Mental break- I must admit that I struggle with “downtime”. For those of you that know me, likely no surprise. However, I do know the value of giving my brain a break from work. As much as I love what I do, I believe that mental breaks provide me with the ability to come back to work with a renewed sense of purpose, creativity and productivity. It’s interesting, but I find that some of my most creative ideas or a greater appreciation for what I do, come after giving my brain a break.
Time crunch- I don’t know about you, but my week is full of deadlines. This article for example must meet a deadline in order to be published on time. The nature of the Chamber means there are constant deadlines which creates a sense of urgency. Taking time away means freedom from deadlines. However, when I find my patience running thin when I have to wait in line for something, or the service in a restaurant is slower than I like, I’m quick to remember that I have no schedule and my days and hours are completely my own. That translates to greater relaxation and truly being in the moment and appreciating a low-stress schedule.
Learning something new- I’m a bit of a history nerd, so any time I travel I’m always interested in learning the history of my destination. When we arrived in Portland, we signed up for a bike tour and to my pure joy, our guide was a proud history nerd too! Learning about the rich history of Portland enriched my experience as it brought a greater appreciation and understanding of the region. Learning how a community, city evolves and the tragedy and triumph it endures is a reminder that no matter where we are, communities were built on the shoulders of those committed to a better life for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I know the same holds true for our community.
Beauty right here at home- My daughter and I were so fortunate to participate in the Bridge of the Gods run in Washington State. I have to tell you, I’ve seen beauty from the East Coast to the West Coast, but I’ve never experienced something like this. The race started in Portland, and we crossed over the Bridge of the Gods into Washington. It was absolutely breathtaking. The weather fully cooperated and once over the bridge and onto the trail, we were among gorgeous flowers and trees native to Washington. And there were mountains, oh the mountains. To top things off, as we made our way back to our hotel, there was a rainbow that stretched from one side of the small town of Stevenson to the other. It took my breath away, and I will never forget it. Sometimes we forget how much beauty is right here at home. This trip was a reminder of how much more I need to see!
Unplugging- Finally, taking time away forced me to disconnect. Though my phone creates a constant connection, I intentionally took a break from the news and only deleted emails that were “junk”. I intentionally spent time connecting with my daughter, laughing more and worrying less. Constant connection can create constant worry and even discontent. I didn’t miss the need for chronically checking my email and pressure to respond. It was freeing. We should all disconnect from our electronics from time-to-time and reconnect with family and friends.
Even if you’re not interested or able to physically “get away from it all” taking a mental break from the day-to-day routine is invaluable. For me, I came back renewed, invigorated and excited to get back to work. At the end of the day, I believe I’m better professionally and personally as I jump back in to my life with a renewed attitude and sense of purpose. That can only flow over into all that I do, which in my humble opinion, is the whole point of vacation, getting away from it all so you can better appreciate the “all”.
Here’s to your success,