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Restorative Downtime {Fresh New Year}

I’m a huge believer in the magic of getting lost in your work.  When you do work that you find to be meaningful, and you love what you do, getting wrapped up in that flow of deep, fulfilling work is a pretty amazing thing.  But – the thing is – you can’t work all the time.  As much as you might love it, we need more downtime that we probably even realize.  

It’s common to think of downtime as a luxury when, in fact, it’s a necessity that we need to prioritize.  While it’s tempting to admire those who are able to ‘power through’ a marathon work day without so much as taking a lunch break, we should be emulating those who know better, and manage to turn their brains ‘off’ for a bit and take some time away from the work, which, actually ends up making you better at – pretty much everything – in the long run.  

Your brain actually needs a break.  And – if nothing else convinces you – you’ll be able to do much.better.work if your brain gets that break it needs.  Obviously, getting enough sleep is the first thing, but other than that – it’s important that we get enough downtime in our lives.  

Downtime is amazing, because – hello – who doesn’t like relaxing…but it also helps us be more productive, more creative, and helps us perform at a much higher level.  {read more about it HERE}   

But, not all downtime is created equal.   

I enjoy a night at home binge-watching something as much as the next person (actually, probably MORE than the next person!), and I think sometimes you just ‘need’ that, but while you might feel rested after a night laying on the couch, it doesn’t always leave you feeling all that restored and refreshed.

Over the holiday break – after weeks of a crazy work, holiday, and travel schedule – I made a point of staying at home and disconnecting. I was adamant that I didn’t want to go out or do much of anything, and I made it clear to anyone who asked.  It felt great for a little while, but then – other than just basically going stir crazy from staring at the inside of my apartment for a few days and feeling like a major loner (and not in a good way), laying around actually sapped more energy out of me than going out and doing something might have.  

Turns out, that’s the funny thing about downtime.  

We work ourselves so hard, and a lot of times our everyday lives can have us all over the place.  Add in the holiday season.  So that when we have time off, it’s tempting to want to lay around not doing anything, thinking that is ‘just what we need’ to get our energy back.  Who else thinks like this?  

But the thing is – while sometimes you might need to cut yourself off and really disconnect and relax, to really feel good – to get that ‘good kind of energy’ back, after a while, you have to do something that fills you up.  In comes the concept of ‘restorative downtime.’  

Think about it – what always makes you feel more fulfilled?  What are the things you love to do?  Even if you have to expend some energy doing it, what always makes you feel great?

My ‘things’ aren’t too out there – they’re basically normal things that I probably don’t do enough of.

Hiking, walks, traveling, and just breathing some fresh air.  

Yoga, and I want to get back into running (ahem…jogging).  

Traveling – even just a day trip.  

Laughing with friends, visiting with my nieces and nephews.  

Making pizza.  Or cookies.

Listening to music.  Looking at art.

Writing and other creative work.  

Time on the beach and swimming in the ocean.  

So, put the phone down.

Take the vacation.

Catch up with your friends.

Set aside the time.

Do the things you love.

 

And you’ll be better for it.  

 

Tell me…what’s on your list?  

{Krista Brackin Photography}



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