Taking a break is essential to mental health. at least, we say so!
Have you ever noticed that the word “vacation” changes in its appeal somewhere between childhood and adulthood? For many of us, choosing to take some time away and off work only means more stress as we prepare. And on top of that, you have to plan where you are going, what you will do, make reservations, tend to your budget, pack bags, and take care of all the loose ends you are leaving at home. By the time you leave, sometimes the vacation doesn’t feel worth the hassle!
But we know how important rest and recuperation is for us all. At LJ, we all make it a priority to take some time off for these purposes. Rest is good for the soul for many reasons. The bottom line, though, is that God created us to experience both things: work AND rest. We have learned that it takes a certain measure of discipline to learn to rest well. Vacationing/resting is so much more about your frame of mind than your location. Sometimes it simply means setting aside the normal tasks of your day-to-day life and choosing to savor the little things. It means seeking out a change of scenery and allowing it to broaden your perspective on life. It means realizing again that life is about so much more than the little bubble you spend your days in. It means resisting the urge to log into your email and instead to slowly sip your morning coffee with your spouse. It means reading a good book, journaling, and reflecting in ways that you may not make a priority in the bustle of daily life.
Some benefits of vacations to consider:
- They help our brains recharge. Sometimes, we find ourselves reverting to a kind of “autopilot” in life. Our daily tasks can turn into routine and our brains become tired and less prone to creativity. A change of pace is sometimes just what your body, and your mind, needs to recharge.
- They encourage deeper relationships. The memories that are made on vacations are usually some of the most memorable. Why is that? Because you are in a new setting, leaving your normal tasks and obligations behind. Present. You are there to relax, and you are there to be together. The conversations that happen, the laughs that are shared, and the food that you bond over are some of the components that make vacations worth protecting.
- They help decrease burnout. Rest often offers perspective that is irreplaceable. We have found that when we take a step back and see what our lives consist of, we are overwhelmed with thankfulness for the gifts we have been given. The gifts of health, freedom, work, and family, among many other gifts, are easily taken for granted until you take the opportunity to see your life from a different angle. And thankfulness is an excellent antidote for burnout. When we come back to the office or studio, we are more inspired, more invigorated, more renewed.
In the middle of the seemingly endless list of things to make time for in our lives, let’s not leave out rest. Let’s prioritize it. The effort on the front end, and the bags of dirty laundry afterwards, are worth the memories, refreshment, and perspective that vacations bring! We would love to hear your vacation plans this summer!