The feeling of being energised yet relaxed.
Vibrant yet peaceful.
Motivated yet content.
So I’ve just returned from a break spent in the beautiful Spanish town of Malaga. I needed this break. I was working so hard on my growing business as well as my part time job, and I was beginning to feel the burn.
So I kicked it up a notch the week before my holiday and worked until 2am daily to get sorted. To prepare to relax. To get ready to rest.
It was insane. Working so hard so I can switch off for a few days?
Well you can probably predict what happened next. The second my body had time to rest, I got ill. Any bug or illness that my tired and over-worked state had been fending off decided to rear its ugly head and come to the surface.
What started as pretty bad hay fever turned into a nasty cold and 3 day migraine. The throwing-up kind and everything. Not pretty.
Don’t get me wrong, Malaga was wonderful. And I made sure I kept my sore throat and bad cough to the back of my mind whilst I enjoyed sangria, tapas, and wonderful company. Even when I was ‘switching off’, I was keeping this bug at bay. I mean dammit I’M TRYING TO RELAX HERE!
So cue to us landing back in Manchester, about to enjoy a lovely Bank Holiday weekend when I come down with it – ROUGH. I spent the whole lovely, sunny weekend with a headache, runny nose, nausea, no appetite and insomnia. My iron levels had plummeted. I barely slept for 3 nights whilst struggling to keep my eyes open during the day.
I was NOT happy. So much for feeling rested and re-energised right?
I came back to work feeling groggy, uninspired and de-motivated.
I realised quickly I NEEDED to create a constant work/life balance that works for me, not against me.
Too often in our daily lives we switch off from work-mode just to go right back into chores-mode. Dinner / laundry / ironing / prepping meals / cleaning / washing up. You get to bed and just feel exhausted. Not just from work related tasks, but from not taking time to truly ‘switch-off’.
It should be a daily exercise to be in a constant state of ‘holiday mode’, if you will. To practise a more mindful way of living. And therefore feel constantly re-energised, relaxed, motivated, peaceful and rested.
The major benefit is not only feeling more energised day-to-day, but also next time we get to go on holiday, or take a few days off, we’re already ‘ready’ to relax and make the most of it.
Kieran always tells me the two most important things in the world are health and happiness. And as long as we have those, we have everything we need. And I’m finally starting to really see what that really means.
So, I’ve come up with 8 ways to constantly stay in holiday mode, even on working days. This is a plan for me, that I hope you will find helpful too.
1: Beverage Time: go for a coffee (or something stronger…) after work
Whether it’s your 9-5 or your own business – let’s turn everything off at the end of the day and put it away. And then head out to your favourite coffee shop, bar or pub. Take yourself and a book, or your loved ones. Just go and sit somewhere with your favourite beverage and chill. Chat or sit quietly. Just let the world pass you by for a bit. Just like those cocktails by the beach on a warm summers evening….
2: Work Smarter: batch your work
I really need to get this one down to be honest. Planning a months worth of content and getting it ready to go. Meaning you can take a few days off and the majority of the work is pre-done – sounds great right? I plan to take a week and dedicate it to getting ahead on the blog. And then I plan to take a few weeks on getting ahead of stock collections. And then, part of my regular working week will be to just add to it, so it’s always a month or two ahead.
3: Explore: discover a new local town or place of interest
Holidays aren’t the only time to explore! Take your camera and head out to a local town or nature park you’ve not been to yet. Pack a picnic or try one of the local bars or restaurants. Have a holiday day out and explore somewhere new. There’s so many lovely little towns near where we are that would make for lovely days out. No business, no laptops, no work. Just ice cream, sunglasses, and suncream.
4: You-Time: treat yo’ self
Let’s not wait until the week before we go on holiday to rush getting our hair done, nails sorted out, waxes booked, face masks applied. Let’s constantly look after ourselves. Schedule in a weekly slot for you. I’m talking an hour, if you can, where you can chill with some music and a glass of wine in the bath. Or paint your nails, exfoliate your skin, sort your eyebrows out. Just feel human again.
5: Lap it up: go for a swim
Yes, I may not have a luxury resort pool in my backyard or a tropical beach down the road, but I have swimming pools near me and why I don’t make the most of them, I don’t know. If you have something similar near you, why not try going a couple of times a week, just to have a gentle swim to relax and feel rejuvenated. I may even take it one step further and treat myself to a spa day every now and again…
6: Systems: get organised
Not just in your work or business life, but your personal life too. Schedule your social media posts, emailers and blog posts to auto-post and let them take care of themselves. Make the most of your calendar and diarise slots to book appointments, get groceries and clean the house. Don’t let it all spill out of your brain onto a list at the last moment, have a regular check-in point once a week where you diarise all your jobs that week, and list all your future jobs for another time.
7: Budget Time: plan your year
Sit down and plan out what you want to achieve this year. Plan out how much money you want for the fun stuff, and how much you need for bills, Christmas, birthdays, weddings etc. Then get to work and plan trips, weekends away, overnight stays, concerts – whatever gets you excited. Do it for the whole year so you have lots to look forward to. Then check in half way through the year to make sure you’re on track. It sounds super nerdy but this is the one thing Kieran and I do at the start of the year, and it’s why we’re able to have lots of lovely little trips in the year and rarely be caught out by unexpected bills or expenses.
8: Holiday Swag: wear your holiday clothes!
Is it just me who tucks their holiday clothes away to ONLY be worn for holidays? Usually because I’m either working or it’s raining, granted. But still, I’ve made a pledge to have my holiday clothes proudly out this summer. Dresses, sandals, shorts, oversized summer hats – you name it. Every time we’re out for an after work drink, or we’re heading out for breakfast on a Sunday, I’m wearing something that makes me feel like I’m on holiday; light, breezy and cool. Perfect.
So there you have it! 8 ways that I am going to take on to stay in holiday mode – all the time! Do you have any favourite holiday-mode tips? Share them below!