5 Questions to Ask Because It Is Friday and You Need a Vacation

Do you need a vacation?
Do you need a vacation?

It’s Friday… whose life have you changed this week? This  simple question often sends us back to the drawing board to rethink how we can use the last 48 hours or so that remain before a new week rolls around. That is, if we have even left enough time to rethink anything. And when our answers fall short, it’s too often because we haven’t taken enough time for ourselves first. We haven’t left ourselves enough bandwidth to lay a plan that includes enriching the lives of others because we don’t take the time to vacation, relax, and restore ourselves.

Yes, we work hard so that our children have braces on their teeth and go to soccer camp. And yes, we do our part in our jobs so that others aren’t having to pick up our slack. Although these acts are important, they reflect baseline performance.

What about the actions that we take, which can be either large or small, but that impact others in meaningful and positive ways? We know we are living our lives fully when our days are not only rich and full but when they allow us to bless and enhance the lives of others.

Are we shrugging off our intrinsic need to help and serve others because we are too overloaded to have the clarity of thought we need in order to see beyond the baseline?

Here are 5 questions to ask when Friday rolls around:

  1. Have I left myself time to reflect on goals, plans, my needs, and the needs of others? Or have I been a hamster on a wheel all week long?
  2. What have I learned and what have I taught this week?
  3. How many times did I tell my children to “hurry up” or promise them I would do something “later”?
  4. How many times did I force myself to “hurry up” or promise myself I would do something “later”?
  5. Do a have  vacation time planned for the near future? …even if it is only one or two day? Is there personal restoration time on my horizon?

The greatest rewards in our lives are often what we have done to serve or bless others. But that level of self-fulfillment can’t happen if we haven’t addressed our own physical, mental, and spiritual needs first. When the oxygen mask on the plane drops down, the instructions are very clear. You must put the mask on your own face first.

Taking care of ourselves first is counterintuitive for most of us. Whether it is in our DNA or it is conditioned, for some reason, we often put the needs of others ahead of our own needs. And as admirable as this may seem, it probably deprives others of receiving the best we have to offer.

We can’t truly help others if we aren’t first attending to our own needs for rest, relaxation, a change of pace and venue, and time to restore and recharge. For the sake of everyone who matters to you, carve out vacation time for yourself.