Written by Volker Ballueder
Holiday season is over, and I am back with another post for Scentered.
Taking a break is very important. We all know that, in theory. For some people it is a lot easier than for others to let go, take a break and relax. For others it can be very hard, as they fear losing their job, or they cannot let go as they own a business and the responsibilities for it.
Whichever type you are, there is no way around for you to take breaks. I used to say that if it wasn’t for the kids, I wouldn’t need a holiday. But I was wrong.
After not having had a proper break since Christmas, and us all having had more lockdowns and interruptions, often working from the same place 8-12 hours a day, I took a break. A proper break. I took my family to a holiday park, as this seemed to be the only place we could find at short notice. We went to the Norfolk coast, had warm weather, beach days and lots of food. Maybe it wasn’t the fancy holiday abroad, but it was a break which fulfilled two important purposes: firstly, a change of scenery and no work, disconnecting from your life at home, and your routine. Secondly, it created memories with the families, and gave us quality family time.
You see, we are not machines. We are not built to work 24/7. Our brains need to relax regularly which is why we sleep and need on average not less than 7-8 hours of it. That is why if we have a drink, our brain doesn’t relax as well when we sleep and we feel hungover the next day, even after a small amount.
And if you don’t give your brain a proper break from your day to day activities, letting go of your thoughts about work, life and challenges you might have at home, then your brain just goes bonkers. Literally. We cannot carry on without a break.
The worst thing is that I don’t tell you anything new. We have all known that, and for a very long time. Yet, we often don’t act on it. That is why I wrote about this in my newsletter where I share monthly leadership and self-development articles.
My tip is to book the next holiday now. Book a week for half-term with the kids in October, then plan for Christmas and then half term in February. After that, book your summer vacation. Of course this and last year were different with the planning horizon, but we have been able to plan ‘staycation’ or ‘a break’. And if you can’t afford a week away, do day trips, mix it up, plan a week of cycling and hiking around your local area. But don’t carry on.
As a result of a break, and I can certainly vouch for that, you come back refreshed and energized. You are ready to tackle your next big job, move up in your career and move beyond. You get unstuck from the way you were dealing with things before your holidays.