I’m on vacation in New Orleans and y’all, it’s so nice! The weather is warm and humid, the people are friendly and generous, the food is next level delicious, and I’ve been getting more sleep than I do at home. It’s wild! I’m here with Rachel, one of my closest friends, and we were both reflecting to one another last night how fun and luxurious it feels to take a vacation with a pal, and how taking a break from your day to day life is such a gift to give yourself.
Something my therapist has been really advocating for recently is that I make space in my life for time when I am not actively or passively working. As a freelancer and a writer, I set my own schedule but it’s also incredibly difficult to feel as though I’m off the clock; I technically could be working at all hours of the day, so I end up doing a bad job of defining my work time and my play time. It results in bad work habits, exhaustion, and a total lack of pure play time…I’m always “sort of” working which everyone knows is not a great way to live. By making space specifically for play time, my brain understands that when we’re “at work” we are working hard and staying focused, and when we’re not “at work” we can relax. I’ve been follow Anne Helen Petersen’s research and writing on generational burnout since she wrote about it in January of last year and this all feels very related to that – everyone I know seems to be burnt out. We have to find ways to care for ourselves and grant ourselves a bit of grace, a bit of fun.
It’s not always realistic to take a full on vacation, but I’m going to try to keep this vacation energy present in my life this year and beyond. What are ways you take a breather from your regular life? What’s your favorite vacation you’ve ever taken? What are some affordable options you have to take a rest even when you can’t go on a full weekend getaway? Have you ever asked your best friend to take photos of you naked in a bubble bath drinking wine and eating donuts as a fun vacation activity? Just wondering.