For many families, this time of year has a way of being especially busy. We may find ourselves shaving off time from sleep, lowering our standards of nutrition, and running around to meet every deadline and expectation.
Newsflash: this is not sustainable. How about a break?
Before you laugh and laugh and look away, consider for a moment the possibility of taking an actual break. Is it possible? I mean, if your life depended on you and your family taking a day (or two) off—from work, from school, from activities, from obligations—what would you do to make that happen? It’s not actually impossible, right? You could do it if you had to.
The thing is, a break can be more beneficial to you, your family, and the responsibilities you’re juggling than you might realize.
Think about it—when everyone’s harried, cranky, malnourished, and tired—how well are you really operating in all of the roles you play?
Conversely when, on occasion, you allow yourself to press pause, slow down, think, rest, and recuperate, you fuel your ability to aim for excellence. What’s more, taking a break as a family exercises your personal agency to honor your priorities, reconnect, and share valuable time together.
What might a day off look like?
You’ll want to make it one that is rejuvenating, joyful, and that brings you and your family peace.
Perhaps your children need a day to simply play. Perhaps your family would benefit from spending time in nature. Perhaps completely disconnecting from digital devices would give everyone’s mind time to calm down and get clear.
Perhaps part of the day could involve tidying and restocking the kitchen with nutritional options. Perhaps your family would enjoy a trip to the bookstore or library and spend the rest of the day reading.
Perhaps your family needs to let loose and just have fun together. A day trip to the zoo or museum, to see a show, to an amusement park, or whatever lights up your crew may be just the reset you’re looking for.
At the end of the day, be sure to wind down well with quiet, soft lighting, gentle music, and relaxation.
Stepping away from the grind can bring many unexpected benefits. You may gain a spark of inspiration, learn something new, feel your body and mind settle down, laugh like you haven’t laughed in a long time, or simply experience the type of joy that is most meaningful to you.
Our “hustle” culture makes the idea of a break seem like a foreign concept. Give yourself permission. It’s not only OK to take a break—but advantageous to not just yourself and your family, but to your work, your responsibilities, and your productivity.
Go ahead. Give yourself a break.