If there’s one thing that sparks the most joy for me it’s unapologetically embracing downtime for myself and my business by taking a Mindful Unplug. Each year, around the winter holidays, I take 15 days to relax, reflect, and recharge. The beauty of this exercise is it helps me reserve and preserve my best energy for myself, and start the next year with a spirit of gratitude, clarity, and fresh energy.
You don’t have to be a business owner or live an entrepreneurial lifestyle to take a Mindful Unplug. You don’t even have to schedule one during the holiday season or limit yourself to only one break per year.
Here’s some tips that will help you design your very own Mindful Unplug in a way that sparks joy for you:
1. Pick dates that align with natural seasons of downtime
We all know how important rest is for our well-being. But, we tend to feel bad if we slow down when everything else is speeding up.
To lesson any guilt or reservations, select a period of time that naturally aligns with a slow season in your personal life or career. For example, it’s difficult for my clients to tidy right before the end of the year. There are many distractions (work deadlines, child care fluctuations, holiday planning, etc.) that work against even the best tidying intentions. So, I plan my Mindful Unplug around the last 15 days of the year, which also aligns well with my personal and business plans and goals.
2. Pick no more than three activities that spark joy and align them with your values
Remember, a Mindful Unplug celebrates unapologetic and guilt-free downtime. So, it’s important to avoid filling the space you’ve given yourself with an unrealistic list of expectations. Narrow your focus down to activities that help you relax, reflect, and recharge.
- Relax – Connect with family and friends
- Reflect – Celebrate what you’ve accomplished by setting realistic plans and goals (use the Annual KonMari® Tidying Progress Check, or YearCompass if you’re feeling stuck)
- Recharge – Do nothing! (aka TONS of reading or Netflix binging)
Turn to The Tidy Home Joy Journal for a series of prompts that help you identify aspects of your life that are going well and others that present opportunities for improvement. You can use this tool to help you shape your unplug activities accordingly.
3. With gratitude, let go of activities that don’t help you relax, reflect, or recharge
Similar to your KonMari® Tidying event, your Mindful Unplug has a finite start and end. However you choose to spend your time during this break, it’s temporary. Therefore, it’s a great time to introduce a new habit, jumpstart a detox, or become more aware of how you spend your time (work-life balance, spending habits, social media/news consumption, etc.).
For example, with gratitude, I temporarily pause of things that tend to dominate my schedule:
- Social media and daily news alerts
- Virtual and in-home tidying clients, business coaching clients, and speaking engagements
- Business messages/tasks that aren’t time sensitive or mission critical
Set out-of-office notifications or have conversations with loved ones to help them understand why you are stepping away and, most importantly, that you’re coming right back!
Remember, this is for you…
Take this moment of mindfulness to reestablish the boundaries and expectations that feed your future success.