Last updated March 10, 2022
Living a busy lifestyle seems like all we do nowadays—what with being constantly connected, having endless to-do lists and productivity overload.
When did these suddenly become the norm?
The truth is that we’ve forgotten about taking time off. And the paradox is that rest and time off are actually key to our productivity, creativity and mental health. Without these, we get burned out quickly.
So what happens when you know you need to take a break but you don’t really know how to relax and use the time effectively?
If you lead a busy lifestyle, keep reading for seven proven ways to escape from your busy routine.
How to escape a busy lifestyle (even just for a moment)
Take the afternoon/evening off
It might seem a little obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t take time out of their busy lifestyles unless it’s for a programmed vacation.
A well-spent afternoon or evening off can sometimes do wonders for escaping from that busy, everyday lifestyle even just for a few hours.
To make the most of your afternoon or evening, make sure to turn off your phone or at least block all work-related notifications, plan something for yourself that you really enjoy doing and be mindful and present when doing it.
Switching off from work or other lifestyle matters might be difficult, especially just for the afternoon but it does really work to allow the mind to relax and concentrate on something you find enjoyable.
Have a spa day
Taking the day off or even having a spa day on a Saturday might be exactly what you need to escape a busy lifestyle.
Spas in general are incredibly peaceful and relaxing spaces and even without getting any treatments one automatically feels more relaxed.
Many spas have spa day packages that include a variety of different treatments like massages and facials. It’s best to consult the ones in your area for further information. Spending a day at the spa with your other half might also be a lovely bonding experience and a way to escape the stresses of life together.
If you haven’t yet experienced a spa day as a way to relax and rejuvenate, I highly recommend it as the perfect anecdote to a busy week or month.
Do something you love
Taking some time for yourself might just give you what you need and you’ll be more likely to take some much-needed rest if it’s to do something you love.
Ask yourself what it is that you like to do the most to relax? What brings you the most joy?
Whether it’s sitting down to read a book cover to cover, playing golf, going on a hike or visiting the beach, just schedule time out and go and do it.
You’ll be able to disconnect faster and you’ll feel so much better afterward.
Try a new activity you’ve never done before
Equally, getting out of your comfort zone and doing something totally different might allow you to fully escape your norm.
When choosing to do something new, the mind needs to focus more on the task at hand or the skill you’re learning—meaning that you’re much less likely to think about work.
If you’re not sure about what activity to try then try to make an activity bucket list of things available to you in your area that you’d love to do.
Perhaps the inner adrenaline junkie in you would love to try bungee jumping or even skiing if it’s wintertime. Maybe you’d like to learn a new skill like a language or take a pottery class.
Wherever it is, it’ll provide your life with some extra value as well as taking you away from the busy norm for a while.
Go on a retreat
A sure way to relax and get away from your busy lifestyle is by going on a retreat.
Whether that’s a meditation retreat, a silent retreat, a yoga retreat—they normally do a world of good for our mental, physical and spiritual health.
Most retreats don’t allow phones and other “intrusions” so you can completely focus on being present and in turn disconnect from the every day. Not only that, but a retreat also has a whole bag of benefits from learning more about yourself to an increase in spirituality and mental calm.
Retreats can also help you focus on your yoga practice especially if you don’t normally have time for it.
Take a digital detox
One of the biggest reasons for the busy lives we lead today is how digital we have become and how technology makes it so much easier to access information.
Having a device in our hands that constantly feeds us information that triggers internal stressors makes our lives a lot busier than they might have been 30 years ago.
Taking a digital detox is a great way to distance yourself from the bombardment of information from work, email, social media, etc.
In turn, this allows the mind to be able to relax, seek peace and calm for a short amount of time. It’s something that’s been studied and thought to benefit our mental health over time.
Go on vacation
For the ultimate short-term remedy to a busy lifestyle, you can, and should, go on vacation.
Where you go and what you do really doesn’t matter as long as you can fully escape and switch off from the stress of every day.
You might want to also include some other methods of switching off on vacation too such as doing a digital detox and going on a retreat to fully allow yourself to disconnect further.
The best time to escape from a busy lifestyle
The fact of the matter is that there is no one, best time to escape a busy lifestyle.
As tempting as it is to just drop everything as soon as things get stressful or busy, that isn’t the reality for most people. Due to commitments to work or family, breaks most often have to be factored in ahead of time.
For this reason, I’d advise that the best time to escape from a busy lifestyle is as soon as YOU can.
What sometimes helps is to plan ahead. At times just by looking at next month’s calendar, you might already be able to predict it’s going to be a busy one.
When this happens you might want to pencil in some vacation or downtime straight away after this period. This way, when the time comes and you’re worked out and exhausted those few vacation days magically appear when you most need them.
When you feel stressed and like you need a break make sure to do it in your own time but do make sure to do it.
Remember that you are valuable and there’s nothing wrong with putting your mental health first.