Back in June we went on a super lovely family holiday. We’d booked it back in Dec so was fully prepared that it was coming and it was for a friend’s wedding which was extra nice. When I first went away since launching the business I was in my employed job and had only been going 4 months, so it was in the very early stages and much easier for me to switch off and totally disconnect to enjoy our family time. On approaching this holiday I did wonder, now a good 18 months in and working on the business full time, whether I would be able to do the same. I’m going to take you through what I did to shut down and relax on holiday.
Switching off can be done
I did it. I did exactly the same as I had done before. I switched off. I had to be more prepare this time round, have a lot of work done or dates in place to do it but I did it. I switched off completely and had an amazing time with my family. It felt brilliant. Sure I felt nervous about going “dark” for two weeks with no phone – that’s right I don’t actually have it on on holiday, no email checking and facing FOMO on social media – but it was needed because I knew I needed a break. I was reaching burn out and that’s not good.
One of the things I have learnt since running my own business is that you NEED to be kind to yourself. It is so so important and I know Self Care gets spoken about a lot now and there is a reason for that and it’s because it is paramount in this day and age (sound like me Nan) that we look after ourselves and our mental state. By doing this not only does it make us better in ourselves for us but for others and better at handling the juggle of business owner and family life. Here’s my tips on how to do it.
1) Let people know
So as I manage client work I made sure that I had my upcoming annual leave dates on my email signature so people would start to know when I would be away. I also contact my regular clients to say that my holiday was on X dates and that I would be completely out of the office with no access to anything. It’s important you share this and be completely upfront with people as to whether you will be reachable or not.
I also made sure that everyone knew if there were any issues they had the appropriate details of people to call i.e. hosting companies etc.
A lot of my business comes via social media so I always pop a little notice on there too that I will be out of office.
If you are a product based business and people order things from your store make sure you have a banner on your website letting people know that you are going to be away, what the last order deadline is and when the shop re-opens. Everyone is entitled to a break whether you are employed or running your own business. Plus the world won’t stop turning, everything will be okay.
2) Plan ahead
As I do work for people on a regular basis I knew that some of our work would come up while I was going to be away so I made sure to form a plan of action in advance and look at my availability either side of of my holiday and made sure that I could re-schedule the work to be done before I set off or immediately when I returned. As long as you have a plan in place and communicate it with everyone all will be well. PLUS I work for lovely parent/child focused businesses and they totally get the need to switch off – bonus!
3) Stick to your decision
If you have decided to completely switch off whether that’s leaving your phone off, deleting apps and not checking emails – stick by your decision. I know it’s hard, I know it can be so tempting to quickly log in and check that everything is okay but if you have planned enough and everyone is up to speed then you can just forget about it and relax. If you log in and check and happen to see an issue you’ll soon find that a) you can’t do anything about it on a beach anyway and b) it’ll then be on your mind the whole holiday and then you sort of ruin it for yourself.
The main one to remember. You are there to have that time away and enjoy what it’s all about – fun times with your family. It’s why we work for ourselves isn’t it? So that we have that better flexibility and we’re in control of our lives more. So embrace it! Take it all in and enjoy.