Avoid Burnout this Summer: 4 Simple Steps to an Unplugged Vacation
by Suzanne M. Harvey
All the studies show that as Americans we don’t take all our vacation days. And those that do often work most or all of the days they are supposed to be “out of the office”. Society and our own need to feel needed are destroying our rest and relaxation periods and running us right over the cliff to burn out. I know because I have done it for years. I set my out of office to read, “I will be out of the office for the next 5 days. But if you need me I will check my email, voicemail and text messages and will get back to you right away”. Sound familiar? But if we don’t take a real, unplugged vacation we will not be at our best to figure out the right solution for our customers or take care of our families. Last summer was our first unplugged vacation and it was incredible. So we are doing it again this year! We used 4 simple steps to create our unplugged vacation.
Here are the 4 simple steps so you can take your own unplugged vacation this summer:
#1 – Get Away from It All
This one makes it easier to unplug. Go somewhere with limited cell service & wifi. (We stayed here last summer and it was the perfect ‘off-grid’ option for this hotel loving girl) If service is spotty your brain knows there is no point in checking your phone. This makes it the path of least resistance and you aren’t fighting the urge to check in nearly as much. And there are some beautiful places to see and explore out there – without your cell phone.
#2 – Leave the laptop at home
While we all know that we can still check things on our phones, we usually put the laptop up in the hotel room and sit down in the morning, afternoon and evening to check email. If you don’t have it with you at all it is one less opportunity to work. And besides, it’s better to use those extra minutes to make memories and take in the scenery. You’ve earned this break so take it!
#3 – Spend time in nature
This is the most important part. We spend so much time in our office behind a desk. Our minds & bodies need nature. The sights, sounds, smells all give us a chance to refocus & recharge. Even at home I sneak out in the afternoon to enjoy the sun & fresh air. Our bodies were made for experiencing nature and it recharges us from the inside out. So go to the woods, or the mountains or the beach. Whatever you prefer just make sure to get outside and take it all in without distraction.
#4 – Keep it Simple
In the beginning this will be hard. This working vacation is a habit and habits are hard to break. So just take a few days unplugged. And if complete days unplugged is just too hard at first, plan on just one day or simply putting the phone away while you lay on the beach in the afternoon. This isn’t about being hard on yourself but setting realistic expectations and taking steps to increase your unplugged time.
Last year’s vacation was not really planned as an unplugged vacation but that is what it was. And now that I have seen how we all felt during and after the vacation, we have planned another one. And we are all excited for the possibilities of uninterrupted relaxation, fun and rest.
There is hope for you too. You can have a real vacation where you truly unplug and don’t answer emails, take calls or figure out customer problems. I know it seems like a fairy tale but if our family can take an “unplugged” vacation after decades of working vacations, I know you can too.
Are you willing to give it a try? I would love to hear if you try it and how it goes. Remember baby steps make big goals easy to accomplish. So take that 1st baby step today. Avoid burnout this summer with these 4 simple steps for your unplugged vacation and find rest for your mind & body.
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I am Suzanne Harvey, a woman of faith - boy mom – wife – entrepreneur – interior designer – skincare business owner – lover of music & bulldogs. Like you I wear lots of hats and juggle all the things. In all of that it is easy to lose sight of who we truly are, what truly matters to us and how to slow down to enjoy the beauty around us. Thanks for joining me on this adventure to find beauty in our everyday with encouragement, laughter, plus tips & ideas to help you find your own kind of beautiful.