When was the last time you took a break from work, school and family duties? If you’re struggling to remember then you’re probably in dire need of a holiday. You may argue that the weekends are for rest and recuperation, but that’s not always adequate. Why?
Nowadays people are connected in so many ways, even weekends are no escape from work emails and nagging bosses. Of course, stay-at-home parents have zero time to themselves. That’s because our lives aren’t confined to 9-5 anymore. Over the years it’s slowly evolved to become 24/7.
Dedication to your career is never a bad thing, but at what expense? Are you sacrificing your health? Has your weekly visit to your parents been downgraded to a rare phone call? When was the last time you pampered yourself just because [insert no reason at all]! Maybe it’s time you stopped and redirected your energies into YOU.
If you’re still not sure, here are some signs to watch out for:
1. You’ve lost weight without trying
While weight loss is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s also a sign that you’re forgetting to nourish your body with the proper nutrients. Anxiety can either stimulate one’s appetite or suppress it. If you’re forgetting to eat between tasks, your performance could suffer. Oh and don’t think that a cup of coffee counts as breakfast—it doesn’t! Caffeine is an addictive stimulant and a powerful appetite suppressant. This, coupled with stress and malnutrition, makes you a ticking time bomb.
2. It takes you twice as long to accomplish something simple
Do you find yourself redoing things or taking longer than usual to accomplish menial tasks?
Sometimes you just need a little time off to do an internal reset. Clearing your mind of clutter enables you to think more clearly and work more efficiently because your attention is no longer divided. Laziness isn’t always the problem; procrastinating is a behavioral symptom of stress, so make sure you can distinguish the difference between the two. Are you deliberately avoiding responsibilities because of an inability to deal with them?
3. You have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you’ve gone to bed early
If you find you’re living with a general sense of unwellness or tiredness, you could be experiencing adrenal fatigue. It is caused by periods of prolonged or intense stress. If you’re not aware of the symptoms, you could be mismanaging it. Coffee, soda and sugary snacks act as stimulants that mask the feeling temporarily, but leave you worse off than before. With each increment of adrenal function reduction, your organs and bodily processes become increasingly compromised. Changes in metabolism, electrolyte balance and even sex drive take place, just to make up for your adrenal gland fatigue.
4, Everything you create is below your personal standard
Poor judgment and an inability to focus are cognitive signs of stress. Hours of overtime won’t help, that just puts your body under more stress. Everyone is different of course, but you simply cannot control your body’s reaction to a harmful stimulus. If you’re no longer capable of producing something at your usual high standard, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate.
5. You can’t remember the last time you did something for yourself
Self-care is so important for overall balance and stability. It gives you time to think deeply, improves concentration, increases productivity and helps your critical thinking. You cannot neglect your personal wellbeing no matter how busy you are. Pencil it into your schedule as you would any other appointment. You wouldn’t blow off a meeting with your boss, would you? Treat your time alone with equal importance.
1. Put that leave form in! Just make sure work is being taken care of properly, so you don’t stress while you’re away.
2. Choose a destination far enough that it feels remote, but close enough in case of an emergency.
3. Book a hotel that’s within your budget.
4. Plan out your activities including lots of downtime. Remember, your goal is to rest and recover, not tire yourself out even more.
5. Be selfish and prioritise your needs above everyone else’s for awhile. You deserve it.