Blog to support the book "Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs" by Kristen Fischer

Monday, June 25, 2007

Can't Take a Vacation? Try a Short Break

Even if you're among the significant number of workers who don't use all of their vacation time, you still need regular breaks from your routine.

That time away can be a 15-minute breather for coffee, a regular exercise program, a cards night with friends, an occasional day off, or a long weekend at the beach.

The important thing is to strike a balance between your commitment to your career and your need to have an enriching personal life, according to Joe Robinson, a work-life trainer and coach, and author of "Work to Live: The Guide to Getting a Life."

"People need to consciously make balance happen; it just doesn't come," Robinson says.

Daily Breaks, Daily Rewards

No matter how much work there is to do, you will be more productive if you include some downtime.

Stop for breakfast on the way to a meeting, take a walk around the block in the middle of a long day, have a spontaneous lunch with a friend -- these are all strategies to wake up your mind.

"It's important just to walk away from the office and acknowledge you need a break," says work-life coach Natalie Gahrmann of N-R-G Coaching Associates.

Take a 'Me' Day
Schedule a day off from work built around your favorite things, whether it's sleeping late, catching a movie matinee, having a spa treatment, or sitting by the pool.

If you have a family and feel overbooked, set aside a day for spontaneous activities or even just hanging out in your pajamas.

"The bottom line is to take a break from your normal routine with some kind of positive mental shift that helps you get to a different state," says Gahrmann, author of "Succeeding as a Super Busy Parent: 75 Practical Tips for Life, Love, Kids, & Career."

Stimulate Your Mind
Try a range of activities -- whether it's golf, salsa dancing, bridge, or yoga -- but don't worry about succeeding at them.

"The best thing to do is to get out and dabble and try things," Robinson says. "You don't know if you're going to like something until you get into it. The only thing that counts is what you do for the sake of the experience."

Plan Your Getaway
Opting for a long weekend, or several shorter trips, can go a long way toward helping you recharge.

For journeys of three or four days, keep the itinerary and travel details simple, according to veteran newspaper travel columnist Donald D. Groff.

If you're driving, Groff recommends picking your destination by drawing on a map a circle with a driving radius of about 200 miles (or a three-hour drive) from your home. If you're traveling by plane, fly nonstop whenever possible. "The sooner you get to your destination, the sooner your relaxation begins," Groff says.

One destination that allows for easy coming-and-going from many parts of the country is the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas). They are 3 1/2 hours from New York City, don't require a passport for U.S. citizens, and use American currency, making for a quick transition to a beachy state-of-mind, according to Allegra Kean-Moorehead, director of communications for the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.

"There's a little bit of everything here, whether you're looking to relax and do nothing, or really fill your vacation with lots of activities," Kean-Moorehead says.

link | posted by Kristen at 11:14 AM |

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]


Anonymous Adam Snider commented at 11:31 AM~  

You need to set up an RSS feed so people can subscribe to your blog.

Blogger kristen commented at 3:50 PM~  

Would you like to help? I am clueless there. Any resources you can share would be great;)

Anonymous Adam Snider commented at 1:19 PM~  

I haven't used Blogger in a long time. Let me look into it and I'll get back to you in a day or two. It should be relatively simple, I just don't recall how to do it using Blogger.

Want to Post a Comment?