Ep 17: Less stressful breaks from work or business

Welcome back to the podcast! In honor of summer vacation, this episode focuses on how to reduce stress around taking time off from your work. 

Vacations are a time when you want to relax and unplug, but often it can be difficult to truly set your work aside and be in the present moment, especially when you don’t feel confident that your work responsibilities are taken care of – and you’re secretly dreading returning to a full inbox and post-vacation chaos. 

In this episode, you’ll get to know common mindsets and behaviors that contribute to stress around vacations – before, during and after your break. You’ll also learn several practical strategies that you can use to improve how you approach vacations so that you can make the experience as restful and joyful as possible.

This is a topic that I don’t often see discussed but is a key part in feeling empowered in your work and balanced in the rest of your life. Enjoy!


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Hello, my beautiful introvert friend or unconventional human being. Welcome to episode number 17. This is the first official episode in season two that's all about career and business. Today I'm going to be talking about taking less stressful breaks from your work. Because I have just gotten back from, from a break from the podcast and in my business in general, I've gone on a couple vacations, really turned down a, a lot of my marketing and now I am coming back refreshed and with a lot of really exciting ideas. Right now, I want to focus on the topic of. A break. Vacation. Taking time off from whatever your productive activity is, so that you can relax. You can heal, like if you've been sick and you're taking time off, this also applies. And so often we take time off in order for us to experience the rest of our lives. Right. You want to travel and connect with other members of your family, with friends, you want to go on adventures, whatever it is that you want to do, that you don't typically fit into life because work can take up so much time and space. So the general agenda for our conversation today is I'm going to talk first about what our default mode of taking breaks might look like some of the problems that come up and why it can be a very stressful thing actually, and then what to do differently, how to approach taking breaks in a way that you are, is really going to help you get the most out of your experience and also create less stress When you come back to your work, because there is nothing worse than being on a beautiful, relaxing vacation and then you come back to just a total shit show, right? We've probably all been there. I've been there. And I try never to create that. Any more in my life. And I don't want that for you either. No, no chaos. Minimize chaos. You know, as introverts we tend to have more sensitive, nervous systems. And so it's really important to think about ways of diminishing the amount of stress and chaos in our lives and doing that around our vacations is another opportunity for us to create more balance in general. Before we get started. I want to let you know that I have tea dates available to schedule with me. And these are conversations that we have via zoom that they're like meeting in a coffee shop, or if there's something, a conversation that you'd like to have, if you'd like to talk about. One of these topics here in your life, or talk about coaching, then that is the next step to do that. And I'll put a link in the show notes, but you can go to my website and you will easily see the button there to sign up. All right. So let's talk about what our default approach to vacations is. And I I am speaking on this based on my own experience and what I've seen my clients do. So your experience it could very well be quite different and I'd love to hear your own crazy stories about about what it looks like to go on vacation, please feel free to share. I would love to hear them. Basically we kind of had this idea of, okay, I'm going to put my email responder on. I'm going to tell people that I'm back in two weeks and if I'm working at. At a job then, you know, of course you've informed your, your boss and your team and you're, you're shuffling work a bit or you're, you are jamming on your projects to try and get as much done. So you're working double time so that you can quote unquote check-out during your vacation. Hint, if this is your approach to work then you're probably will have a difficult time totally unplugging because your solution tends to be to work in order to create what you need in order to create the sense of feeling good and feeling ready. So that's a habit. We'll look, talk a little bit more about in a moment. Oftentimes when preparing for vacation if you can take a step back from it, you can see how oftentimes it will help you to reflect on the way that you're showing up in your work in general, because you'll notice sometimes, especially if you're working for yourself and I can relate to this probably this is like, In my, my first business towards the beginning, I used to be afraid about what people would think about me taking a vacation because they would not have access to me. Right. Like what if someone needs me? I was, of course, you know, being very concerned about my clients, but underneath that, there was people pleasing happening. Right. There was this fear