How to get more out of Your Much-Deserved Downtime

So, you work extremely hard all year long and you always look forward to going away on your annual holiday or just taking a bit of time out to get some much-needed rest, but no sooner than the downtime has started it appears to be over. Worse yet, your body seems to just be getting into the holiday groove and learning how to relax again when it’s time to get back to the usual grind, which means you have to make a rather painful readjustment to the normal, everyday stresses.

How then do you make the most of the much-deserved downtime you’re afforded so that none of your time off goes to waste? Here are some solid suggestions, which are simple enough, but work just as well if you take the time to make provision for them…

Plan it officially – time-wise

One of the biggest holiday mood-killers is the lazy approach to [not] planning your time off. You sort of fall into your holiday and see how it goes, and sure, “lazy approach to planning your holiday” may seem like a paradox because being lazy is perhaps one of the major perks of going on holiday. It’s nice not having to adhere to a regular schedule, but that’s not what I’m suggesting it all. Rather, I’m merely suggesting that you tap into the sheer power of the psychological cue you should lay down which clearly defines the official commencement of your time off.

Set an exact time – like saying that by 14:00 when you knock off early, you won’t even check your emails. Set an auto-response message which includes emergency contact details for those who might need to get in touch with you urgently. Otherwise, your mind will subconsciously carry on with the confusion the blurred lines of not clearly defining your downtime brings about.

Map out an itinerary

Another chore while you’re off? Not quite.

The trick to mapping out your itinerary so that you can maximise your downtime resides in doing so in advance. Don’t burden yourself with something like the organisational aspect of your travel plans only once the holiday has officially kicked-off. Sure, final details can be ironed out, but that’s as far as it should go, otherwise your mind, which needs just as much downtime as your physical body, will carry on working at full-tilt.

R + R balances the equation

Now, following on from mapping out an itinerary, this doesn’t mean you should fill your schedule up in the manner you would your daily workday diary entry. Leave ample “idle time” in which you will then have the opportunity to see where the day takes you. Rest & relaxation completes the equation, with your body to be given some pampering it’s not ordinarily accustomed to. If you’re Down Under perhaps, get a manicure in Sydney, but one of those $30+ ones, because there’s something magical to otherwise simple treatments like that provided at premium-service level.

There’s nothing like giving your body something to experience which it doesn’t regularly experience to get it into full relaxation mode, which creates a knock-on effect on the mind as well! So enjoy your time off by engaging in some fun activities, but don’t over exert yourself. In fact, you should relax more than anything else.