A time-out every 6 weeks
Taking breaks can prevent burnout. If we want to let our mind and body actively and productively enjoy life for years without affecting our economic output, we need to take breaks. Just like we have a natural rhythm which requires a short miniature break every 90 minutes, we also have a regular need of a more important break of several days. The ideal schedule which we have successfully used for years for successful professionals is as follows.
Taking an extended weekend every 6 weeks
To keep up with high expectations for years on end, we regularly need an extended weekend. Experience tells us that spending 3 nights more than an hour away from home has a larger effect than a normal weekend does. So, if you can economically afford it, it is a god idea to spend three nights away from your own home and environment.
This weekend - if you are in a relationship - is best planned together with your partner in life and preferably without kids. No matter how much you like to be with your children, sometimes a couple also needs time to just exist as a couple, like in the start of the relationship, as a type of mini-honeymoon. A second advantage of being together with your partner without kids, is that you make time for your affectionate and sexual relationship. These are both driving powers in your relationship as well as for your physical and mental health. Oftentimes I hear couples in my practise say "that weekend we really re-discovered each other. I did not know that we had grown apart so much. It really brought us closer together again."
1 week every 3 months
Especially if you are en entrepreneur or if you can compensate hard work with some extra time off, taking one week every three months is something which we definitely recommend. From my own experience as a business coach, next to my medical practice, I have often seen that the turnover and profit of business leaders or entrepreneurs increased by over 20% in a year because of the creative business ideas which spontaneously came to mind during or after the vacations. Because you are in a different environment, you stimulate your creative thinking abilities. For employees with set earnings under a contract, the financial advantages are not seen over a short period of time when looking at your personal income. Yet, we often see that young professionals and managers who get into such a work and vacation rhythm get quicker promotions because they are more valuable to their company and learn to sell themselves better with the help of the charisma which a fresh mind and body bring about.
Bringing vacation resolutions into your work week
It is important to, after your mini vacation, daily enjoy and reflect on yourself in order to bring this vacation feeling into your normal life. Take fifteen minutes per day for yourself: to relax and to practice self-reflection. There is a risk that the vacation effect wears off quickly if you do not take action to maintain this extra rest and keep it with you when you enter your hectic work environment. So extra awareness is needed here. To help with this, 'Logis' currently works together with '15Minutes4Me.com' on a simple tool which helps their clients to make their vacation resolutions come true even during work weeks - in between time-outs. More information about this will come soon.
Looking forward to your next vacation
The best results are often gotten by planning your next stay right after your last time away or weekend. Our participants report that getting to look forward to their next vacation or weekend as soon as they get back in itself helps them to reduce stress. That is why it is best to book your next break right away.
How can you prevent or treat burnout?
We developed an online self-help program which gives you the possibility to spend fifteen minutes per day on yourself in order to learn how to get in control of stress, anxiety, burnout, or depression.
Test which type of stress you experience
If you want to know what type of stress you experience, then make sure to take our free online self-test.
Paul Koeck, MD