Important Reasons to Take Time Off (and How I Spend My Free Time!)
If you’re like me, you probably wake up and have big dreams of taking a long lunch break. Or, you schedule a small family getaway a month from now. Then, life gets in the way and you end up working through your lunch break and canceling next month’s travel plans because you land a new client you want to impress with your timeliness.
When you’re in business for yourself, the lines between work and life get blurred. A lot. You head full speed ahead into everything you do professionally like the fierce woman you are. That’s an awesome mentality, but it’s also one that’ll burn you out so quickly.
Whether you own a business or you’re a stay at home mom, you need to worry about you, too. Others rely on you to be your best self, and the only way to do that is to take care of yourself. I talk a lot about running a business and being a mom on this blog, but I want to go more behind-the-scenes in this post and talk about why taking time off (from work and mommy-ing!) is crucial.
Why Downtime Needs to Be a Priority
I’ve learned some interesting things over the years. Being a workhorse doesn’t make me a better worker, just like doing everything for my kids doesn’t make me a better mom. Delegating tasks, outsourcing work to others, and taking time to myself makes me more productive in both areas of my life.
I used to get trapped in the mentality that working more was going to make me more successful, but that’s sooo not the case! Doing that left me feeling frazzled, unorganized, and pulled in too many directions.
I’ve talked about having a housekeeper and nanny to help me out around the house and I’m not at all ashamed to admit it. They are important pieces of my family that help take some work off my hands and make me more productive all around.
Science shows that your brain needs some serious downtime or it just doesn’t function like it needs to. Wanting to be an awesome worker, business owner, or mom is one thing, but constantly focusing on any or all of the above will make your brain shut down instead of work harder as you want it to. Our bodies and brains need breaks to rejuvenate and be ready to take on another day.
How I Spend My Time Off
Learning how to take time for myself was the best thing I’ve ever done. There are some days when I have to chop it up into scattered chunks through the day (you gotta do what you gotta do!) but it’s still my time to make the most of. Here’s what I enjoy doing to switch my brain from working mode to relaxation mode:
I’m a reader and there’s not much I enjoy more than lying around with a good book. I try to squeeze in at least a few minutes of distraction-free reading time every day. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth the effort. Curling up in my bed or on the couch with a blanket and a good story recharges my battery and reminds me that there’s more to life than the go-go-go mentality that’s so easy to get wrapped up in.
I love to be in nature. I enjoy unplugging from technology, stepping away from the walls of my office, and taking in as much fresh air as possible. Whether it’s for a few minutes, several hours, or for a few days, I come back to my personal and professional lives refreshed and renewed. There’s something about nature that brings out the best in people, including me, and I find it to be the most relaxing place to spend my off-time.
Traveling is one of my greatest pleasures in life and it’s the best way I’ve found to bond with my family away from work. We’ve made it a priority to take a great vacation every summer and it has been the source of so many amazing memories with my kids. We went to Italy when my middle son was 6. He’s 11 now and he still talks about things we saw. I love that.
Mini-trips can be just as fun and renewing as long vacations. We take long weekends and other short getaways here and there just to escape the hustle of everyday life, spend quality time together, and enjoy each other’s company in a new place.
Do you find it difficult to squeeze in downtime as a business owner/mom? What are some of the things you struggle with most? When you do get some free time, how do YOU choose to enjoy it? I want to hear all about your interesting hobbies and relaxation techniques!
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