell phone. These types of “relaxation” are considered passive rest and are not really helping you long term. While you may be zoning out for the moment, you need to shut those things off and work on relaxing your mind.
Create a master list to get a handle on open items.
You may imagine your to-do list as a rotating carousel or Rolodex (I think I just dated myself) that plays in your mind all day long, and even into the wee hours of the night. It’s helpful to create a list of outstanding to-do items and ideas, and put them in order of priority. Having everything logged in one place will ensure you don’t miss anything. Then you can assign tasks, set deadlines, and include status updates as they happen. Most importantly, having a master list can decrease your stress level and help you relax more, knowing you’re not missing anything.
Do it now.
Don’t wait until you are burned out to do these things. Take time for yourself now. Build it into your month, week, and even your day, if you can. You will find that you are a more happier, healthier, and productive person for doing it.