of people not essentially liking me because I would not be available as expected the way that they needed at the time that they needed. But the thing is, if that's true at all in your business, You are kind of a bottleneck, right? So if you notice this happening, you want to create systems and redundancies so that you if someone needs you, there's a solution, right? If you're providing a service like back then I had tech support services. Then create a solution so that you can still provide that service. So I created a a team for support that I didn't have to be around to get the support done. Awesome. And this also shows oftentimes like, when we're really worried about what if someone needs me. Sometimes that shows that the way that we're working is being dictated by the client instead of us determining how we want our work to be. If you're working with a team It can end up being a part of the culture When the organization operates around always putting fires out and like responding to the urgencies of the client. I mean, if you are working in an emergency room an emergency room is designed to handle exactly that type of customer interaction, but if you are providing copywriting or or a different service then you don't want your business to always be revolving around customer fires. Right? You want to be sure that you're building it in a way that you can handle those as a minimal part of what you're doing and focus more on providing your service in the way that works best for you. So. That's how people pleasing and having business that's built around, responding to client urgencies can create stress when you think about a vacation. And when you're on the vacation, because it's really hard to have trust, have faith that they will be taken care of in the way that you are happy with if you don't have the. The S the support in place to handle it. The next part is when it's difficult for you to stop working So often we are overworking in our jobs and in our businesses. And when we do that at a habitual level, then we create this feeling of stress that becomes our baseline for comfort. So when we go to a beach and try to stop doing all of that activity, It actually takes us out of our comfort zone. And so there's this very strong pull to engage, to check email, to continue doing work. I know for me, I oftentimes I get really inspired when I'm on a break. And so I do want to engage a little bit with work, but. I am tuned in enough to my nervous system then I can feel when that switch happens when I go into more like work for work sake more. Pushing towards this workaholic approach. And that's when I'm try to notice and stop because then I am not enjoying my break and I'm really just working while being somewhere else, which is not the point. So what drives this, this workaholism? Oftentimes it can be scarcity, especially if we are at a place in our business, more towards the beginning, or, you know, we've had a lot of crazy cycles lately where we have less income coming in or the, the future is just uncertain. Or we have these lot, these longstanding trauma patterns of scarcity. Then, then we might tend to want to continue working so that we feel comfortable so that we feel in control of something. And so often also your sense of self-worth. Can be connected to your work. So if you're not doing that work, you're not engaged with it then you can open up to the rest of you that. You're like, okay, well, well, well, like it can be existential, right? Like what is my value? I actually don't feel so good if I'm not doing work. You're, you're getting quiet or you're letting all of the other stuff that you have not been shining your light of awareness on. Maybe start to come to the surface. And so then you, like, you just want to take your email. You just want to engage with your work so that you can move away from that. And if that's happening for you just really. I pausing and honoring that if, if that that's being triggered in our conversation today and that like, this is totally normal. And a beautiful invitation for you to to consciously cultivate time to investigate this further. And this can be great work to do with a coach is a certainly work that I do. Or like approaching it from a spiritual perspective, like there, right there. There's a whole other episode that I could explore. Okay. So all of that too. Say that. Going on vacation. Compute like it's an often very complex can be an existential experience. Right? And. Really, but what do we want in the end? We just want to quiet it all down. Right? We want to be present. And experiencing life, experiencing the moment to the fullest. So, how can you do this? How can you prepare yourself for a break that feels just grounded and amazing and full of presence? So I'm going to focus on some pretty practical things here. And we'll start with informing others, what to expect. Creating expectations that. Will result in a future that you feel really good in. So time give yourself time. Share with others. When they can expect to hear from you. With ample time for you to rest. Like the worst. Like no one wants to go on vacation and then take a red eye and go to work at eight 30. The next day, but we do this to ourselves. However you can choose not to, and you can design. Your expectations. Give yourself an extra day. Let people know if you're taking that extra day that they still can't like you're not