Rest takes effort.
Lets face it, we all have gone through the stage of taking work home. And if not work, we have used every single second of time available to be productive either cleaning, planning, or doing something that we consider worth the use of our time.
If you are very active, or simply love getting things done, you may feel identified with the following. We all need to know how to properly rest on your holidays.
What you see as a day off
The alarm has been ringing for at least one minute, until you finally gather the energy to stand up and turn it off.
Still in bed, your mind starts wondering about what day it is.
Shouldn’t I be at work? Wait. Is it my day off?
Still confused, you keep trying to clear your thoughts until your mind lands on THE LIST.
Yes, the long, exhaustive and never ending list that you keep adding to every time you are done with a task.
Awesome, so after I finish showering, I can make breakfast, do laundry, arrange the house… Oh! Gardening! Yes! I could totally do that as well…
You step out of the shower and as you walk back to your room , you pass your laptop that has been sitting on the table for the whole week. Actually, you don’t even remember when was the last time you turned it off.
Hmm I need to leave some time for those e-mails, I better send them today so that I don’t have to send them during the week.
Breakfast is done.
You sit on the table and pleasantly hear the sound of the washing machine spinning while you enjoy a serving of french toast and a skim cappuccino that you just made. Now that you think about it, it is the first time that you are able to use that coffee machine your best friend gave you for Christmas. Since you normally just rush out of the house, to only have a take away breakfast on your way to work.
One more detail I forgot to mention, is that sitting on your table, right next to your french toasts is your laptop already sending those emails you wanted to finish to make sure you have some free time at work this week.
I could definitely keep going, but if you want to know how the day ended, here it goes:
You finished the day at 10 pm with lots of things accomplished but an inner frustration because during your whole day off, you did not get to rest and ended up more tired than strengthened.
What is rest?
According to the dictionary, rest is to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. I hope you have already noticed this, but as human beings, we are not infinite. Our energy and our strength, they both have an end. This is the reason why, we need to understand that we need to set aside time to recover.
The most common mistake that we make is make ourselves believe that “If it is not a lot of effort, we are actually resting while we work”. When you do activities that demand concentration, physical and emotional effort, you are working, and therefore your brain and body are spending instead of gaining energy.
Three things you can do to rest
As much as you want to stay up late and watch your favourite movie, or go party with friends, be mindful that in order for your body to recover, you will need the right amount of sleep.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot stay up late or that your schedule needs to end at 7 pm in bed. No! You can still have fun and stay up late, but always remember that the hours you sleep need to be recovered at some point.
Plan your rest
It is easy to enter your holidays and think “I will have time to rest” but not really plan for it.
In reality, when you are busy doing activities, you are barely aware of how much time you are spending in them.
Plan fun activities, hangouts with friends, dinners and quality time with family. Once you have planned it, it is a lot easier for your to follow up and don’t waste your free time.
This is a biggie.
For all of my friends who find it hard to say NO.
Boundaries are vital for you to enjoy your holidays, even though I would highly recommend for you to apply them on your day to day as well.
Earlier this year, I was juggling with my internship responsibilities and my days off.
I remember one day coming back from Uni, laying on my couch ready to take a nap just before I had to go to work. It was then when my phone started ringing.
It was one of my co – workers.
I immediately felt stress, even before I picked up the phone. I knew what she was going to do, she would ask me for my help… On my day off.
- Hi There! Are you busy?
- Yes I am! I am sleeping.… Kind of, I was about to take a nap.
- Oh! ok.. that’s great!
- Yeah… I have to work later so I thought I would sleep.
Please don’t ask me to do anything..
- Well… Listen. I called everyone and don’t know who else to ask, but I really need you to help me buying some stuff for the office.
Here we go… Again.
I ended up traveling around stores for 3 hours to get all the things she needed and completely wasted the only 3 hours I had available to rest.
What was supposed to be my rest, turned into stress.
Learning how to say no and when to say yes is something that will help you keep your work and home life separate. Boundaries will teach you and people where your strength starts and ends.
Have fun! Enjoy! and remember that everything needs a break.