When Did You Last Take Time Off?

I needed some time off.  I get this feeling of claustrophobia if I’ve been immersed in a project for too long and I’m a bit painful to be around.  So yesterday I jumped in my car in search of sun, surf and a little mountain.

What I got was all of this and more.  It was a real eye-opener and I discovered that taking my own advice and taking time off is not only vital for my creative soul but it is essential for me to function in this world.  This may seem a little dramatic and over the top to you, but I’m making this point because I see so many of us (yes you included) fall into the trap of busyness that we forget to nurture ourselves…THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN YOUR LIFE!

Let me elaborate a little and tell you why I’m getting on my high-horse and giving you a small lecture.  Getting out of your usual routine and doing different, something you love or spending undistracted time with people you love is soul-expansive, mind-enhancing, and bloody good fun.  It is called life and it’s the reason why we are here.

Yesterday I climbed to the summit of a mini-mountain and was reminded of the significance of doing what I love.  The analogies came to me thick and fast and it all started with one decision….sounds a little bit like life doesn’t it?

Here’s what unfolded:

  • Make a decision. Once you get stuck in ‘Procrastination Mode’ you end up frozen to the spot or stuck at the bottom.  Regardless of the direction you choose, making a decision, right or wrong, will empower you, teach you, and move you closer to your goal.
  • Choose a different path to everyone else.  Want different results to everyone else? Take a different direction.  There is gold to be found on a different path….there’s much less chatter and it’s far less crowded!
  • Get out of your comfort zone.   I have a fear of heights and they do not feature in my zone of comfort but the direction I took ensured I was accompanied by a shear drop for part of the way.  Spending time outside of your comfort zone helps you become more comfortable with that fear.
  • Keep the faith. Often the steps aren’t clear, but the closer you get to the edge, the more visible they become.  Even if you’re not sure of the next step, don’t stop moving forward, they’ll appear just as you need them.
  • Running out of steam. When you run out of steam, stop for a moment and take a look around you – soak up the view.  Enjoying the journey is essential to maintaining your motivation to carry on when the going gets tough.
  • Celebrate. It takes some effort to climb a mini-mountain but the view from the top is breathtakingly beautiful.  Celebrate your success regardless of how big or small they are.
  • There is no end.  Though I had reached the summit, I knew the next goal was to get down the mountain. When you reach your goal, take time to soak it up and re-energise, then start moving towards your next goal.

Whether you climb a mini-mountain, sit in the sunshine with a book, or build a treehouse with the kids, taking time off is magical and brings the most amazing rewards.   Do it and do it often…you deserve it!

I’d love to hear what you do to take time off and nurture yourself?  Share your comments below.

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