Just what the doctor ordered!
It hit me in mid-March 2022. I had burnt out. The last two years of work and well life has been a drain. The adjustment to a new-normal and a continuing change of how things are has meant that I have worn myself thin. Thin like butter on a granary slice of toast. I have worked and supported my teams and my clients for two years with little focus on myself. I have tried to switch off but have struggled.
The problem is we are working more hours and taking less time off. We are in theory always on at the moment. This is bringing us all physical and mental health challenges. We should all ask ourselves if it is time for a holiday. Not a weekend or a long bank holiday weekend. A proper break. A break without “work-related” distractions.
I have just returned from a holiday. I feel fortunate to have been able to take one. It has been three years in the making and well I can say that it has worked. There are some very clear benefits to having time off:
– My physical health has improved. On holiday you just seem to do more without thinking about it. Swimming, walking and some more broader activities like surfing. From morning until dusk I have been active which can only be a good thing (and hopefully counteract the eating and drinking!)
– Stress has an effect on brain structure and can lead to anxiety and depression. The effects of not having a break on our mental health is great. We need the chance to de-stress.
– Having a regular break can simply lead to a greater wellbeing – you just feel good inside taking a break, whether a three day weekend or longer excursion.
– Having been back a couple of days I feel more focused and productive. This increase in my mental ability is as a result of taking a break and reducing the level of stress. Taking time off is like getting a tune up for your car. It always performs better afterwards.
– There is something about a holiday. Even if you are queueing or too hot in the heat your overall happiness increases.
– The ultimate benefit has been quality time with the family. It has been tough the last few months particularly with both myself and Kate adjusting to new roles and that it has shaken the balance we once had. Having time together has just reaffirmed the fun we can have. Making memories. Building stronger relationships.
Regular time off whether a long term break or just a day off to spend with a friend or family have huge benefits to us and we should all look to ensure we have that time to refuel and recharge.