Why You Need a Break and How to Ditch the Guilt Long Enough to Take It

May 27, 2022 | Work Life Balance

TBT to 2014 – a post from when Leigh and I had a chance to take a quick 4-day vacation, without the kids, for the first time in almost five years. It’s summer holiday time here in Australia, so that it might be relevant to you right now!

As a 40th birthday present, my parents were going to take care of our kidlets, so we jumped at the chance to head to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. An all-inclusive on the beach, yes!

We were so looking forward to the sun, beach and drinks by the pool. But most importantly, the chance to reconnect with each other, catch up on some sleep, have some fun and ditch work for a while.

As we were packing, the mind frick kicked in.

  • Do I take my computer on the plane and do some work on the flight down so that I am not too far behind when I come back?
  • Do I work on the flight back? The ideas will flow, and I will be brimming with energy, as I will have rested.
  • Is there WIFI at the resort to check for essential emails if something comes up?

I caught myself thinking these thoughts and thought, “It’s four days!! Get a grip!”

I decided to do the following:

  • I was going off-grid for a week.
  • No computer, no phone.
  • I took my iPad but had it on flight mode, as it has all my books on it.

It was such a relief not to worry about anything while we were away, but I will admit, my mind kept wondering what was going on that I was unaware of and if I was missing anything important by not being in the loop.

Why are we so dependent on “keeping in touch?”

Why do we feel so guilty when we turn off the electronics?

When did it get so bad that we can’t even go four days without checking email?

Everyone will agree that it is exhausting trying to keep up in this crazy world.

So, when I had this chance at a break, why couldn’t I take it without having these thoughts?

Nothing happened while we were gone, but we worry that we will miss something that plays on our minds.

So, to ditch the guilt for yourself, do the following:

  • Tell everyone that you are going away and will be “off-grid.”
  • Have emergency contacts in place if something goes wrong in your business or at home. Choose someone who can make decisions for you, so you don’t need to be contacted. Give that chosen person guidance on how you’d like things handled and when to call you if sh*t hits the fan! (Like our parents being able to contact the resort if something happened with our kidlets).
  • Where possible, leave your electronics at home, so you are not tempted to check-in.
  • Distract yourself with another drink or a swim in the pool when you find yourself thinking about work. (The all-inclusive is incredible for keeping the drinks flowing when you need them!)
  • Apply this to real life when you get home and give yourself an ongoing mental break.

An update to now:

Considering the COVID world we live in, booking travel or even plans to get away locally can be cancelled at the last minute, so trying to get away can be challenging. So, pick a day of the week and take a break at home.

I will be going off-grid every Sunday now, as I know the world will not blow up if I don’t check my emails or look at social media!

Look after yourself and give yourself a rest, both physically and mentally.

Book that time away if you can, or pick a day at home, ditch the electronics for a period and stamp on that guilt about doing both!

You deserve it!!