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Perspective: You Do You -- Unplugged

Daniele Colucci

Is your summer busier than normal this year? I mean compared to typical years, not the summer that really wasn’t back in 2020. According to the news, folks are rebounding from the pandemic lockdown and jumping back into life feet first this summer. Airplanes, hotel rooms, and even national parks are filling up fast.

Some companies are even rewarding employees with a cash bonus if they use their vacation days. And that should tell us all we need to know about the true value, mentally and physically, of taking time away from work -- even if you haven’t set foot back into your office in eighteen months.

This year, more than most years, we all need to unplug from work for some rest and relaxation. We’ve all been affected by the stressors associated with COVID-19 in individual ways – and some of these effects have been logged into our bodies at the cellular level. The slow burn of pandemic anxiety may have worn down your protective barriers against stress – and adding in the heat of these recent steamy July days, it’s totally forgivable if you’re feeling a little irritable, cranky, or not quite yourself.

To reset, carve out a few days to break free of any technological or emotional ties to your workplace. Give yourself permission to focus on nothing but what feeds your heart, your mind, or just your appetite for fun. Sleep in late, or wake up early. Do nothing all day, or pull an all-nighter. You do you – unplugged. Remember, we regret the things that we do NOT do, not the things we do.

I'm Suzanne Degges-White, and that's my Perspective.

Chair and Professor - NIU counseling and higher education