This week I started a new job at a new company after almost eight years in my previous position. I loved my colleagues and was proud of my work, but I needed a change. The new challenge excited me, but I wasn’t expecting the roller coaster of emotion that happened in the time between. Here are a couple of things I learned during my transition:

An object in motion stays in motion

An object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

Newton’s First Law of Motion

I was fortunate enough to take some time off between gigs. That first day off was a blur; it was a Wednesday. My girls were in school, my husband was doing things, and I wanted to be busy too. I made a coffee to go, collected my pile of Amazon returns, made a list of items we needed for our upcoming family vacation, and set out on a mission to be busy. I felt a sense of accomplishment after hitting four stores before stopping for breakfast. I continued that day in the same way, charging forward as if I were racing a clock.

I decided to do more on Thursday, still riding the high of dopamine from the previous day. More shopping, more prepping, more, more, more. Something happened when I stopped for a mani/pedi after lunch. The salon wasn’t very crowded, and the near silence forced me to slow down and enjoy the moment.

I wish I could say it only took me two days to realize my zen. I was well into my second week off before I saw this TikTok and put all the pieces together. If I didn’t slow down, I would end my time off completely exhausted. My new co-workers would probably sing, “She came in like a wrecking ball…” and I wouldn’t be putting my best foot forward in my new position.

Taking time off for yourself is a must, and you don’t have to change jobs to do it. The time doesn’t have to be a traditional vacation; grab a long staycation weekend after closing a big project, or just take an odd day off once a month.

You need a vacation from your vacation

I took two and a half weeks off between jobs; I spent the first three days trying to be busy, then seven days of vacation with five other families. Did I mention my girls are two and four years old? This vacation was (good) chaos, and I was not the one in control. It was awesome and crazy-making at the same time. Fortunately, I had a whole week to recover post-vacation and return to a calm and productive mindset before joining my new team.

Even before kids, I realized I needed to plan trips with at least one day at home before returning to work. You need time to reset your brain to normalcy, time to do laundry/put away your travel gear and time to relax.

It’s very tempting to max out your vacation for all the days you have off, but I encourage you to try this method the next time you plan a trip. I think you will be pleasantly surprised; this small gap makes a huge difference.

Forget about best, you can only do good work if you bring your good self. (just go with it) These are just a few ways I make time off work to my benefit, but I’d love to hear about other methods you use to reset yourself to good!

Photo by Sunder Muthukumaran on Unsplash

This is a reprint of a blog originally published on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/object-motion-stays-carleen-carter/