Taking a week off from workouts is absolutely beneficial for your physical and mental health. Even better than that, I fully recommend taking at least one to two rest days from structured exercise every week. While exercise isn’t the focus in this post, the concept is paralleled in the importance of taking breaks from the stress we put on our minds and bodies daily.
Today, as I finish packing to get out the door and on a plane ride down to Florida to spend some much-needed and long overdue quality time with my family, I wanted to share my motivation of unplugging my brain for the week. We’ll also talk about why you should intentionally and regularly unplug, too.
You should always do what’s best for you and your body.
For me, right now, a mental vacation to properly rest and reset my creativity and content strategies is better than any other work I could accomplish on-the-fly or packed into random fifteen minute windows of time. Here’s why.
Burn out can be avoided with the right approach and preventative strategies. Take the break when and where it’s most beneficial for you in the long run!
Now let’s go deeper into why this doesn’t always translate into taking a break from everything all at once …
Some vacations mean that I’m not doing any structured workouts, and this is totally okay. For this trip, however, I enjoy working out with my sister and going for jogs with my mom, so it makes sense to do those things while I’m visiting. There isn’t really a break here, and that’s totally okay, too.
I do, however, feel a need to take a brief step back from the blog and social channels while I’m out of town. I’m not feeling burnt out, but I’ve realized that intentional time away is key for my overall productivity and performance levels.
(Plus, I’m only gone a week, so there’s no need to think this is a bigger deal than it is!)
Benefits of a Week of Unplugging
So, why did I feel the need to make a dedicated blog post about this topic? Because I know that I’m not the only person who gets anxious about the idea of my work and progress slowing down because I decided to take a break from it.
(Is anyone else an Enneagram 3 who tends to fill any spare moment of free time with something productive?)
Well, sometimes taking a week to rest your thoughts and the creative space of your brain is the perfect reset that you didn’t know you needed. I found this out the hard way, while traveling and stressing over what to post each day in the past. I pre-planned some posts, but I spent way more time revolving around the act of posting than I needed to. I work from home, so I can run my businesses and pages from anywhere, but there is a time and place for it, too.
It all comes down to what makes the most sense, and what will benefit you the most overall.
Before the pandemic hit, I was traveling a lot more with Scott and Skyler and purposely planned some trips to work and others to unplug. Think about what your time on the upcoming trip will look like, similar to the example I mentioned above on staying active and enjoying workouts with my family while I’m in Florida. It will be easy to fit those things into my days, so it won’t distract from my mental vacation.
When it comes to working, there have been trips where I tagged along with Scott and had a lot of free time to myself. I could relax, go to the gym, read, explore, or get some work done in the hotel room, so I did a little bit of everything. That made sense. But when I’m around my family and seeing them all together for the first time in way too long, that is where I want my attention going. And I have a feeling that you understand!
Other benefits to unplugging for a week include:
- Feeling fully present with those around you
- A break from the feeling of being “on” 24/7 – all the time
- Time to reconnect with other hobbies or things that have been pushed aside
- Appreciation for a better overall work-life balance
- Improved sleep! (less racing through your mind)
- Truly enjoying yourself on vacation
- Increased productivity upon your return
Now, these are just my personal collection of benefits that I have experienced during and after taking time away from my normal screen time that is required to do what I do. This list could go on and on if you keep asking around!
When You Might Need to Unplug and Reset
If you’re feeling close to a burn out, you may need to schedule a week to take a break and reset your mind, even if it’s as simple as making your screens off limits outside of normal work hours. And, if you feel this way often, it might be good to consider unplugging every weekend or as much as you can.
People are different, and they need different things to function and perform at their best potential. There are some introverts who desperately need time alone to collect their thoughts and reset, while other extroverts who come alive and thrive while being out and about. You know what you need the most, so don’t discount that!
It might be time to unplug if:
- You feel the need to check your phone every five minutes
- You spend more time scrolling social media than you’d like
- You feel a real “fear of missing out” while scrolling posts from friends
- You feel “less than” and spiral into comparisons
- You’re staying up later and getting less sleep for no particular reason
- You’re checking emails while you’re at events or out “having fun”
- You don’t feel as present at home as you’d like
Again, this list could keep going. These are just my personal reasons that nudge a little break from time to time.
The important thing is to make unplugging part of your normal routine, whether it’s time away from work distractions after a certain time every night, on the weekends, or for a consecutive week or two per year. I used to completely unplug on the weekends, but now I prefer to fit in at least a few solid hours to work on things I fall behind on during the week. It legitimately helps me relax knowing that I am knocking to-dos off the list, and that’s how I operate.
Whether you choose to post/log on to social media or work on the weekends is totally up to you! I have gone through different phases of trying just about everything, and I think I have found my happiest, most productive and creative self with a solid week or two of unplugging per year. It’s like the time off that you desperately need when working a full-time job and you look forward to a vacation that is completely different from your normal routine.
So, if you’re anything like me, the concept of taking a break from growing your business or towards something that you care about isn’t comfortable. That said, figuring out a sweet spot of how often to unplug and when to do it will have way more benefits than any amount of work you could have gotten done during that time with a burn out to follow. Your health and well-being is priceless!
I hope this post has been an interesting read for you, and I’m going to take this opportunity to wish you a great week ahead. I am deeming this time visiting family my week away from my normal posting schedule, and I will see you on the other side when I get back to New York!
In the mean time, take care and thank you for being here. <3