The importance of downtime

As you read this (if you’re reading it the day it’s posted), I am enjoying some vacation time relaxing in my favorite vacation spot in Tennessee.  The photos throughout my blog are from this very spot.  It’s my favorite place on earth.

And though I’m actually writing this a week ahead of time to post while I’m gone, I can tell you that I am fully relaxing.  Plans for vacation include sleeping, eating, reading and fishing.  And that’s about it.  We might drive to a nearby city to watch a movie, but that’s the most scheduled activity planned.

While work is important, downtime is also important.  Working without downtime leads to burnout.  I struggle sometimes to take downtime and not just check one more e-mail.  I’m fortunate to have a husband who helps keep me accountable.  He knows that I tend to overdo it sometimes and leave myself exhausted and ready to throw in the towel.  I get that way, and I love my work.

As a Christian, I go back to God’s plan for things.  He worked for six days and then rested.  That’s a good reminder that I need rest and downtime, too.  When I get done with rest and downtime, I also find that I feel refreshed and a renewed sense of purpose in my work.

A week of vacation doing nearly nothing beside a lake is definitely great for downtime, but smaller ways exist to get downtime, too. Sometimes I work from other locations.  Not necessarily downtime, per se, but sitting on a couch on a sunporch can be enough change of scenery that I don’t feel so bogged down.  Going for a drive is good.  Even just 20 minutes away can be refreshing.  I also love to read or watch a favorite television program.  Playing with my dog or taking him for a walk can also rejuvenate my spirits.

What do you do for downtime in major and minor ways?

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