Ahhhhh……I’ve just returned from a short weekend camping trip. I feel so relieved, relaxed, rejuvenated, and refreshed. And as I reflect upon the weeks leading up to my camping trip I notice three signs that I needed a vacation. And the last one surprised me. I’m going to keep this short since I just returned, and I hope these can be help you figure out if you need a vacation too.
First, I was having a hard time staying motivated. I’m sure everyone knows moments where they are “supposed” to be working, but you just can’t find the energy or the focus to actually do it. Often you may view this as “lack of discipline” or worst, outright “laziness”. But could this lack of energy and focus be your body’s early warning sign that you need some rest? Your body is a wonderful tool which gives you a lot of helpful information. So when your body gives you a message that your mind doesn’t like, don’t try to overrule it. Listen.
When we see kids that are “cranky” we naturally assume that they are tired and need rest. When we see adults that are “cranky” we naturally assume they are mean people. When did the link between irritability and the need for rest become separated in our minds? If you notice that your temper is getting triggered easily, that you’re stressed by the slightest wrinkle in your plans, or that small annoyances are blown out of proportion, then you could really use some rest. Don’t judge yourself for your irritability; treat yourself to some rest and relaxation.
Potentially the most surprising sign that we need a vacation is that we’ve become addicted to work. I am a big fan of productivity and accomplishment. Potentially too big a fan. Have you ever been jumping from big project to big project without even a thought to taking a break in between? Have you ever been so focused on getting work done, that you’ve neglected other aspects of your life? Work and accomplishment can be so addictive that we lose ourselves to it. And while riding the wave you may feel like you have boundless energy, the constant stream of work is taking its toll. So make sure to build in time to savor the completion of a big project, take time to appreciate and celebrate, and take time to rest before the next big one.
A final note. You may define a “vacation” as taking a trip to some exotic or fun-filled location other than your home. I want to suggest that this definition may be a limiting one. You could define a “vacation” as any time you take to truly relax. Many people waste their relaxation time worrying about the future, brooding over stressors, or being lost in the past. Vacations are these moments where we are completely in the moment, usually because the moment is a novel one. But you can be completely in the moment and relaxing in your hammock in the backyard, or on your living room sofa, or out on the town. The healing power of vacations doesn’t come from where they happen, it comes from having time to be in the moment and truly relax. Don’t let lack of time off, lack of preparation, lack of transportation, lack of destination, or lack of funds stop you from taking a vacation right now.
KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.