Getting the most out of time off: types of rest

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As we approach the end of the semester and many of us are anticipating some time off, it’s a good time to think about how we utilize our time away from work.

Our culture often perpetuates the mindset that time off (especially this time of year) should focus on recreation, vacation or celebration. These are certainly great ways to use time off, but they aren’t the only healthy ways. And this narrow view doesn’t honor the rhythm of the year, our individual wellness needs, or support a healthy workplace culture.

Instead, let’s consider that there are many healthy ways to use our time off, and it’s up to us to select what suits our needs.

1. Rest – intentional abstinence from work or other physically/mentally strenuous activities. Rest is critical to our wellbeing and comes in many forms. This TED talk highlights seven types of rest.

2. Recreation – time spent on fun activities.

3. Retreat – a shorter period of seclusion for the purpose of reflection and self-connection, or time used for active preparing or planning.

4. Renewal – a longer period away from work with an emphasis on personal or professional development.

It is our responsibility to use our time off in a way that best supports our wellbeing. Whether your break is minutes, hours or days, I hope you will choose to intentionally engage in the something that replenishes you.