Stephanie Sieberhagen
Psychologist

Relationship Specialist

Dr Steph's blog

Taking time off

Posted by stephaniesieberhagen@gmail.com on March 1, 2020 at 7:00 AM

Taking time off can be as simple as sitting down to a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or going on a three year sabbatical. We often let life decide just how much time we can afford to be away from work. But how much time off do we actually need? Is it important to take time off at all and what do we do with our time off?

Often time off is spent at home and it easily becomes a couch fest with series binge watching, or on the other side of the scale, a busy time when you get to do all those niggling diy jobs that your home desperately needs. Both of these will feed some need that you have, but ultimately this is not what I mean when I speak about 'time off'. 

Yes, we do need some time just to be lazy and also to do some home maintenance, but there is something else that we really need - time away from it all. Time when there are no pressures and preferably no technology. The world hums with wifi, electricity and radio signals. We can't move without all of these vibrating through our bodies 24/7. Traffic noise is another one.

Our bodies and minds simply were not designed to get bombarded like this. Within each of us, there is the animal that still needs the quiet of nature to fully restore and recover from life's busy-ness. A few days are great, but ideally you need a few weeks of just getting away from it all. And you need this regularly - not just once a year!

Time in nature brings a quiet that cannot be achieved anywhere else or in any other way. I recommend meditation and quiet times during every day and every weekly cycle too, but we need these longer breaks to truly have a rest.

What does this time do for you? Well, it re-sets your metabolism and re-wires your brain - think of it in the same way as having your car go for its annual tune-up. It is only when we get to have this break from our daily routines that we finally get to catch up on sleep and slowly start moving out of the brain patterns which are frenetic towards the brain patterns where our stress levels drop and we can really think. In our moments of deepest relaxation - we finally get to have insight and understand our place in the world.

Brilliant ideas about science, technology and development as well as for great novels and pieces of art - hardly ever occur to us in the middle of a busy day. They come to us in the shower, or on a long country drive or while dozing lightly under a tree.

To re-boot your life, to make sure you are on the right course (or to change course), you need some peace and quiet.

Creative thinking spaces will enable you to gain perspective and discover new avenues in your life.

And if you think you can't afford them - read on th internet about the Japanese man who put away his pennies until he had enough put by to cycle around the world. It's not that we can't afford to take a break - it's that we can't afford not to.

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