There are great benefits attached to taking a regular break from work – either as a freelancer or an employee. The human body is constructed in such a way that after some time working, productivity begins to drop. This is due to overuse of the brain, and boredom from repeating the same process over and over.
Taking time to relax, like going on vacations with family, reading a book or socializing with friends, has a great benefit for your work life. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars, or go to a foreign location to unwind. The essence of taking a break is to free yourself from thoughts of work.
According to a report from U.S. Travel Association, about 55% of employees don’t use their allocated vacation time. If you truly want to boost performance and remain fresh all year round in your job, taking regular time off work is the best way to go.
Sometimes, planning a vacation or wondering what to do during that time can be overwhelming. If this is you, read on - we have put together some exciting activities that will help you enjoy your off-work time, relax and stay refreshed.
1. Go offline
You may be wondering why this is on the list, but it is a nice way to enjoy your vacation. Depending on the number of days you are taking, avoid social media or email during this period, particularly accounts that pertain to work. Try to use your phone only for purposes of contacting people. The essence of this is for you to have time to switch off, rather than scrolling through social media platforms. According to the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, taking a break from Facebook has a way of improving one's life, so consider it for relaxation even while not on vacation. It may reflect positively on your work performance.
2. Work it out
Exercise is a great way to unwind, not only during a vacation period but all year ‘round. There is a two-way benefit to this; it helps you to stay fit & healthy, and at the same time strengthens your ability to relax. The good thing about exercise is that it is hard to think about anything else, because you want to concentrate on what you are doing. You feel more relaxed when you have finished. Keeping your body healthy helps in keeping your mind healthy also, which bodes well for your job capabilities when you are on the clock.
3. Learn a new hobby
Learning something new has a way of making us happy. It doesn’t need to be something complicated. It could be going out with friends to try a new sport, or learning the basics of another language. You may have been wanting to learn how to play a particular instrument. There are tons of things to learn in this world, just make sure you go for the one that will give you a sense of accomplishment, makes you happy and lively, which in turn has a way of positively affecting your work life.
4. Get engaged with fun-filled activities
You just have to emancipate yourself from work. Get engaged with something entirely different from your job which will keep you entertained. It could be watching comedy movies of your favourite actors, or reading books. Just make sure that what you are doing is enough to have fun without putting pressure on yourself. We all can take advantage of relaxation by doing things that will make us happier and content during our vacation days. We don’t need to spend a fortune to have a good time.
5. Spend time with your family and friends
There can be joy in reminiscing with family about the good old times you have shared while growing up. Visit your parents and spend some time with them. Discuss past events that make you laugh, and take them out for dinner.
Visit your siblings and spend time with their family if they are married. There is nothing as pleasing and fulfilling as paying a visit to family members and knowing they are doing fine. Engage in fun play with young children, and spend quality time with your family - this will help you to unwind and de-stress. You may also want to visit your friends regularly to ensure you have a support network of people who can take your mind off work.
6. Don’t do anything
In your endeavor to stay away from work, one thing to engage in is meditation. Focusing the mind on a memorable event that makes you smile can help you to relax. Additionally, obtain some meditation music or programs to help you switch your brain off. It may be difficult to get the mind calm down and focus, but there are plenty of helpful guides available. Even stopping to take one or two deep breaths helps your body to calm down and refocus on the simple things, like simply being alive. It may feel brief to you, but this act can make a whole lot of difference in your life.
So during your vacation, you don’t have to spend dollars traveling to a faraway destination. Just look for a quiet place, and spend some time alone to refresh the brain for better performance when you resume work.
7. Cook a meal
We tend to spend a lot of time at home during weekends, and cooking your favorite meal is a nice way to relax. You can invite your friends over, and have fun preparing and eating a meal together. Maybe even indulge in a good wine. If you are not a good cook, don’t worry about creating something difficult. Just a pre-made garlic bread, spaghetti, or jarred sauce will be enough to feed everybody. The simplicity of making your food yourself without any hassle is enough to keep you refreshed. And according to the CDC, cooking and eating food at home has a way of improving your health overall.
8. Travel to a different location
If you are buoyant enough financially, traveling to a new and exciting place can do wonders for your stress levels. You can experience the diversity of the world and meet people who do things differently from the way you are used to. This has a thrilling way of making you see the beauty and wonders of the world. If there’s any emergency work to handle, you can hire somebody to get it done for you.
If you are an adventurer, visiting places like the Kalahari Desert or other wildlife preserve centers would be a nice way to unwind from work. If you like mountains, Japan would be a lovely place to thrill yourself.
Taking a break from work is something that should be encouraged by all, because it has a way of boosting work life. You don’t have to spend much money to unwind during your vacation days. Doing something as small as cooking for yourself can help maximize your leisure time.
If there are other useful tips you’d like to share with your fellow freelancers, feel free to do so in the comment box below.