There’s no shame in feeling like you need a break. Do you ever sit at your desk at work and daydream of a distant vacation, even if it’s several months away? You’re not alone. In general, most of us wait far too long to take the breaks that we desperately need. It’s time for us to stop thinking about vacations as an optional luxury, and to start thinking of them as a necessity instead. Because that’s what they are. In fact, not letting yourself step away from your problems may be the exact thing that’s holding you back.
Getting a new perspective
There was once a study where some rats who had cancer were observed. Some of those rats were kept in the same miserable conditions they were already in. The other half of the rats were moved to a new location, where they were given more amenities and a better quality of life. The rats who stayed in the same environment all died from the cancer. The majority of the rats that were moved, however, were found to no longer have cancer after the move. Obviously, you won’t be able to cure yourself of cancer if you go on a vacation. However, there is merit to this study. By staying in an environment that stresses you out and makes you feel down will continue to make you feel that way. You’ll continue to feel like you have too many responsibilities on your plate, you’ll feel overwhelmed, and you’ll be depressed. But if you allow yourself to step out of this and get a new perspective, many aspects of your life will begin to show improvement.
What are the benefits?
Think about the science behind taking a power nap. What you feel like you really need is a full 8 hours of sleep to regain the energy that you’re lacking. However, if you take a 20-45 minute nap, you’ll wake up feeling energized and ready to take on the obstacles placed in your path, even though your nap was a lot longer than you thought you needed. The same is true of taking a short vacation or break to clear your head and refocus. You may feel like you need to move cross country and start over completely in order to feel better. What you probably really need, though, is a week long vacation where you can relax and not have to worry about the small things that are constantly begging for your attention. After your vacation, you’ll feel recovered and ready to tackle anything. You’ll have the energy necessary to take care of everything that’s been weighing you down for so long.
Have you ever been faced with a problem that you didn’t know how to solve? You obsess over the issue for hours, or even days, trying to find the solution. It consumes you, and you feel like you’ll never be able to resolve it. However, if you take a break from focusing on the issue, whether it be a few hours or a few days, you’re able to come back to the issue with fresh insight and are able to solve it quickly. The same is of any aspect of your life. What you’re desperately needing is to refocus to recover, whether you’re just recovering from the regular wear and tear of daily life, or if you need to recover from something more serious like breaking out of addictive behaviors. Allow yourself to have this break to refocus, because you’ll be much more productive upon your return. We often feel like it’s impossible to take a break, and that taking a break means that everything will fall apart in our absence. It will not. Everything will still be there when you get back, you’ll just be better equipped to handle them.
Breaking a habit
When you stay in one place too long, you get into habits and routines. There’s nothing wrong with routine and consistency. However, sometimes the habits that you have are enabling you to act negatively. Getting out of this risky environment is what is necessary to break out of the bad habits that are taking over your life, and really be able to recover.