I regularly see people on social media asking for help with the same dilemma. It usually reads like this:
“I am on vacation, and I still can’t stop checking my phone for work. I’m afraid that if I turn off my phone, I’ll miss something big, lose an account, get overlooked on a project, lose my job, etc. How do I take time off from work without feeling guilty or stressed about missing something?”
Here’s a good place to start: what are you repeating in your mind?
“I’m just going to answer this one call; I have to.” “Checking my email will only take one minute.” “AH! It’s Chris! I should take this.”
Mindfulness habits can help you switch gears between work and rest. When you’re at work, you have a to-do list (whether physical or mental.) You are conditioned to operate in this mode; it’s your current habit. Rather than trying to completely re-wire yourself on your day(s) off, piggyback on your existing habit and give yourself a task for today. Maybe it’s rest. REST. Today, rest is as important as selling your product, closing a deal, stitching a wound, or teaching fractions– whatever your usual tasks are.
Write your task on a sticky note, and stick it where you can see it as a constant reminder of your goal. When fear of missing out kicks in on your day off, look to your mantra.
“REST. I value rest. I need rest. I can rest. If I do not rest, I will burn out or get sick. My capable team has got things covered. I will return stronger because I refilled my tank.”
If rest is too abstract, make a list of restful pursuits. Walk my dog in the park Practice yoga Play a board game with a loved one Knit Play golf
In a healthy relationship, absence makes the heart grow fonder. It’s okay if you are missed for a short time; it indicates that you are a valuable member!
If everything falls apart because 1 team member is absent for a day, or someone is made to feel guilty for taking reasonable time to refuel, it is a sign that the relationship with others is unbalanced.
If we personally feel guilty for taking time to take care of ourselves, it is a sign that the internal relationship we have with our self is unbalanced.
The sticky-note habit helps us keep our mind’s eye fixed on our core values (or the yamas) and minimizes fear of missing out. Taking time to rest and study yourself (svadhyaya) can help you turn an abstract goal (like rest) into something tangible you can measure. It can give you the courage to speak candid truth (satya) like:
I understand that things are not the same when a team member is away. I did a great job delegating my usual responsibilities before I left, and I always help others when they are away. Prioritizing my health makes me a better team member.
This project sounds like a great opportunity, but I am going to have to pass. Have you considered asking Julio?
This project sounds like a great opportunity, and I am in a great place to help you with it. Let’s get started!
Many industries move at a rapid pace, and competition is fierce. It’s true. Healthy teams are comprised of healthy individuals. Healthy relationships at work are open and honest [in the kindest, most professional, and most respectable way] about boundaries, skills, limitations, and expectations. A healthy relationship with your self requires nothing less. Support others when they need a break, and don’t feel guilty when it’s your time to recharge.
Hope that helps!
I am ready to help your team with mindfulness and yoga in the office. Let’s schedule a lunch & learn. Email me to get started.
When is the last time you stepped away from the hustle-hustle of everyday life to seek solitude? If you are having difficulty concentrating, taking time to yourself can help you clear your mind. If you are making big decisions, a retreat can help you bring awareness to your intentions and motivations so you can see the entirety of your situation with a fresh perspective. If you are burned out, solitude can help you rest, reconnect with your bigger why, and recalibrate.
The world is moving faster than ever before. But in spite of the frenetic pace around us, we can still prioritize time to look within ourselves. If you have never taken time away for self-reflection, then you may be at a loss for where to start. Good news! Taking time away to rest and reflect may be easier than you think. Here are 3 ways to take a meaningful retreat for self-reflection.
The Stay-cation Ahhhh! Home! For many people, there’s no place like home. It is your castle, your fortress, and the place to let your hair down. Just staying home with nothing to do sounds like a dream. But for others, staying home isn’t the most relaxing idea because of all the distractions. Once you unplug from electronics and begin staring at unfinished projects, it can be difficult to resist the temptation to start tackling your to-do list. Whether you’re taking a single hour of solitude or an entire weekend to get some peace and quiet, the first thing you have to consider is freeing your mind from distractions.
Other helpful things to consider include: > shopping for groceries so you don’t have to leave home > setting your email to an automatic reply > creating a peaceful atmosphere in your home with lighting or sound > placing “Please Do Not Disturb” signs on your door(s) > letting loved ones know you are safe and practicing solitude (so they are not concerned)
Escape to the Great Outdoors Going outside is often a great way to get away from common hindrances to peace. You may choose a local park, a favorite hiking trail, or other outdoor space. But you don’t have to go far away to find sunlight and fresh air. Outdoor spaces that are close to home like your back yard or patio can also be relaxing. Many people tune out noisy distractions by using ear buds to listen to a book, singing bowls, chanting, guided meditation, or (ironically) sounds from nature. Other people prefer the sound of silence. If you are going outside: be safe. Make an informed plan, and let others know your plans. This helpful list is a great place to start.
Find a Yoga or Spa Resort Travelling can be relaxing. There is an opportunity to feel truly alone. There is beautiful scenery. There is a rewarding destination at the end. The anticipation of visiting a new place or a familiar hangout can bring a thrill of excitement. “Research shows that the brain releases dopamine in anticipation of a reward.” Planning your time of solitude and anticipating your retreat could be as beneficial as the retreat itself.
Resort spas that center around yoga and solitude can be a great fit for people who feel stressed by (or don’t have time to) plan a trip. All inclusive spas shoulder all or most of the decision making. They often have access to amazing foods that are in season, or they host renown yoga teachers. Some resorts offer other therapeutic amenities like horseback riding, wraps and facials, or massage.
Here are a few things to consider when planning a trip: > Do some research. Make sure the place you visit has a reputation for safety and ethical practices. > Resist the urge to over-pack. > Having a clean, organized space can contribute to a peaceful mood. > Whether riding in your personal car or opting for mass transit, your travel time to a resort can also be a great time to notice your natural breathing.