Set It, But DON’T Forget It

vacation
Did you catch the P.S. of my pre-vacation newsletter? It’s the one where I said “P.S. I’m heading out of town for vacation today, and I’m leaving my computer behind.” And I DID make strict rules for myself about my device usage. The iPad was to stream my workouts, the phone was for texting re: plan-making with family and ok, some junk food social scrolling if I felt like it. The computer was in my bag only for a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency situation.
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While I told multiple people I was “aggressively” going on vacation, ie limiting my device usage, to be totally honest, I wasn’t sure I could do it. It’s been a long pandemic tethered to my devices 24/7, and I know I’m not alone. The truth is, pre-pandemic, I already spent a lot of time online. This whole last year I could be heard touting the fact that I had a paid zoom account pre-pandemic — I was zoom before zoom was cool! — like a badge of honor. 🤦🏼‍♀️ Yikes, I’m a junkie.
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So even though I really and truly WANTED to take a total break from online life, I wasn’t totally sure I could actually leave work behind. But reader, did I ever and I’m so glad. I had no idea how much I needed some unfocused downtime, to make very few decisions except whether to sit or walk by the beach, which book to pick up, and if it was time to re-apply sunscreen. I am just so lucky to have gotten this gift of time and space with a big blended family I enjoy hanging around with.
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During peak pandemic, I was certainly one of the many who would momentarily forget what day of the week it was due to the sameness of every day. And during this week with family I again found myself forgetting what day of the week it was! But the key difference? No schedule and no demands. The outcome? I’m back from vacation feeling rested and restored and energized. I mean sure, vacation is always something hard to come back from and I typically want more more more! But, because I fully unplugged, I actually feel ready to be home and back to work with clients and on exciting projects and plans.
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I highly recommend finding a way to disconnect as fully as possible. I know that I’m lucky to have a family I get along with, and that we are privileged to take a beach vacation. AND, while it helps to have a physical separation from normal life, detaching from your every day doesn’t actually have to be fancy or splashy. The only thing it does actually require is Boundaries.
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But setting boundaries is only half of the task. Following through — upholding your boundaries — is the other, critically essential part. Without follow through, boundaries we set are just words, empty promises, agreements with ourselves that we break. While this may not seem like a big thing, it’s actually major. Breaking agreements with ourselves erodes our self-confidence, doing extensive damage over time. I’m convinced that because I not only set the boundary around my vacation downtime, but I also followed through on the promise to myself, I’m back feeling energized instead of needing a vacation to recover from my vacation 🙂 .
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Whether it’s getting accountability partner or making a follow through plan, what is one action you can take to better uphold your boundaries?
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