It feels at this point, every year when the calendar hits November, my hand drops the pen and reaches for the sunnies. My legs stretch away from my desk and head towards the water. Holidays. The desirable December break – two weeks of guilt free, email and client dead zone. Yesssssssss.

But it feels a little more than just holidays. It’s a yearning to stop. To be still and lean into the floaty dreaminess of that mental state.

Looking into this feeling further, I found that regenerating and letting your mind slip into dreaming is critical to help prevent burnout. Rest is a fundamental part of achieving success, health, and happiness1. By un-plugging, we can unravel stress, slowing our parasympathetic nervous system (the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system, which is the flight-or-fight response) giving out bodies the opportunity to rejuvenate2

The work we do as graphic recorders requires extreme attention and focus. Being in a performative environment pushes our adrenaline and compounds the stress to ‘get it right’. Given these demanding factors of performance and focus, it is imperative that we take time to rest, so that we can perform at our best.

In fact, research has also shown that not only can we boost our productivity, but we can also improve decision making and increase our creativity by enabling reflection in the absence of noise1.

So really, it’s a no brainer to slip into holiday mode… for productivity’s sake…


1 Cherry, H 2021, ‘The Benefits Of Resting And How To Unplug In A Busy’, ForbesWomen,

2 Ascher, J & Tonies, F 2021, ‘How to turn everyday stress into ‘optimal stress’, McKinsey Quarterly, McKinsey and Company:

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