Do this 1 thing to manage time off: create a routine!
In previous years when I would go home for the holidays I used to always encounter the same problem, I really struggle to manage time off from school during the holidays. When I’m at university, my days are always full with lots of things to do. Between class, exercise, volunteering and keeping up with family/friends a schedule is created for me and I don’t even have to think about it. After I trade in my typical student budget meals for a great home cooked meal (my family is a 14 hour flight away… so I really look forward to this part) I realize, however, that I quickly get bored. This slowly leads to sleeping in, doing nothing and just not making the most of time. While these things do sound great, over time it builds. I found myself in my thoughts too much and even resulted in minor bouts of depression.
The Science Behind Routines
Keeping a daily routine provides numerous benefits. A Harvard Business Review study examined the daily routines of successful artists, scientists and thinkers and found that almost all of their daily routines involved 3 common elements. Namely: taking time for physical activity, creating some way to measure accountability in their work (ex.write x amount of words per day), and separating work from play. Additionally having a routine can help your mental health. The Stenberg Healthcare and Nursing College notes that having a routine helps create healthy outlets and stability. Routines can also encourage productivity and achievement, especially among those in addiction recovery.
Building Confidence With Routines
One thing that has impacted me is a point that Fitness Author and Business coach Brandon Carter has always preached. When you set little goals and things you are going to accomplish that day, whether you are in school or at home and just working on side projects/hobbies you build a little confidence with each accomplishment. Over time, this confidence builds. It doesn’t seem groundbreaking but the results are profound.
So what’s one thing you can do today on vacation? Create a healthy routine! Write it down, get it done.