Be honest: do you take time off regularly? I mean, from everyone and everything around you? If not, you should…and here's how.

Sometimes stress can overwhelm you to the point where you can no longer function as the caring, supportive, nurturing person you usually are to everyone in your life.

We’ve all had times when we want to hole up in our bedroom, house, room, wherever, and be alone – or at least not be bothered by the outside world.

You start feeling like your supply is running low.

You need to recharge.

You need to fill the well.

But you feel guilty. You know people you care about need you.  And you know you don’t have the strength to give it to anyone except the few that really would perish without it — your children, your husband, your closest family members.

What do you do so you don’t offend every person in your life who isn’t in your “inner circle”? How do you not fall off the grid so far that you never get back on…?

There’s no hard and fast rule on this one. I wish there was a list you check off to know to avoid offending or alienating people who don’t understand that you aren’t around or don’t want to be.

I have gone through many of these times when I “disappeared” from the world.  I know a thing or two about going off the grid…so let me share what I have finally learned to do.

Your Take Time Off Guidelines

It comes down to a few key things you can do, so you approach your time off: scheduling, honesty, and communication.

Schedule it.

If you work – plan mini-hibernations on the weekend or take a 3 or 4 day weekend.

Tell people.

Just be honest. Tell people you need time to recharge. Simple. If you sense they aren’t going to leave you alone, screen your calls, don’t check email, and just stay home! And if they still don’t get it, move onto number 3.

Just go already.

If you need a vacation, take an actual vacation. Go to expedia.com, decide your budget, pick a date, and then go!

Thanks to all my friends and family who’ve watched me hibernate or disappear over the years and then welcome me back into the world.