What is your definition of winding down?

I was having a lovely conversation last night with one of my fellow thought leaders business school students, and we were comparing notes on what our holidays were going to look like.

"I'm not really taking any time off as such" she said. "I won't be doing any delivery but I WILL be working on my thinking, and getting myself sorted for the new year. The fact is, I really enjoy it, and I am hardly going to stress about it" (this is one very grounded person at any time!). 

She is planning to do a few hours work, most likely in the morning, and then enjoy the rest of the day, doing what she likes.

It got me thinking about my version of 'winding down'. I get ferociously protective of my right to blob out on holidays (and I am very good at blobbing out). I also tend to exercise less and adopt a more er relaxed approach to what I am eating. I convince myself that I absolutely need to take it easy, and SOOO deserve to do absolutely nothing!

But there are a couple of things I have noticed on reflection;

1. I am not 'relaxed' about these choices; I am quite attached to them

2. At the end of my holidays, I often don't actually feel refreshed, and that's most likely because my boundaries are out (sleeping, drinking, eating).

What is your definition of winding down?

Does it include time away from devices? More time with your loved ones? A more leisurely approach to cooking and no rushing. These definitions I think are great, but I do wonder if I should lighten up a bit on my current pledge of doing nothing work related.

For example,why don't I catch up with some non fiction reading? I have so many good books that I presently don't make the time to read in my day to day living. Even, shock horror, enjoying a little bit of writing or editing?

There are countless statistics on the health benefits of taking a holiday, but not so much on how much you wind down on that holiday. Sure, if you in a highly stressed role, and haven't taken a holiday all year, OR you simply feel like it, then have a complete break.

But if you are like me, doing what you love, and taking regularly holidays throughout the year anyway, then it might be an interesting exercise to review what winding down looks like for you, and no one else!






Posted on December 18, 2014 .