It is a fact that you will perform better and feel less exhausted if you take some time off from your regular routine. However, many people feel awkward and embarrassed about taking a rest from their regular schedule, even if it results to feeling more stressed out. The competitive world makes people try all available time management strategies to increase work efficiency. Consequently, they disregard the need to relax without feeling guilty.
Research shows that the body operates on active and passive cycle. Skipping meals and working for extended hours can disrupt the body’s normal phases. People who maintain an erratic cycle will soon develop symptoms of stress. This is the reason behind the schedule of morning, lunchtime, and afternoon breaks in school premises and work establishments.
Working continuously makes you feel tired and more prone to errors. Studies reveal that people who avail themselves of breaks are more productive at work. Everyone deserves guilt-free breaks to restore mental, emotional and physical well-being. Remember that you will not function at your best if you are drained, irritated, miserable and sick because you have neglected yourself. Here are some great tips to modify your thoughts and relax without feeling guilty.
How To Relax Without Feeling Guilty
1. Believe that taking some time off brings benefits
Your body needs some rest to regain energy. In any aspect of career or business, pausing for a while can trigger your creativity. When you relax, your stressed body shifts to a state that stimulates new ideas. Never exhaust all your mental and physical faculties. Instead, stop and recover your strength to get better results.
Recognize the need of your body to rest.
You cannot subject your body to physical activity and stress for 24 hours. Hence, sleep is essential to a healthy body. Understanding how important it is to rest for optimum health can help you relax without feeling guilty.
2. Try to take a break from your daily timetable for at least a week
Have confidence in yourself that you can identify task that is on your mental list of priorities. Let yourself work for one week without the aid of a to-do list. This will train your mind to focus on the actual things that need your utmost concern. Having a long list on your daily tasks is one of the hurdles that prevent people to relax without feeling guilty.
When you are back to your regular practice of having a to-do list, consider to insert regular time off periods as an incentive for yourself before handling the remaining items in the list.
3. Set aside a schedule for fun or day off
Exert effort to reserve a day you will spend for activities that you enjoy. Some people suggest plotting the schedule in your calendar even if you have not yet identified the specific activity. Try to adhere to the schedule, despite the temptations of using the time for your work activities. Resist the urge to turn on your computer and do work related tasks such as reading e-mails, text messages and notifications.
Ask permission from your boss for a time off from work, especially after completing a stressful project. However, make sure that you plan it during off-peak season. Never arrange a break when you have tons of work to do because you cannot relax without feeling guilty.
Experts suggest four days as an ideal length that will fully refresh your mind and body.
This is an ample time to see things in a more positive outlook and to get more motivation in working for your goals.
However, you must gain the trust of your superior that operations will run smoothly, despite your absence. You should show that you could delegate your work to a point person.
- Inform your boss of your actions and seek approval.
- If you have external clients, make sure to notify them of your scheduled leave.
- Create an automated e-mail reply to inform your clients and manage their expectations.
You will not feel guilty if you have prepared well before your scheduled vacation.
Here are some of the suggested activities to do during your vacation:
- Sleep as long as you want.
- Forget hurried breakfast. Instead, take your time by enjoying your meal. You can read the morning papers or listen to your favorite music as you sip your cup of coffee.
- Enjoy a long bath and choose your favorite outfit. This is the best time to pamper yourself with scented bath oil or bubbles. Erase negative thoughts and just focus on the water as it flows to ease your strains.
- Go for a walk or jogging in the neighborhood. Check out new restaurants, café, park, bookstore and malls nearby.
- Go to a health and wellness spa.
- Visit the gym.
- Paint anything you like.
- Meet and talk with friends.
- Play instruments.
- Start a journal or write a blog.
- Start a conversation with your family members.
- Do household chores such as sorting out your closet, sweeping the floor and gardening. Removing clutter at home will create a stress free environment.
- Watch all the movies and shows that you like.
- Cook your favorite dishes or bake cookies.
- Have dinner at your favorite restaurant.
Engross yourself in activities that you love doing to keep you away from work.
4. Spend some time with children
You can enjoy the company of kids by playing, reading books and telling stories to them. You will appreciate genuine pleasure by seeing the happiness and smiles on their faces.
Observe how kids engage in fun-filled activities without the guilty feeling that adults experience. You will learn how to relax without feeling guilty by being with them.
5. Allot time for your recreation
You can squeeze a simple relaxing activity in your daily schedule such as a 15-minute walk in the garden to enjoy nature and fresh air. You can consider this as part of your daily tasks so you can relax without feeling guilty. In addition, when you combine work with periods of breaks in between, you do not experience fatigue because you have more reserved energy.
Here are some activities that you can try to fit in your daily schedule:
- Start the day by imagining a bright and happy day ahead of you. Think about the things you want and the ways you can accomplish your goals.
- Have a coffee break with a friend.
- Watch a movie or a television show. It is best that you do not bring work at home. You should set a relaxation time after a day’s work. Immediately change your work attire to a comfortable dress to shift from work to relax mode.
- Write and send a short message to a friend.
- Spend an hour for reading books.
- Take a nap.
- Listen to inspirational songs.
- Breathe, laugh, and do nothing.
- Meditate by imagining the faces of the people you love. You can also try guided audio meditation resources available on the internet.
- Designate a quiet place for rest and meditation.
6. Schedule bonding activities with your family
Do something together that the family enjoys so you eliminate the guilt when you avail a break time for yourself.
7. Give credits to your accomplishments
You may have already completed major tasks before feeling the need to rest, and that is the very reason why you can relax without feeling guilty. Think of what you have done so you can ignore the guilt feelings while on break. A disturbed mind interferes with your rest, which will make you feel more tired than relaxed.
You should realize that relaxation is a time to ponder on your achievements. Research proves that you can accomplish more when you assign a time for rest and relaxation because it revitalizes your mind and body.
8. Acknowledge that you have limitations
How many times in the past have you felt stressed out because you worked so hard without intervals? Everyone reaches the point of exhaustion and the best response is to submit and step back. When the body signals you to stop because you have pushed it to its limits, give in, relax without feeling guilty and think that another day will come for you to bounce back.
The key to taking some time off effectively is to modify your beliefs.
It is not a sign of idleness or laziness. Rather, it is necessary to enhance the power of your mind and body. Likewise, it is not selfishness to relax, but a way of taking care of yourself so you can give more to your work and personal life.
- Prioritize your well-being and you will learn how to relax without feeling guilty.
- Affirm yourself that you are worthy of rest and relaxation.
- Start by doing simple relaxing activities, despite your feelings of guilt.
Today’s fast-paced environment puts much stress on efficiency and making the most out of every second. Hence, many people view rest as wasting valuable time because they are not aware of the advantages of having a rested body and focused mind at work. Furthermore, you can reflect more on your goals if you enjoy and relax without feeling guilty.
Remember that when you do something, get eager, devote time on the task and give it your best. However, the most important of all is to take some rest.
Photo: Silvia Sala