Off Duty

It’s been a while since I published, I haven’t really gone anywhere I just kinda checked out for a while.

The truth is, I’m in between jobs and immersing myself in, well, me. When I’m in the throes of work, don’t know my arse from my elbow and have a million google tabs open in my brain at once, I am daydreaming of a lie in, having breakfast at my favourite spot, having a Netflix binge. The list continues.

So having two weeks away from the office life is a perfect opportunity to reconnect with me before it all begins again. It’s time to press the reset button and plug myself in for a while to recharge.



It’s so easy to find ourselves disappearing into the day to day jobs and stresses of life. Whether it be work, the ever growing to do list or just trying to appease others. When was the last time you can say you truly focused on just you? And I don’t mean the odd gym session, I am talking real time, and for more than an hour.

If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else
~Marvin Gaye

I am not very good at sitting still yet I was determined to maximise these two weeks without rushing around like a maniac trying to keep busy. I didn’t want to return to work thinking whoah what the hell happened there?! This is when the awesome people in my life rock up and help. Suggestions to only ‘control the controllables’ and ‘allow yourself some room and a break’ have been very important messages. Ones which have allowed my shoulders to drop and just pause. It’s okay to slow down, to take time to think about what I would like, what I enjoy doing and to not feel guilty for doing it. All pleasant reminders to put on that oxygen mask and breathe.

So where do you start?

Tony Robbins suggests asking yourself these questions:

  • What am I most happy about in my life right now?
  • What am I most excited about in my life right now?
  • What am I most proud of in my life right now?
  • What am I most grateful about in my life right now?
  • What am I enjoying most in my life right now?
  • What am I committed to in my life right now?

This helps you to reconnect with the things here and now. Right now. It centres you and allows you to rediscover what makes you happy. Here you have a foundation on which to build.


It’s totally okay to be off duty because when life gets busy again it’s time to bring it on!

Five Tips
  • Make a list of the things you would like to do that day (or week if you have the time). Things which make you happy. They can be as small or as big as you like, such as taking yourself out for lunch, seeing a friend, going to a museum or going on a road trip.
  • When you’re doing any of these things, remember you have dedicated the time to this. You don’t have to rush, you don’t have to get back for anything just yet. Immerse yourself in the moment.
  • Set aside 5 minutes at the beginning of every day to think of the things you are truly grateful for, and if you get stuck, you have the eyes to read this! Then before you go to sleep think of things you have achieved that day, things you can be proud of.
  • Breathe. Just breathe. Quieten the noise in your mind. One of my quick remedies for feeling anxious is to take deep breaths. Breathe in deeply for 4 seconds, hold it for 2 then release slowly for 6. Repeat.
  • Put down the wine. I know I know I freaked out too but an excessive amount of alcohol does not help you reconnect with yourself. It clouds your judgement and whilst it provides a temporary rest bite, any deep-seated issues will still be there.

Basically, the trick is to start small. It doesn’t matter if you decide you want to mist your pillows with lavender spray and grab an early night. It’s doing something for you that counts.

What do you do when you’re off duty?

By Nicci McShane




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