The Importance of a Time Out

Photo Courtesy of The Echoes Harrison River Retreat

We all know that taking time to ourselves is vital when it comes to rejuvenation of the spirit and body. Sadly, many of us don’t take our vacation time every year or we take time off only to spend that time clearing out our houses and crossing things off the “Honey Do List” that we can’t seem to get done while working nine to five. Lately, I’m finding that every day seems to be spent preparing for the next one. Make dinner. Wash dishes. Do laundry. Clean the house. Take out meat from the freezer for tomorrow’s dinner. Iron shirt for that meeting. Make the bed. Sigh. It never ends.

Experts seem to agree (for more on this, see this article) that making valuable use of your vacation time makes you even more useful when you return to work or home life. It’s the same effect as taking a five minute computer break each morning. You return to your desk refreshed and recharged and you become more effective in your task. So this post serves as my recommendation to get away, even for a short while and even on a tight budget. It doesn’t have to be for a week and it doesn’t have to be expensive. But allowing yourself that time to recharge will only serve you better upon your return. Failing to look after your mental and physical health while running yourself ragged will only result in burnout.

In an attempt to take my own advice, I planned my own little holiday from all the madness that seems to have piled up lately. I’m trying to build my freelance career, attend meetings, get my masters degree full time and oh yes, I need to write a novel this year to serve as my thesis. And a new puppy arrives in just a few weeks. Oh my. So I’ve booked a quick three-day vacation, right after the long weekend, to get away to the interior of British Columbia, where wineries and hot springs beckon to me. During all this time, I’m keeping in mind that I live in a congested city and the thought of clamoring through crowds will only increase my stress level. And so, It’s time to get back to my love of camping, a little wilderness mixed in with a bit of luxury.

When thinking of wilderness and luxury combined, I already knew where those requirements would take me. I have a great break planned, with two days of camping in a provincial park, a wine tour, and visit to the Harrison Hot Springs and then finally, a stop at the Echoes Harrison River Retreat. Run by a wonderful couple who are passionate about their business, guests are whisked away by boat to their resort on the river, where there are only three cabins (for double occupancy) that are all run on solar panels. Environmentally friendly bath products are provided, there is a canoe for use and a wood-fired hot tub to cozy up in at night. The meals are all made by Susan, the owner, who makes all efforts to feed locally sourced foods from the variety of farms nearby. With only six guests at a time, the effect is intimate and yet private. Decadence, comfort and peace. It is the perfect place for a yogi getaway.

This year, I’m using my vacation time to actually vacation. I plan to meditate, canoe up the river and get in touch with that part of myself that I occasionally ignore in favour of deadlines and details while at home. Your break doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. It can be as simple as pitching a tent in the backyard and disconnecting the phone and shutting down the computer. Get back to basics. Return to yourself. The payoffs are endless.

Happy trails everyone!


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