06 Apr Taking a Spring Break: 7 Days and 7 Tools to Deprogram
As the seasons begin to change and the kids take a week-long break from academics, we adults don’t get much time to step back from life’s challenges. The possibility of taking a couple moments to reevaluate goals and “de-program” seems bleak, but we’ve got just the plan for you. Take a look at our list of seven easy tools to help you hit the reset button and take a spring “break” of your own:
- Detach: We know the very mention of the suggestion to unplug from all digital and mobile devices promotes an immediate sense of panic. But like with all hard-to-conquer addictions, the withdrawal period will come to an end after the first forty-eight hours, leaving you with a newfound sense of calm and clarity. So leave those chargers, adapters, USB cords and other triggers behind because freedom eagerly awaits you on the other side.
- Desocialize: While the term typically connotes mankind’s forced isolation as a result of an oppressive institutionalized mechanism, for our purposes, we are going to use the word to promote a brief, weeklong separation between you and the people who populate your ever-demanding social life. Sometimes in order to find a true respite from our lives, we need to take away the compulsion to constantly make plans with friends, colleagues and family to fill out those empty time slots on our Google Calendars. Embrace the power of choosing to be alone in order to reflect, reorganize and reboot for the remainder of the year.
- Declutter: Whether you are homebound or outward-bound this Spring Break, there are a few suggestions we have to make your space, and your life, a little more Zen and a little less cluttered. If you are getting out of town, disregard your normal packing routine and remind yourself to scale back. Try packing two outfits instead of ten. Wearing a ‘uniform’ on vacation takes the guesswork and the stress of getting ready for the day out of the equation, allowing you to fully embrace the idea of vacation. You can heed the same advice if your break happens to be in the confines of your home, as well. Grab two looks – we prefer something utilitarian like a good boiler jump suit or an old pair of jeans and a white t-shirt – and shut that closet door for a full seven days. You may decide never to reopen it for the rest of spring.
- Detoxify: We know what you’re thinking: juice cleanse. But don’t worry. We don’t want to force you to do something you’re not prepared to do on what should be, after all, an enjoyable weeklong break. In fact, a wealth of recent research has stressed the dangers of cleansing as it can give an unhealthful shock to the system. Our advice is to detoxify is simple: Consciousness and hydration. Simple self-awareness of what we ingest, even over the course of seven days, can make a real change in our long-term eating habits. And we don’t have to stress the benefits of hydration. We all know the wonder water works for the body and mind. So along with your ‘uniform’, go ahead and pack a refillable glass water bottle to take with you on your renewal journey.
- Dethaw: No, we’re not talking about taking a chicken breast out of the freezer before the kids get home, but it is sort of the same idea. Across the country, winter has arrived fashionably late this year, and the universal cure for frigid bones and tense muscles has always focused on the power of heat. Whether you find a steam, sauna, soaking tub, natural hot springs, or a good old- fashioned sweat lodge, allow your body, and those clogged pores, to reap the benefits of warmth.
- Deverbalize: How many hours out of the day do we overtax our mandibles? Between conference calls, meetings, nightly conversations with friends and family, our jaws are just as overworked as our minds. So why not give your voice a break as well? Seven days of total silence may not be a feasible option, but if you give yourself the simple goal of practicing muteness for one-hour a day, you may very well reach peace of mind only inaudibility can provide.
- Decontrol: So much emphasis these days is placed on time management and structuring your day to allow for maximum productivity. But who said productivity is a result of such forced control? Inspiration and insight often comes at the moments we least expect, usually in those rare, unplanned hours free of expectation. Don’t just give yourself space over spring break; give your day space as well. Go on and let the week surprise you!