The pandemic fatigue is real.
Whether we like it or not, we moved lesser, we worked more, we slept less, we exposed our eyes to more blue light, we ate more junk (at-least 90% of us did), we connected less and above all we did not take a break from the monotonous rut of lockdown life. Time for a vacation peeps!
In a normal year, I am the last person to think about a vacation. In general I let go of my two weeks paid leave every year and keep working on one project or other. I didn't feel a need for a vacation all these years. This year is very different. May be it is the pandemic causing this change in me. This year, I am the first person in my family planning a real vacation. I guess I have hit my threshold with workaholism. The work roller-coaster feels real. Officially, I am in the worst shape of my life (a part of is planned [check the last link] but the other part is not).
If there is one important lesson I learned this pandemic, it is my relationship to rest and relaxation.
So far, Ability to rest on a moving boat was my philosophy so far.
For once I am going to anchor the boat and just relax. Off to vacation next week and I can't wait 🎉
If you are a knowledge worker, here are the 7 neurosciensical reasons why you need a good natvac (nature filled vacation)
- The mental fatigue that comes with extended work hours and prolonged engagement negatively impacts our brain’s ability to execute important tasks like planning, strategy, critical thinking, abstract thinking and more. If you are a creative problem solver like me, then mental fatigue is your first enemy.
- Continuous work without proper breaks and relaxation leads to over-engagement of our brain. As a result our ability to have insightiful realizations and aha moments are reduced significantly. This is detrimental to our problem solving ability.
- A new environment gives a novel experience to the brain. The novel experiences enhances the overall function of brain regions associated with learning and memory, creativity and critical thinking. They stimulate neurogenesis and acts as a booster to overall brain function.
- The lockdown deprived us from the most needed sunshine vitamin aka vit D in the past year. In addition to general immunity and musclar function, vit D is vital for great mental health as well. Poor cognition and even dementia is correlated to low levels of serum vit D. Time to get the needed dose. Get the most important vitamin this vacation by resting on a beach or hiking under the sun.
- If you are like me, who gave "no-time" as an excuse to not exercise, then vacation is the best way to get started with simple walks and jogs. The age related deterioration of hippocampus (brain region responsible for memory and learning) slows down with moderate aerobic activities like walking and jogging.
- Vacation is a great opportunity to disconnect from our ever connected lifestyle. Time to throw away the smart phones and be phone free for a few days. The chronic stress, blue screen exposure and addiction to the screens can be paused for a short period of time without worrying about constant dings from work.
- The vacation effect showed reduction in bio-markers like inflammation, Aß peptide post a week long vacation.
Time to unplug, unwind and take a sunshine-filled vacation break, your brain will thank me for all the goodness.
What are your upcoming vacation plans?
🥂 to vacation!