4 Tips for Getting the Most from Time Off

Whether it’s two days in a row, a week’s vacation, or a month of accrued time off, how you spend those hours and days will determine if your body, mind, and soul get the rest they deserve.

The benefits of time off are well-documented. And while we say we understand the need to get a break from the daily challenges of the workplace, we seldom get as much of a break as these stressful times demand. Even if we commit to taking all of the time allotted, do we know how to make the most of that time?

Attention to these four strategies will turn those hours, days, or weeks into the best physical, emotional, and mental boost they can be.

1. Go somewhere, anywhere

Getting away from home and the routine of your normal day-to-day life, even if it’s just for an afternoon of your two days off each workweek, will be a welcome reprieve.

Sure, “staycations” offer a reprieve from workplace responsibilities, and they cost less than a “real vacation.” But the lure of home repairs or tasks that never reach the top of your to-do list can disrupt the genuine break vacation is meant to achieve. So, book a few days at a local B&B, swap houses with a friend who lives out of town, or invite friends over. Get creative and go somewhere, anywhere.

2. Spend time with the real people in your life

“I’m going to do nothing but sleep and binge-watch ________ (insert a favorite television series).” Of course, catching up on sleep is a worthwhile staple of time away from work. And there’s nothing wrong with a bit of screen time that your typical schedule can’t accommodate. But it’s best to limit the time spent immersed in the lives of folks behind the television screen and make lots of time in your away-from-work schedule to be with family and friends. You know, the real folks with whom you can laugh and talk, dream and share memories. So, give Mom or Dad a call. Have lunch with your brother or sister. Visit Grandma and Aunt Kate or go to a movie with your BFF. Spend an hour under a shade tree with your best canine buddy.

3. Handle those errands!

Seriously, tend to errands when you’re supposed to be relaxing? Actually, yes. A block of pre-planned time for accomplishing the can’t-wait errands will get these necessary life items taken care of so that you can enjoy the rest of your time off worry-free. In addition, batching unavoidable tasks will limit their intrusion on your time of R & R and leave you ready to hit the ground running when it’s time to head back to work.

4. Build in a relaxing or indulgent treat

Do you love to read? Take an afternoon snooze? Been trying to schedule that long-awaited pedicure? Or perhaps a hot, leisurely bath rates as both relaxing and indulgent for you. Splurging a few calories on a steaming cup of hot chocolate and a frosted donut can be ever so satisfying. How about a long chatty conversation with the friend, cousin, or former co-worker who you never see anymore? Are you longing for a solitary nature walk? Jot a list of what fits the description of relaxing or indulgent and work in at least one activity each day away from the workplace.

The next time you have a few days off, be sure to make that time off, time well-spent. You deserve it!

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