Sorry! That’s not enough…
“I need the first week of my vacation time to switch off from work, the second to relax and the third to enjoy”. A colleague told me recently. Years ago I would have agreed with this statement, but then I radically changed something…
… because during a professional training, I said something similar to a sports psychologist. He then asked me the simple question of how many times a year I could take a three-week long vacation. “At best, once a year,” was my answer. All he replied was: “Sorry! That’s not enough.”
“To only have once a year to properly relax with a highly demanding job will sooner or later lead to a dead end and you will burn out,” he explained. It is important to take advantage of the small breaks on the weekends and to find ways to make sure to unwind enough until Saturday lunch time to be able to fully enjoy the rest of the weekend. This helps much more than a single long vacation per year, which then solely serves your stress management. Makes perfect sense.
A colleague who works as a CEO, has a family with two small children and is still doing his MBA at the same time, is the perfect example. At most, he gets half a day to himself per week. For this time, he has developed a technique to think about absolutely nothing. Neither about learning, nor about the challenges his company faces or his family (even if that brings him a lot of joy). He simply switches off and is then back full of energy to master his challenges.
Finding your own sweet spot is different for everyone. It can be to go for a jog, meditation, qigong, yoga, a walk on a lake, going golfing, cooking a nice dinner, a good conversation with your best friend… and it is most probably a special combination of things you enjoy. Your smartphone can very well be left at home or switched to flight mode during this time. Not everything has to be shared on Facebook and this is just about you.
By the way: The summer vacation is coming up. Maybe the last vacation, where the first week is still reserved for switching off. In the future, you might only need half a day for it… it’s easier than you might think.
All the best!