back at work until you are back at work until you've rusted. Right? Give yourself time to transition, to unpack, to go for a walk, take a bath. And inform others how to communicate with you or not communicate with you when you're gone. I let them know who else can help. You help them. Ideally have some redundancy built into your team, into your systems. So if people still need to get help. While you are gone. There are other people who can help them. Or simply say that they will not be able to get help during that time have clear expectations, avoid. People pleasing. Right. I have boundaries that allow you to feel like what you need to like take care of yourself, the way that you need to. And you know, maybe some, some clients might not be super happy because you're not at their Beck and call, but you don't want a business or work that is built on you being in other people's back in call. You know, unless you work in the emergency room, of course. But if you work in the emergency room, when you take time off or when. Then you are in your traveling. There's no way that you can help them. Dell. And you can also point folks to other resources or this is a great time. If you are a solo preneur, and there's other people who do similar things as you. That you can create, like nourish your relationships with them, your referral relationships. And, you know, you can, you can say, Hey, I'm not available right now, but you know, there's. There's there's Steve, over here that he does. We know we have very similar values. You might enjoy talking with him. If you need to get help right away. Otherwise, you know, here's my calendar. Please make a you know, schedule con a call for when I get back, I'll be happy to help you then. No. This is a way for you to really show up empowered in your work. Another option. Another great way to prepare is to delegate. And and as if you're in business or even in your work, like finding ways to. To share the workload with other people, finding ways to communicate and organize that. Is incredibly helpful for increasing efficiency and making work, just like function better. So in the delegation, make sure you. You figure out who's in charge that they know. How to handle any work that comes through to them. You know, with email. If you can delegate your email and have someone else check it. Your project management software is all of those things that are giving you notifications. If you can have someone else handle that and leave for you when you get back only the most important things that people weren't able to take care of, or that are personal. You're going to be really happy when you open your inbox. When you get back right. Another way to prepare for your break is to automate, take the opportunity to. To add more automation to your work schedule repeats of past emails of past posts of past podcasts, use old content so that you don't have to do that thing. Working double time before your vacation, right? We want to avoid that. Financially. I, if this is how taking a break is going to impact your cashflow, have some savings, prepare for the DEP. Be, you know, especially if you're in the beginning stages of business, if you're gone, oftentimes that means that you're not able to serve your, serve your customers. So it can be really. Less stressful. If you are prepared for that, if you have a cushion so that when you come back, you're not stressing out and freaking out about how much you spent on your vacation. If you have a budget for your vacation, that's, that's super helpful. And you can show, show up in your business after your break feeling empowered. And safe and secure and ready to go. Now if all of this feels a little bit overwhelming, then my, the, my last tip for preparing for a break is to get someone to help you. Hello. And, you know, a coach can be a really great option here to help you look at how you're working, find opportunities to. Two. To create systems, to create automation, to show up in a way that you can, you can S you can create boundaries. You can delegate, you can do these things. In a way that you feel really empowered and that you feel that it's in the best interest of your work and thus of the people that you're serving. So when you get back from your break, Taking time to transition, take a nap. Like I said, you know, make sure that you feel ready and fully recharged before you come back to work. And then schedule time to reflect on the whole experience. So each time you go on break, it's like an experiment where you prepared, then you had the experience of being on vacation. Then you had the experience of returning. Granted, there are some things that will have gone really well. There's some things that might not have gone super well. And you feel stressed about. And then you will have ideas for what to do differently. So taking time, I recommend at least a half an hour. Put it in your calendar before you go on vacation. Taking that time to evaluate is going to help you really really. Not just enjoy your vacation but get better at enjoying your brakes to become more empowered in your work so that you can then Feel what you want in your break when you can let go Be present enjoy yourself All right that's what i got for you today if you'd like to talk with me please feel free to schedule a tea date i'd love to connect and with that thank you so much for tuning in and i will see you next time