When you first start out in the workforce, it can be challenging to find time for relaxation. You might feel like you need to prove yourself by working hard all the time and taking on as many projects as possible. But this attitude will eventually backfire; after years of long hours, your performance will suffer, and burnout is sure to follow. If you want to take a break from work without any guilt or worry about what’s waiting for you when you get back behind the desk, here are some tips that will help make it happen.
1. Create a relaxation plan that you can stick to
If you don’t schedule relaxation time into your calendar, it will never happen. Determine how much time you want to spend on relaxation every week and block off the appropriate number of hours in red pen so that no one can interfere with your plans. Whether it’s an hour at lunch or two whole days per week, relaxation must be a top priority for you to actually get any relaxation out of it. If you work better in the evenings, dedicate Tuesday and Thursday nights to relaxation; instead of staying late at the office like everyone else, go home early and do something totally unrelated to work like knitting or cooking. Remember: relaxation is meant for rest and rejuvenation; don’t spend your relaxation time working on other tasks.
2. Set boundaries with work
One of the best ways to take a break from work is to set clear boundaries with your boss and colleagues. Let them know that you’re taking a break and won’t be responding to emails or phone calls during that time. If they need to contact you, they can always reach out during your relaxation hours. This will help ease any guilt you might feel about taking some time for yourself and will ensure that you actually relax during your relaxation time.
3. Make relaxation time special
Treat relaxation like a special event that only happens occasionally. Buy new pajamas or clothes for relaxation days, make yourself a delicious breakfast or lunch, and do something special like go to a movie or treat yourself to a manicure. Do something that you’ve suddenly thought of doing. Go to that coffee shop in another city that you’ve always wanted to try. Buy coffee beans and brew your own coffee every early morning.
Relaxation should always be a time when you focus on bettering yourself; make relaxation days memorable occasions that feel more like celebrations than productivity-killing procrastination sessions.
4. Remember that relaxation is a privilege
Many people never feel like they have enough time to relax. They might catch up on their favorite TV shows during lunch, but that’s still time spent working. As a result, they don’t take the opportunity to truly relax and rejuvenate because it feels foreign and uncomfortable. You needn’t have this problem. Relaxation time is meant for relaxation; enjoy it! Remember that relaxation is a crucial privilege; you should simply treat it as such.
5. Don’t go overboard with relaxation
If you work hard all year long, there will come a time when you can finally kick back and relax without guilt or worry about what your boss thinks of your relationship status on Facebook (it’s complicated, right?). But don’t overdo it. Too much relaxation can be counterproductive and make you feel antsy and restless. Reserve relaxation for a few special days or hours each week and enjoy it guilt-free.
6. Take a break from all technology
One of the best ways to truly relax is to unplug from all technology. Leave your phone in another room, turn off your laptop, and forget about work for a little while. This can be difficult to do at first, but eventually, you’ll find that you’re more productive when you take a break from technology. You’ll also be less stressed and have more time for relaxation.
7. Find relaxation activities that work for you
Not everyone enjoys the same relaxation activities; some people like reading while others prefer taking walks or listening to music. Figure out what works best for you and stick to those activities during your relaxation time. Experiment until you find something that helps you relax.
8. Make relaxation a priority
Finally, you need to make relaxation an actual focus in your life. Schedule relaxation time just as you would any other appointment or task. Blocking out relaxation time on your calendar will help ensure that it gets done and that you don’t have to worry about forgetting about it or doing it at the last minute. Relaxation should be calm and unhurried. Create a relaxation schedule now so that relaxation doesn’t have to wait until next year.
Relaxation is vital in life. Just like sleeping, relaxation can give you energy and let you recharge quickly before returning to work. So don’t forget to take relaxation time after working so hard with so much stress for years.