During a recent presentation, someone asked me to share some tips on how to feel good. In the first post of the series How to Feel Good, I shared the science of endorphins – the feel good hormones. In the second, I covered the science of smiling. In this post, I suggest another great way to feel good – taking time off.
Last year, I took time off from everything (home, work, kids and Gal) and went overseas to spend some time with my family. It was a wonderful reminder for me about why we have take time off to recharge out emotional batteries.
Taking time off from daily life can have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing. It helps us regenerate and start fresh. Sleep is the body’s natural way of giving us time off. It “forces” us to rest so we can function. Did you know that without sleep, we would die? If you want to torture someone, you do not need to hurt them. Just deprive them of sleep for 2-3 night. Just ask any mom!
Our body’s mechanism for taking time off helps us regenerate and recharge. But life is stressful and sleep is not enough to allow us to distress from everything. This can be because most people just do not sleep enough, or because 8 hours is simply not enough to recover from everything. If we think of our body as a cell phone and our brain as the battery pack, the more applications we use, the more we need to charge the battery
Here are some tidbits and ideas about taking time off, resting and going away that can help you be happier and feel good about yourself, physically and emotionally.
How to feel good by taking time off
- Overworking increases anxiety and stress. In 1980, only 4% of Americans suffered from anxiety. In 2009, this increased by almost 50%.
- Taking time off reduces pressure.
- Taking time off increases hope and motivation.
- People who take vacations were found to be more creative after time off.
- Taking time off reduces stress, which reduces craving for sugary, high calorie food. Taking time off is the best diet.
- Children were found to do better at school when they had time to think and have fun after learning a new topic. The time off helps their brains sort out solutions without overloading them with new information.
- People who take vacations have higher energy levels.
- People who take holidays and time off are more productive.
- Taking time off helps you sleeping better.
Meditation is a very effective way to take time off. If you do not know how to meditate, just close your eyes for couple of minutes.
- Take a weekend off once every term to reconnect with your partner.
- A study done in New Zealand in 2006 discovered that after a very short vacation of two to three days, people had a 25% quicker reaction time in the brain, eyes, and muscles on average. Improvement went up as much as 80% improvement in some cases. They believe this is a result of better-quality and longer-lasting sleep travelers get on vacation.
- Turn off your mobile phone from time to time to allow you to pay more attention to people you love, your food, your relaxation.
- Taking time off can help improve your memory.
- Taking time off creates a positive cycle: you think better, sleep better, retain information better.
- Taking time off with loved ones can improve your relationships. Schedule a date once a week with your partner. When Gal and I could not take the time to go away, we take a walk around the neighborhood. This has worked wonders for our relationships.
You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew
- Taking time off helps gain a perspective and better problem solving ideas. Without problems, it is easy to feel good.
- Make sure to take your time off work. In a study of 13,000 middle-aged men at risk of heart disease, those who skipped vacations for five (5) consecutive years were found to be 30% more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who took at least one week off each year.
- Taking time off, even for short periods during the day, for breathing and relaxation, helps reduce depression.
- Scheduling time off improves time management.
- Taking time away from your kids, family and partner, even for short periods, can help you focus on yourself, your hobbies and even your relationships with friends. Give yourself a chance to feel good without having to consider anyone else.
I hope you have plenty of reasons and ideas to make yourself feel good.
Happy time off!
This post is part of the series How to Feel Good:
- How to Feel Good: Trigger Your “Feel Good” Hormone
- How to Feel Good: Smiling
- How to Feel Good: Take Time Off
- How to Feel Good: Get Enough Sleep