7 Ways to Recharge When You Can’t Take a Vacation

We all need to recharge every once in a while. It’s necessary so we don’t get burned out. American culture is so focused on working constantly that we feel guilty for even needing a break. But you have to put yourself first if you want to continue to stay healthy and be the best you can be at your job.

And while vacation is the perfect way to do that, we also may not be able to drop everything and jet away to a beach somewhere when we need to feel revitalized. Here’s how you can make sure you’re getting those same refreshing benefits, without having to take a vacation.

1. Unplug

We’re constantly connected to technology now. Even when we’re at home, we’re checking emails right when we wake up and right before we go to bed. With smartphones, it seems like we’re always still at work. We’re scared to miss something, so we make sure we’re up to date at all times.

One of the best ways to unwind is to unplug. We’re used to being wired constantly, but that just ratchets up our stress level. When the weekend hits, turn off your phone. Or, if you can’t be that drastic, try turning off the Wi-Fi and data capabilities. That way, if people desperately need to get in touch with you, they can still call, but you can shut out the influx of emails and notifications.

You may feel a bit lost without your phone, but try to take notice of life without it. Really absorb yourself in a hobby you let go by the wayside, or spend a full day doing a fun activity with family or friends. There are so many little things we miss when we’re wrapped up in tech.

2. Treasure Your Breaks

Weekends normally mean events to go to and housework to catch up on. But set aside a few hours to make sure you’re getting a full-on break. Vegging out a little can be an amazing thing, as long as you don’t overdo it. Read a good book or take on a couple of episodes of that TV show you need to catch up on.

Being around people all the time can be downright draining. It’s OK to need a break from everyone — even your loved ones — every once in a while. Treasure the alone time you get and make sure it’s blissful, with as few interruptions as possible.

3. Redecorate

Changing up the layout of your cubicle/desk/office can help your brain restart. We associate our surroundings with the way we feel when we’re normally looking at them. So, if your desk is kind of blah and you’re used to feeling stressed out there, you’re going to instantly feel that way as soon as you sit down, no matter what your mood is that day.

Putting up some art, getting some bright office supplies or rearranging your desk layout can help shake things up. Your brain won’t associate your workspace with negative thoughts anymore. This can help you get a fresh start at work and a bit of a reset on your mood and attitude.

4. Shake up Your Routine

While routines can be good and can help us stay productive, they can also get us into a bit of a rut. It’s monotonous when every day feels exactly the same. We get nervous about leaving our routines, but it can definitely be a good thing.

Our brains are constantly looking for something new and exciting. They crave novelty, a break in the things they’re used to. Breaking a routine can help give them that feeling. It can be as simple as switching up what and where you eat lunch at work. Little things like that can make a world of difference.

5. Treat Yourself

You work hard, and you deserve to be pampered. It’s time to treat yourself in whatever way you desire. Maybe it’s a relaxing spa day, or cheating on your diet and eating a big ice cream sundae. Some retail therapy works, too. Do whatever makes you happy and what you consider a reward. If you can’t remember the last mildly selfish thing you’ve really done, you’re definitely due. We can’t give our all to other people without getting anything for ourselves in return.

6. Get Outside

Sunlight can do wonders for your mood. And you don’t get nearly enough of it if you’re cooped up inside all day. Getting outside gives you a mood boost, as well as other health benefits. Take a walk on your lunch break instead of working through it. Wake up early and get an outside workout – or short walk – in before you head into the office. Your mind will thank you.

7. Play Like a Kid Again

Seriously. If you have kids, this is a perfect thing to do with them. But even if you don’t, it’s a great thing to do for yourself. If you do things you enjoyed as a kid, it gives you that feeling of being carefree again. Break out the old video and board games, or kick a soccer ball around in the park. Go to an amusement park or play laser tag. Just have some fun. Life can’t be all about work.

What’s your favorite way to recharge? Comment below! And if you want more posts to help you get the most out of your career, be sure to subscribe!


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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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