Yes, Virginia you can unplug: Why we all need the holiday break

I am a sucker for the holidays. I love the non-stop holiday music, the cards in the mail, the annual visit to see Santa and so much more. But you know what I love most about the holidays? It’s the one time of year you have a legitimate pass to worry about things that have absolutely nothing to do with work.

As a small business owner, I often underestimate how much time I actually “work” – especially given I work from my home office. A CBS news article I saw today (thank you Megan Lape) noted that working from home increases productivity, but it also found that, “With no physical boundary between work and life, work invades everything.” In today’s 24×7 business environment, I find myself constantly toggling back and forth between “work” and “real life”…and I know I’m not alone.

But during the holidays, we are free to stress over what gifts to buy, if we’ll have time to make 12 different kinds of cookies, and what crazy words will the kids might say in front of the in-laws this time. These types of thoughts can be consuming and at this time of year that’s okay, because the thing that makes the week between Christmas and New Year’s so wonderful is that no one is working which means your iPhone buzzes less and email is blissfully quiet.

Instead of worrying about juggling client calls, media requests and last minute announcements, we can “stress out” about all the details of the holiday season that make it so magical – for us and, most importantly, our kids. That kind of brain break– the chance to focus on something else entirely – makes returning to work on January 2nd so much easier. The opportunity to unplug physically and metaphorically does more good than we remember as suddenly our outlook, perspective and attitude are, well… refreshed! We are human after all and it’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day details, routine and constant need to be accessible. Amazing how just seven days away from it all can make such a big difference.

Yes, Virginia you can in fact unplug. And you should.

Happy 2013!

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