by Tami Green

From the cells in your calf muscles to your brain neurons, the same holds true: you use up energy, and then you need to refuel. How? You stop, rest, and nourish yourself.

We don’t push ourselves to work out after running a marathon, and yet we often overlook our need for soul recovery.

Just like the heart, the brain gets fatigued from too much time-on-task. “If you overtax your heart, the next thing you need to do is relax, or you’ll die,” says Jeff Stibel, CEO of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. and author of Wired for Thought, among other books. “The same thing is true of the brain. Do too much, and you’ll burn it out. You’ll make bad choices.”

But what about your soul? The place that connects you more profoundly to Truth than your brain or body? The plane where you join up with the real reason you exist at all.

Your soul calls you back to your purpose in life and your vision to get there. It sustains you well past projects and tasks and gives you guidance in decision making. The soul is different from the brain or body in that it doesn’t actually get exhausted—it’s there always and consistently routing for you. But we have to use periods of rest to unite with it again. Time to clear the mind, rest the body, and just sit.

The first time I took a soul vacation, I was so exhausted from life that I had to drop off the earth for three years.

It took me a long time to realize that I could accomplish a lot, have big goals and dreams, but not DO as much.

I needed to practice staying connected to my true self so that I could focus on what was really important to me (not to everyone else around me, asking for things and things and things.) It’s the place of refreshment, so everything makes sense again.

Now, taking care of my soul is my priority. My life keeps getting better and better, and I plan to keep it that way.

Here are seven signs you may need a soul vacation:

1. You cuss more than usual.

2. When your to-do list is running your life rather than creating the life you love.

3. Your body feels off. You can wait to get sick, or you can act on the subtle signs that your body is not putting up with the sh*+ and needs rest.

4. When problems start to become hard to deal with rather than fun to solve.

5. You miss the love and crucial moments in life and need to slow down so you can see it. My daughter told me yesterday, “Mommy, I follow you around because I love you.” Thank you for pointing that out to me, little one.

6. You don’t feel inspired to create. For me, as a writer, this is the place where the words won’t come, which feels like a sad little death.

7. You fight more with your partner, friends, or family.

What are the signs you need a soul vacation, my friend?

Stress tends to be a vicious circle: you have a lot going on, so you don’t make time for yourself. You don’t make time for yourself, so you can’t problem-solve or run your relationships effectively. This leads to more stress, more messes to clean up. So before you get there, take time to refresh in the small moments each day. Close your eyes, and put your headphones on, call your mom, look at a picture of those you love.

Learn to listen to your soul’s calling to take even more time off, to sit in the sunshine, and center yourself.

Your soul is the place where you connect with your unique brilliance, power, and purpose. Stay there.