What if you’ve found yourself at the end of summer feeling more burned out than refreshed? Summer is supposed to be the most relaxing time of the year, and yet so many of us find ourselves overtaxed and overscheduled. There is so much pressure to capture the essence of the season and unwind—especially when our social media feeds are full of people sipping Piña coladas on a beach. That pressure only compounds the guilt and stress if we, instead, find ourselves racing from one obligation to another.
Seek out opportunities for breaks in a way that fits with your life and your responsibilities. Shed the expectations of an Instagram-worthy summer and carve out moments of rest and bliss throughout the year. Perhaps that means stealing away from work in the middle of the day for a yoga class. Maybe it’s scheduling a weekly happy hour date with a friend (or a rotating cast of friends). Maybe it’s giving yourself twenty minutes with a great novel and a strong cup of coffee to kick off your day instead of instantly diving into emails.
The research can’t be more clear: Breaks are critical to health, both mental and physical. When we don’t take a break from our workout routine (or at least mix it up with something gentler or different once in a while), our muscles adapt and we stop making progress. We also make ourselves susceptible to injury and burnout. The same concept applies to the rest of our lives. What areas of your life are susceptible to burnout and stalled progress? How can you mix things up and incorporate more breaks? One week on the beach is great, but infusing a bit of “vacation mode” into every day is even better.
You deserve it.