Listen I get it. You’re busy. You might keep thinking I will have more time for that [sleep, hobbies, travel etc.] soon. Like someday in that “far off future” we fantasize about, life will suddenly be less busy. But really, life doesn’t seem to be headed that way. Does it?

There seems to be more to do all the time versus less. As our life changes, naturally our priorities have changed. It seems to have our to-do list keep growing. Especially if you are working towards a goal or are focused on accomplishing your mission. All the things you need to manage like work and home and family plus if you own a business, it doesn’t all seem to fit in your calendar and it seems like you are left with very little time for other pursuits.

If I own up to my tendencies (plus all the people who share with me theirs), the busier I get it means the less I am willing to unplug and take time off. The less time I take off the busier I feel. When I feel busier, I feel more pressure because too much to do and not enough time. It is a cycle that stinks and has some negative effects.

So no need to convince me or anyone else about how busy you are. Cause I feel you. You are hella busy. It is likely not to change in the future all by itself. So instead I invite you to consider the following possibilities:

You have not been taking time off, not simply because you don’t have the time. Actually, you haven’t been unplugging and taking time away, because you are caught up in the above cycle. And the good news it is a cycle you can break out of. I have both broken out of it and fallen back into it multiple times over the years.

First, we have to admit that we have been waiting for the just right time to give ourselves permission to pause. Maybe so we feel like we can justify our time off. Sound familiar. Like you have to make it until vacation, but forget taking an evening or weekend completely unplugged.

Second, we might have been so focused on taking care of others and our work that we don’t even know what we would do with time off. It might create some anxiety to confront the thought of hobbies. It is okay. See the list below

The truth is that you and I will never have enough time until you and I give ourselves time. AND we don’t know what we would do with it until we have it. Believe me.

Maybe you are thinking I love working hard. Me too. I get that for sure.

Here is what happens when we don’t rest (meaning take time off, unplug from social media, step away from our business, get a babysitter for the night, travel, sleep in, do things that aren’t related to our goals or fulfilling our missions) –

  • We get stressed out. Yep and that experience becomes normal. Go ahead and google right now Body Effects of Stress. It is real.

  • Achieving becomes our primary focus. There can be joy in achievement. But without taking time off or resting, there is no acknowledgement of the accomplishment of what we just achieved. We don’t get that chemical cocktail of feel good medicine for gettin’ it. Instead we are off to what is next. It leads to no yummy feel good chemicals and ultimately burnout.

  • We forget how to play. All work and no play makes us grouchy. Admit it when you are all work and no play don’t you get a teensy weensy irritable. AND… We need fun not only for our mood, but we need play for our brains. When was the last time you played? Play can look like reading a book for pleasure. It can look like taking a bath or a night off to make some art. It can look like trying a new recipe. Playing is good for us.

  • We feel disconnected from those we love. Ever notice when we get into a state of overstimulation (brought on by not taking the time to rest and digest) we have the hardest time hearing. Our people are talking to us and we can hear their words, but our ability to really listening is disabled. It is because our energetic bandwidth limit has been reached. Whether you relate to it as overfull or totally depleted, the bottom line meaning is we have no space to be with the people we love. Bummer.

  • We can’t hear our inner wisdom. No rest or taking a pause means the noise of the outside world [people, media, tasks, responsibilities] goes on loud speaker. It becomes increasingly hard to decipher intuition from your inner stress voice. To me this one seems like the biggest breakdown. Our guidance can help us take the most aligned and sometimes simpler path. BUT when we are go go go and no rest, we become disconnected from that inner voice and ourselves.

So what would I suggest? My answer is going to seem both simple and hard if you don’t currently do it. Simply commit to taking time off in a way that works in your reality. If you can’t see how to do that in your reality, ask a friend (or a coach or therapist). It doesn’t mean weeks off. It might mean taking a 60-minute lunch a few times a week versus working through it. It might mean taking a cooking class or joining a book club. It might mean turning your alarm off on the weekends and sleeping for as long as possible. It might me…

What might unplugging and taking time off look like for you?

The idea when you give yourself the time off is focus on what would help you be more connected to yourself and your joy. Plus focus on activities, people, and things that fill you up versus deplete you. You want more energy in your life not to add to your to do list.

I will warn you though. Taking time off might clear your mind, improve your health, and increase your enjoyment of life so much that your intuition will smack you upside the head when you forget to give yourself time and space to chillax.