The need for “a break” can be as range from a simple “I need to get up and stretch” to “I desperately need to get away for at least two weeks”, and encompasses many other points on that continuum. My recent vacation fell into the latter category, and I’m delighted to report that it provided exactly the nourishment and rejuvenation I needed.

I believe that throughout our lives, we are able to appreciate “now” much better if we periodically and consistently “take a break”. Daily, time to be alone even for five minutes and breathe. After the birth of a baby, we are so often so consumed with caring for the baby that we can lose touch with the real need for our bodies to take a break. Yet even in this demanding environment we can practice listening to our bodies, and taking a break when we need it, (even if it means locking ourselves in the bathroom!). Weekly, it would be ideal if you can allow yourself an hour or two to be alone and just breathe, walk, or engage in any activity where you can be totally and completely present. Monthly, dare I be so bold as to suggest 4-8 hours to yourself? And then there are vacations, invaluable time and space to rejuvenate, recuperate, and be restored to a balanced place.

We need time away from our daily routines in order to gain perspective. On those great, longer vacations, we can spend time with our spouses and with our children individually as well as a group, and really take the time to both listen and play in a different way than when we are pulled into our usual chores and communities. These breaks don’t have to be expensive trips, just time dedicated to a different routine. Sometimes the biggest hurdle is giving ourselves permission to do so.

So, go ahead, give yourself a break!