5 ways to switch off
There's not much of a better time to test your ability to switch off from your working life and take some time out for recuperation and recovery than the Labour Weekend holiday. So over the long weekend that was October 22–24 I spent time focusing on nothing but getting myself back up to being fighting fit. I've got to be happy and healthy for the moment I turn 25 in less than a week!
I managed to cram plenty of living into the weekend, but I also managed to get some real downtime in, and they're the things I consider to be ‘switching off’ in my life. So here are the top five ways that I managed to unwind and relax over the three-day break:
With Zak getting up and leaving the house at 5.30am every morning at the moment, my first alarm for the morning starts when he wakes me up to tell me he's leaving. That alarm never wakes me up for long though, and I get to sleep in for another hour until my real alarm clock goes off at a ‘leisurely’ 6.30am. Ug. So when the opportunity arises, I will grasp those extra hours with both hands and sleep in for as long as I possibly can. If I can sleep through until 9am I feel like I've had some quality extra shut-eye. I had three mornings of sleep-ins, so by the time the working week rolled back around I was feeling right as rain and well rested, ready to tackle whatever threw itself at me.
Read a book
I've really got stuck back into the reading world this year, and I feel a heap better for it. Although I never seem to manage to squeeze in a decent lunch break of reading, I do get to read a few pages here and there after work and before I go to sleep. However, over the weekend I just absorbed pages. I'm reading To Kill a Mockingbird at the moment, and being able to sit on the couch or outside in the sun for a few hours at a time and just read and worry about nothing else — except for feeling slightly guilty when I was reading a book in the sun and Zak was mowing the lawns — was an absolute dream!
When Zak headed back to work on Monday, I didn't really feel like sitting around home by myself — and I really didn't feel like doing housework on my last day off — so I took off up to Whangaparaoa to see my sister, mum, and stepdad. We spent the morning shopping, which was actually slightly stressful, but then we went out for lunch at Coast, and then went back to their place where I got to nap, read, and just chill out, looking out at the beautiful peninsula view they have from their living room.
Boy, did I what! I think I napped at least three times during the weekend. So not only did I get great sleep-ins, but I also got an extra half an hour here and there of naps in the sunshine. So good! There's something about cat naps that just really reset the system and get you kick-started for whatever the rest of the day has in store for you.
As I said before, Zak's been getting up and leaving at 5.30am, and he doesn't get home until super late at the moment (as I'm writing, it's 9.15pm and he hasn't finished work yet). He'll work every Saturday as well, so as you can imagine the only time we really see each other is on a Sunday or late in the evening where there's time to ask how each other's day was and then go to sleep. So being able to spend both Saturday and Sunday with Zak was pretty damn special. We did brunching, a little bit of shopping, dinner out and about, watched the All Blacks at Good Home, went to several birthday parties, did a bit of housework, and just hung out with each other and actually talked. Looking for the next time we get to spend a weekend together — imagine if we could get another long weekend where we're both free! Ha!
I'm already two days into the working week after returning from the long weekend, and the carefree lifestyle of those few days still hasn't worn off yet. Even during the crazy days I'm having at work, I still breathe, reply to my friends on Facebook, and remember that life is not all about work, work, work. You've just got to take the time out to appreciate it sometimes!
What did you do to switch off today? Tell me in the comments below.