Take a free vacation every day.
I once read an interview, featuring a busy business executive. He spoke of his work, his responsibilities, and the stress that came with his job.
In the interview, he said that during his busy, hectic day he might call a longtime friend. For a few minutes, they might talk about a river they planned to raft or a football game they wanted to see. These conversations with friends were brief, but for him they were a breath of fresh air in the middle of a busy, stressful day.
These conversations can be mini-vacations. For a few minutes, they allow you to get away. Such conversations can be a refreshing pause in the middle of a day that is draining.
There are other ways to take a mini-vacation.
- I have spent a few moments reliving last summer’s vacation. My mind doesn’t know the difference between these memories and the actual vacation. I have found this to be relaxing.
- One person I knew would pause during the day and for a few minutes work a crossword puzzle.
- I once knew a guy who watched old movies during his lunch hour.
- Some people work out at the YMCA or another gym during lunch.
The list is endless. These are ways people have found to refresh themselves in the middle of the day.
You have your own ideas about what might be a mini-vacation for you. You might consider trying this. I am not talking about a long period of time. Try doing this for two minutes. Two minutes. Spend two minutes thinking about a pleasant hike, a nice vacation, or an evening you recently enjoyed. You might be surprised at how long two minutes can feel.
Yes—like most anything—this could be abused. One could stay on a mental vacation and only occasionally come to work (mentally).
For so many of us, however, these breathers can help bring clarity and perspective to our day. When I am behind in my work, my tendency is to get more intense and more focused. Of course, this kind of focus can be useful and can spur on productivity. However, doing my work with this level of intensity day after day only makes me weary. I don’t feel creative or energized.
These mini-vacations can be very helpful. They can restore and motivate. They remind me that God has created me to be a whole person. I am mind, body, soul, emotion, etc. I am a social being. One of the greatest gifts I can give the people I love the most is to take care of myself. Selfish? No. Self-care is about being a good steward of what God has given me.