WANNA GET AWAY? | How to get away to come back stronger

When was the last time you got away from it all?   No, I mean really got away…. from work responsibilities, email, phone calls, school projects, homework, media, etc. etc.  Chances are, it’s been longer than you think...

My family and I recently took a pause and got away from it all.  We made our travel arrangements, packed our bags and flew west to the beautiful island of Oahu.  For those of you who have been, you know what I mean when I say that there really is no better place to unwind.  The moment we got off the plane, we could feel ourselves decompressing as the warm, tropical breeze and palm trees waved to say, “Aloha!”.

The peaceful, laid-back flow of the island seemed to subtly invite us to slow down and experience life at a more relaxed pace.  Before long, we all realized that the normal pressures and stress of our normal day to day routines was quickly melting away.  We were smiling more, laughing more and taking the time to breathe.  Our mind, body and spirit was being renewed by the natural beauty around us.  

One of our days was spent driving along the coastline on motorbikes.  It was breathtaking to experience the open air of the bike while taking in the beauty of lush, tropical foliage, white sand and sparkling, turquoise water.  I remember saying that God must have taken a little extra time creating Hawaii because it is absolutely gorgeous!

The value of getting away is that you are able to reconnect with who you really are as a person.  You have time to stop “doing” and simply enjoy “being”.  You can unplug from news and media and realize that the world truly is a beautiful place and life is a gift to be opened everyday.

Statistics say that if you live in America, you are less likely to take time away and vacation time is often left unused year after year.  Our culture encourages us to keep going and rest later, but later never comes and we are left with an epidemic of burnout.  

We would be wise to take our cue from many of our European and Caribbean neighbors who incorporate a time of rest into every afternoon.  Shops and businesses close, great food is served and for a couple of hours, in the middle of the day, conversation, connection and rest is valued as an important way of life. 

I always say that if I ran for president, my platform would be a 4-day work week, with a 2-hour siesta each afternoon.  I think I could win! 

A sabbatical or time away is not something that decreases productivity.  On the contrary, it actually increases our productivity by giving us the mental and physical strength needed to return to the work we value with more clarity, focus, energy and creativity.

When we burn the candle at both ends, we may be showing up, but the mental clarity and passion we need to truly excel is diminished the longer we stay plugged in without allowing time to step away.  

We fool ourselves into believing that we are being productive, when in reality, we are running on fumes.

The good news is that with a few simple choices, you too can find yourself on a beach, or enjoying an adventurous getaway!  It’s easier than you think and you owe it to yourself to explore the possibilities.

Here are 5 choices you can make today! Give yourself permission to enjoy some much needed time away:

  1. Take your vacation time.  You’ve earned it and you’re getting paid to take it. 
  2. Make travel arrangements or work with a travel agency.  There are some incredible deals and all-inclusive packages available for resorts and other destinations.
  3. Plan ahead and coordinate the coverage you need at work that will allow you to   disconnect and truly enjoy your time away.  No emails or conference calls allowed.
  4. Create a list of places and things you’d like to see and experience and start checking them off. Make a schedule and timeframe for each. This will give you a goal and something to look forward to.
  5. Remember that getting away will allow you to increase productivity.  You can return refreshed and have the strength and energy to reconnect and focus on the work you love.  

I encourage you to choose the life you want...everyday!  One small choice really can make a big change.

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