Self care. It’s that buzzword everyone (including me) uses these days as an excuse to treat yo’self. Example: Guys, let me eat this whole pizza by myself in peace. I’m practicing self care because pizza makes me happy. Maybe eating an entire pizza isn’t the healthiest choice for your body, but there’s actually a lot of truth in prioritizing self care to achieve overall happiness and using well-earned breaks is certainly one way to get there. And you know what? Maybe for you, that means occasionally indulging in pizza when you normally maintain a strict diet.
Beyond giving you excuses to eat pizza, let’s dive deeper into this concept of taking breaks. When is the last time you took a vacation? According to the Project Time Off Survey, Americans are forfeiting more paid vacation days than ever. We live in a culture where taking breaks can be seen as a sign of weakness and laziness. Being constantly busy, on the other hand, is often a sign of success and ambition. However, research proves otherwise. Check out these findings from the Project Time Off Survey:
- Those who plan time for relaxation are happier with their relationships, health, and jobs
- 38% of employees say they want to be seen as work martyrs by their boss, but these self-proclaimed work martyrs are 74%-84% less likely to receive raises and promotions than those who haven’t adopted the work martyr attitude.
- Employees who forfeit their vacation days are 23%-27% less likely than non-forfeiters to have been promoted within the last year.
No matter how you want to interpret a break or vacation, taking one at all is a great start. Don’t restrict your idea of vacation to an exotic trip. Think about the where the stress and chaos is coming from your life and set aside dedicated time away from these stressors. Maybe that means turning off your phone and computer for a couple hours. Maybe that means calling a babysitter for the kids. Or maybe you do need that week-long vacation to jet off on an adventure.
Here are some of the ways I like to take breaks!
Exercising Over the Lunch Hour – Instead of spending the lunch hour eating while working at my desk, I head to the gym almost every afternoon. Working out over the lunch hour gives me both a mental break and physical relief from sitting at a desk all day. On work days where I’m unable to use my lunch hour, I feel antsy, unfocused, and unmotivated.
Taking Blogging Breaks – Running a blog while working a full time job is tough. I’ve found I get easily burnt out when I pressure myself to use all my free time to work on Honeydew. Instead, I’ve found a good balance of scheduling work time for the blog and planning free time. That way, I stopped feeling guilty about time away from the blog when I had plans with friends or if I wanted to give my brain a break. But I was also okay with turning down plans if it conflicted with my pre-scheduled work time. Now, the time I set aside for my blog is used more productively because I’m more focused and I’m already in the work mindset.
Using All PTO Days – I am lucky enough to have paid time off with my work and you can bet I’m going to use it all. You already know I love traveling. Planning big vacations gives me something to look forward to when I’m feeling burnt out at work or from the never ending to-do list that comes with life. But I also find that taking a couple of single days off here and there just to relax at home still has a postive effect. Any break at all allows me to return to my work feeling refreshed and ready to check off life’s to do list.
Junk Food Cheat Days – I don’t diet. I do, however, believe in maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle which involves a balance of nutritious foods mixed with indulgences in moderation. On most days I’m eating unprocessed foods, little to no sugar, and fresh produce. But hell naw, nobody’s going to stop me from eating McDonald’s on long drives, pizza rolls when I’m drunk, mac n’ cheese when I’m hungover, and donuts when they’re free at work. Taking little breaks through cheat meals makes it easier to maintain my overall healthy eating habits because I know I’m not denying myself the foods that make me happy.
So take a damn break already! Unwind. Relax. Breathe. You’ll return to your goals, your work, and your deadlines ready to kick some major booty. What is your next planned break or vacation? I’d love to hear!
P.S. I am absolutely in love with this convertible cork crossbody/clutch. (Ugh I’m such a sucker for alliteration.) It’s so perfect for summer! Gold flecks within the cork reflect the light beautifully and it comes with a removable gold chain so you can use it as a crossbody bag or a clutch. You’ll definitely see it make an appearance in the blog again!
P.P.S I love this off the shoulder romper (which is on sale for only $25 by the way), but full disclosure – I had to cut off the tassels on the sleeves. They were way too obnoxiously long. How am I supposed to dip my fries in the ketchup when there are strings and tassels in the way?!