Today I looked at my calendar and was shocked when I realized that almost half of 2018 has flown by. While I thought about my accomplishments so far this year, I realized how much time I’ve spent at work with barely any time off save for a few national holidays and the weekends. I’ve been saving my paid time off for a big trip in August, so I’ve been grinding through the days at work without properly resting, even after working some 70-hour weeks and wanting to pull my hair out. I know that some people are accustomed to working all the time and barely taking breaks from work, but I believe that taking vacations is necessary for one’s well-being as well as gaining a rejuvenated perspective and demeanor upon returning to work. Since I haven’t been able to take a substantial amount of time off of work yet to disconnect and relax, I’ve discovered a few small and practical ways to keep myself from burning out.
Cultivate a relaxing atmosphere in your living space
There’s nothing worse than coming home after a hectic, fast-paced day to a cluttered and chaotic home. Keep your home as organized and tidy as possible, and begin to incorporate elements that will help you relax and recharge. This could be anything like fresh, softer bed sheets, lighting candles in the evening, adding new plants, and installing light dimmers. The point is to make your home as serene and peaceful as possible to help you unwind after a frantic day. The most effective tool for me has been decluttering my bedroom and closet. Getting rid of things I don’t need or clothes I don’t wear has not only cleared up my living space but has also decluttered my mind and made it easier to rest while at home.
Take time to meditate
It seems that meditation is all anyone ever recommends nowadays, but for good reason. Whenever I go a few days without dedicating a few minutes to sit down and reflect, or just sit and try not to think- that’s when I feel most frazzled. When I do meditate, I either use the Breathe app, write in my Five Minute Journal, or find a video on YouTube that will help guide my thoughts. I find that meditating helps lower my cortisol levels, calms me down, and reminds me of what’s important in the long run. Meditation can be whatever you make it be- the goal is just to wind down and feel at peace despite whatever you have going on in your life.
Pampering yourself doesn’t have to be an expensive indulgence
I got a Swedish massage last week and the first thing the massage therapist told me was that my shoulders were extremely tight. Sitting at a desk all day and holding in stress and tension will do that to you. While I can’t afford to see a professional massage therapist all the time, I’ve found that doing small things every day can help you feel rejuvenated and pampered. A few of my favorite tips include getting one of these scalp massagers (they look ridiculous but they’re super inexpensive and really effective), getting a pedicure and foot massage, and sprinkling essential oils in the corner of my shower. Sometimes simply taking the time and energy to exercise, eat healthy food, and get a good amount of sleep will help you feel balanced and rejuvenated, too.
Give yourself something to look forward to
Working for months at a time without taking a vacation can deplete your energy and make your job feel more stressful and complicated than it should feel. If you can’t plan a vacation to look forward to, I suggest implementing small rituals or planning small events or activities that will give you something different to get excited about. Anything from grabbing a glass of wine with a friend after work, seeing a movie, or making reservations at a new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try will change up your week and take your mind off of work.
If you’ve been feeling drained and exhausted because of your schedule and a vacation is nowhere near the horizon, take a moment and try to implement these tips to help you catch your breath. Your health and well-being should be a priority to you and if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to properly take care of the other aspects of your life.
Born in Ukraine and raised in Chicago, Iryna takes pride in her Ukrainian roots. She loves writing, cooking (and eating) all kinds of food, pursuing new fitness trends, and exploring all things related to personal growth. She hopes this blog brings you value in one way or another and helps you to become a better version of you.