If you use Facebook or even browse the Internet regularly, you've probably seen the meme showing a cabin in the woods.
The caption asks if you could give up the Internet, your cell phone, and all social media and live in the cabin for a span of time to earn a substantial amount of money. How many of us could go through with this? Could you toss aside your digital life and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature?
While this scenario is extreme, it does bring up the necessity of taking the time to recharge. You might not be able to live for a month in a secluded forest, but you can dedicate a weekend to recharge your brain, positively impacting your personal and business lives.
Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.
Louis May Alcott
What Does the Research Say?
Advancements in technology and research on brain function have shed light on why we need down time. Self-referential mental activity is the scientific way to explain daydreaming. The default mode network is activated when you drift off and let your thoughts wonder.
A recent study shows that having high 'Openness to Experience' relates to a more efficient default mode network (Beaty, 2016). So, when you do take the time to relax, it's important to put yourself in the right mindset.
Many of us may claim to take a vacation, but we inevitably check emails and conduct work business while away. It's important to take time away from work activities. Set your email to 'gone fishing' and turn off your phone. You need to commit to giving yourself a real chance to relax.
7 Ideas for a Recharge Weekend
- The staycation:
If running away for a weekend is financially difficult, then stay home. Spend time outdoors, maybe exploring a new park or even walking in a different neighbourhood.
- The short drive:
Take a drive to a new location. You don't have to go far, but try to explore someplace new.
- Indulge your hobby:
Do you love fishing? Looking for antiques? Take a weekend to do what you enjoy.
- Take a class:
Many art classes are available for a weekend. Give your brain a chance to unwind and be creative all at the same time.
- Pamper yourself:
Get a massage, a facial, a manicure. A quick trip to a spa can rejuvenate you.
- Fly away:
If you can swing it, take a weekend trip to a fun vacation spot. Even a few nights are worth it for somewhere you love to visit.
- Commune with nature:
Whatever you decide to do, try to reconnect with nature. That feeling of excitement when you go out to play doesn't have to end when you get a job.
Beaty, R. E., Kaufman, S. B., Benedek, M., Jung, R. E., Kenett, Y. N., Jauk, E., Neubauer, A. C., & Silvia, P. J. (2016). Personality and complex brain networks: The role of openness to experience in default network efficiency. Human Brain Mapping, 37(2), 773–779. http://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.23065