The Importance of Taking Time Away

 The Importance of Taking Time Away

By Jennifer Kelleher

I invite you to take a few deep and conscious breaths as you mentally drift into your favorite vacation spot. Take some time imagining yourself there, immersed in the details of what makes that place on earth so magical and ideal for you. Close your eyes, be there now. Have it fully. Continue to breathe.

Sitting on the airplane next to my son as we head down south for his February break, I thought, “What better theme for this week’s column than the importance of taking time away?”

Don’t get me wrong, I actually love being home. It took me a while to find the balance I have today, but I can honestly say that I love my home, my community, my job, and everything about my daily routine. And I believe that part of what got me to this place are the “retreats” I take from my day-to-day a few times throughout each year.

Before I go any further, let’s clarify that taking time away can literally mean going on a vacation, and it can also mean creating a staycation for yourself where you break from your normal routine. I do both, and the benefits I discuss below are a result of either of these options.

To begin, breaking from your daily routine for a period of time helps to give you perspective and assess if what you are doing on a daily basis is truly serving you. When you are living your day-to-day life, it can be more difficult to pinpoint and change a regular habit that is actually not serving you because you are in it, you are close to it. However, stepping away gives you the bird’s eye view and opportunity to notice things that could otherwise go unnoticed or ignored. I find that you don’t even have to think about it too much– pausing from what’s habitual, even for a short period, organically refreshes your routine when it’s time to return to it.

Taking time away can also open up your mind and increase your creativity. Being exposed to different people, places, and schedules can allow you to experience new ways of living. When we try something new, we are more present because our “beginner’s mind” kicks in. Our senses open and the world around us gets brighter. We notice more, and we become more curious and filled with childlike awe.

Next, a pause from your daily life can be incredibly restful, replenishing, and refueling– of course, not all vacations are that way! While lovely, relaxing escapes are wonderful, all types have their advantages. For example, busy vacations with people you love can create incredible, lasting bonds, while stressful vacations can help you feel grateful for what you have. Regardless of the type of escape I’m on, I like to practice flexibility during my time away. I consciously make the decision beforehand that I am going to be open and go with the flow. This allows me to be free of expectations, to stay calm, and it gives me a greater possibility to try new things. I have found that this sense of freeness and ease carries home with me when my time away comes to a close.

I have traveled a lot in my life and lived many places around the world. I love traveling– meeting new people, experiencing new cultures– it brings me so much joy. And still a highlight of all my travels is always coming home.

As I mentioned earlier, you don’t need a plane ticket and expensive hotel to retreat. I invite you to take your time away at Ocean Bliss Yoga. A daily yoga class or an in-studio mini-retreat can be just what you need to reset your mind, replenish your energies, and revitalize your spirit. Join me on Saturday, March 9 from 1-3 p.m. for a Cozy Escape that includes Restorative Yoga, Journaling, Tea, and Sound Bath. Sign up for this and more offerings at Call me with any questions at 917-318-1168. You can also call or text me with topic requests for this column!


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