I had a meeting with a woman the other day, and as she breezed into our off-site meeting with wind-blown hair, I noticed a huge smile on her face. “I’ve had a terrible day today, but I feel great! I just took a five-minute vacation!” She had forgotten her car keys and decided to walk to our meeting - three short blocks. It made a huge difference in her attitude, and in her productivity for the rest of the day!
I often hear people say they wish they could take a vacation. Do you feel overwhelmed with all your commitments? Are the four walls of your office closing in on you? Does work seem to consume you Take a vacation! Here's how:
Take a "stay-cation". No, this is not the one where you take a week off and hang out around the house - though that IS a great option! I'm talking about sitting back in your chair, eyes closed. Take five deep breaths in through your nose, holding each one for a few seconds, then blowing gently and slowly out through your mouth. As you blow out, feel the tension flowing down and out of your body. Then, imagine your favorite relaxing, peaceful place. I personally love to think of a lake I've been to where there is a lot of water and green trees. Now just breathe in and out, relaxed, eyes closed. Ahhh...
Take a 5 minute walk. Get outside, if possible. Whether you walk fast or at a leisurely pace, pay attention to the beauty of nature. Let your mind wander. Remember, this is a vacation, so don't look at your emails or talk on your phone. Just walk.
Take a pleasure "cruise". Extend your walk to 15 minutes. Consider varying your pace. When cruising, it's most fun to have a partner on the "ship" with you, so invite a friend or co-worker along. Now is not the time for talking about work. Just chat about anything else that interests you. The key is to get your mind OFF of work.
Take a world tour. Find an hour or two, perhaps even half a day, and go window shopping. I love meeting a friend for lunch, then taking an hour to window shop. I always feel re-energized and ready to get back to work.
It's easy to fit in a vacation when you don't confine yourself to the expectations of conventional vacations. Brain research shows that these mini-vacations allow your brain time to process information and formulate new ideas. Add some water to re-hydrate your brain for a super brainpower boost.
So, take a vacation! Transform your mindset, and increase your productivity! Oh, and don't forget the fancy glass of water with the cute umbrella!
How do YOU take a "stress break”? We want to know!
Joy Humbarger is Founder and CEO of Maximize Your Leadership. She is an expert in helping leaders transform their mindsets - creating dynamic leaders who build high-performing teams. She works with management to create positive and profit-yielding workplaces.