Amidst all the stress of everyday work, the morning rush getting the entire family ready for work and school (needless to mention, your little one always has the most intellectual question of the day just when we are about to create a new record for morning rush speed), squeezing through the overcrowded peak hour subway trains, managing professional social media, rummaging the day’s work trying hard to stick with the 16:8 meal routines, and then to repeat everything all over again.
If you got past reading the whole last paragraph in one breath – it’s likely a tell-tale sign you need a break too. But that’s not just about it all. Think if any of these may describe you at present.
- You are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep or both.
- You don’t remember when was the last time you slept for more than 5 hours
- All seems well, but you are running out of creative ideas. It could be the writer’s block or perhaps the thinker’s block. But it seems it’s blocking you forever.
- You are on the verge of missing a deadline, despite thinking you were in complete control until yesterday
- You are desperately skimming through Social Media posts and watching videos of funny animals. OK, so it may not be about funny animals per se, but you try to force your mind to laugh and relax and look to social media to just fix your brain.
- You are super exhausted by the time you are home and barely look up your family before crashing into bed.
We all need a break. And I realized I needed one too.
The winter is at it’s peak and the mind-numbing Polar Vortex left me craving for a much-needed warmth. And we found the perfect place for our family to take a short break. It was less than 2 hours drive from home and we spent two business days soaking in the 85 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and taking the mind away from all work and the rigor of our everyday routines.
The African-themed Kalahari resorts has everything one would hope for in a short break from work and routines. It’s the largest indoor water park in Pennsylvania and a huge source of wet entertainment for families.
While we were being frozen with the wind chills, the prospect of spending a couple of days in summer-like warmth and splashing in water was in itself an energizing thought.
And for extra energy we took the Rumbling Rhino ride that zoomed through a covered water slide that twisted and turned finally landing into the water with a splash.
BREAKS HELP RESTORE MOTIVATION
Noted Author and Entrepreneur Nir Eyal writes that,
When we work, our prefrontal cortex makes every effort to help us execute our goals. But for a challenging task that requires our sustained attention, research shows briefly taking our minds off the goal can renew and strengthen motivation later on.
It helped me go on such rides that the only thing your mind thinks is how fast and twisty the ride was taking you and before you knew it – there was a soothing splash. My daughter wouldn’t stop with one and so we went on it a couple more times before moving to the next ride.
There was no thought of work, no subway trains to catch, just sheer fun and cool splash in a hot water park.
LESS ACCESS TO PHONES MEANS LESS SOCIAL MEDIA INDULGING
In his book The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World“, Nir states that
…technology may be decreasing the time associated with the onset of boredom when single tasking as a result of our ever-escalating exposure to pervasive, high-frequency feedback…
In simpler words, if you seek to check social media posts (or funny cat videos) in your phone whenever you need a desperate break from a stressful work routine, you are training your body to seek to check social media even more.
Visiting a water park meant staying away from phones for a prolonged period of time. After all, who’d want to take a dip with their smartphones tucked in their pockets?
And staying away from phones, meant breaking the mundane self-interruption to check social media posts and to genuinely take our mind away from it and help rejuvenate itself.
IMPROVE MEMORY AND LEARNING ABILITIES
Per Psychology Today, “Waking rest” helps consolidate memories and improve learning. Just as sleep is important to keep our brain functioning in-tact, periods of rest helps the brain review its own learnings and consolidate the learnings into new memories, new connections and new experiences that in turn make you more intelligible.
A swimming relaxation coupled with rejuvenating Spa treatment at the Water resort was just what the Nature-doctor ordered to start looking at things with a fresh perspective.
Sometimes you may want a vacation to never end. Sometimes you end up needing a vacation from a vacation.
But a short but intensely relaxing, refreshingly soothing and exhilaratingly fun break like this is exactly what makes you look forward to resuming work the next day.
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