Switching Off Requires Balance & Moderation
Taking time off work whether that’s for a holiday abroad, a mini break or simply some time out is great (of course), but often it’s not quite as relaxing, chilled or restful as you might like because being able to actually ‘switch off’ work doesn’t come part n parcel with taking time off. Switching off is something that comes easy to some, but for others work is always on the mind and no matter how tranquil the settings you’re surrounded by, the thought of work clouds that experience.
I fall into the latter camp, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, my mind is always active and thinking about either my work or my blogging work. And I accept that fully, it’s how I am, and in fact I know full well that if I really did cut off it would only make me more stressed. So for me it’s all about balance and moderation, finding ways to switch off and relax, whilst still feeling in control and on top of the work and blog projects that my mind is worrying about.
Over the years I’ve managed to find some techniques that allow me to juggle both relaxation with my work, and that’s what I thought I’d share with you today.
5 THINGS THAT ALLOW ME TO SWITCH OFF ON HOLIDAY without sacrificing work or your blog!
I listen and acknowledge my worries
I find that unless I get things out of my head, they’ll constantly whirl around my mind and ultimately cause me anxiety. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a huge work project awaiting my return, or simply the running of my blog and the creative ideas that pop into my mind … If I leave these thoughts in my head they just buzz around and stop me from really unwinding. So the first thing I do when taking any break, is listen to and accept my worries and thoughts, and secondly find a suitable way to relax my mind by taking control of the thoughts, for me this means writing out all the things on my mind, and making a plan as to how I will tackle them (whether that’s while I’m away or when I’m back). Whatever the situation, simply by agreeing a plan of action with myself I’m able to relax in the knowledge that everything is in control.
I allocate time to work
I like to work and I love to write my blog, so rather than strictly cut myself off from the things that fill 90% of my time on a daily basis, I allow myself moments of time to check in or tick things off of my to do list (see point one). Even checking my emails for 30 minutes each day allows me to feel in control, and then switch off and relax for the rest of the day. And when it comes to my blog, an hour in the morning or evening is enough to ensure I feel connected to the blogging world still and have time to schedule content for the day ahead. Allowing things to tick along nicely, and for me to go off and enjoy myself.
If I didn’t allow myself to do these things, I would never be able to switch off entirely.
I talk it out
Sounds funny, but even unimportant things can cloud my mind and distract me from relaxing when I’m away … Because when there’s nothing to think or worry about, my mind needs to find something to busy itself with (le sigh). Sometimes I find simply talking out loud or to someone you’re with is a really easy way of coming to a solution for whatever it is that’s on your mind. For me silly things like travelling from a to b, or juggling the 20 odd commitments I have to go home to can just buzz around my head and annoy me … I find that talking with someone close to me, who can help me make a decision or find a quick solution, does the trick in no time at all. A problem shared is a problem solved n all that.
I bring distractions
If you read yesterday’s post all about my most recommended summer holiday reads then you will know that reading is one of my favourite holiday activities. And that’s not only because I love a good story, but also because it’s a huge distraction and allows me to escape my own thoughts into a fantasy world created for me. I like to think of it as a little trick that instantly distracts me from my own reality. But it’s not just reading, walking, swimming and exploring are other great distractions that allow me to unwind but equally keep my mind occupied (so it doesn’t sneak off back into work tasks).
I take a digital detox
Okay that’s a lie, I really do try to though. Holidays are the perfect time to detox from tech, and I know how much a digital detox helps to relax the mind and body …. But despite these realities I can’t help but have my phone / laptop and camera with me on every trip. As I mentioned, I know full well that cutting myself off entirely will only make me stressed, and so instead I try to limit my usage. My phone allows me to stay connected throughout the day, but I’ll try and limit my use as much as possible (harder said than done, I’m persistent when I want something at the best of times). I find that a morning, midday and evening tech binge is enough to keep me going … But still enough time spent not staring at a digital screen too! The key to a detox is moderation (much like the holiday diet, but I’m still working on that one).
How do you switch off when you take a break? Are you good at digital detoxing and cutting off from work or do you like me have to find tactics to help you relax and maintain your work / blog while you’re away?