How to take Mini-Vacations at Work and Not Feel Guilty
Why self-care is the best care and how hypnosis can help you perform at your highest level
Summer officially starts tomorrow, and with it begins the American vacation season. In fact, over 40% of Americans take our vacations in the summer months.
I just returned from 10 days in the Cayman Islands scuba diving on the Cayman Aggressor V. It was an amazing trip, the inaugural voyage of this new vessel.
In the months leading up to this trip, I’ll admit that I had some pretty major second-thoughts about unplugging from my practice. I was worried that I’d lose traction in growing the business or that I’d miss an opportunity to serve a new client. My biggest fear: That I would have no income from seeing clients for 10 days (for those playing at home, that’s 1/3 of the calendar month, but nearly ½ of the working month). That’s a big hit for any entrepreneur.
Before I got too mired in this fear-based outcome, I realized that I had control over the situation and I could take action to mitigate some of the imagined fears. So, a few days before we took off, I took action.
In a focused frenzy, I created 15 days of scheduled posts for my Facebook business page, 3 posts per day, so that I could remain visible to my audience. I updated all of my voicemail and email to reflect my out-of-office status, and I asked myself if I’d done everything I could possibly think of to communicate that I was away.
When I was satisfied that I had, I unplugged. Literally.
In the past, in my previous work-life, I took pride in working over vacation. In my mind, if I was working and replying to messages from clients, that meant that I was 1) focused on their needs and they’d appreciate my dedication, and 2) I was important.
If those ideas sound familiar to you, it’s time for you to step back and evaluate your work/life balance. These two statements are insidious lies that do nothing but cause us to chase ultimately unfulfilling, not to mention temporary and fleeting, outcomes.
Let’s look at those two lies.
In Lie Number 1, I was putting my clients’ needs ahead of my needs. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I’d come back from vacation caught up on email but feeling just as stressed as when I left a week earlier. Why? Because even though I was engaged to the business, it’s much more difficult to get things done remotely (in many cases).
Lie Number 2 is just a false ego-boost. It’s a belief that no one else could do what I did (or what you do, if you have that same thought in your head), and I HAD to be involved to make sure that it all went smoothly. Sometimes that was true, more often it wasn’t. Believing that it is always true is a logical fallacy know as over-generalization.
Time off is important for us to recharge our batteries and function at our best. Yet, many of us do not take all of the earned vacation time that we accrue each year because we buy into one of the two lies noted above.
Yet, if you are like most Americans, you do not take this time off. A 2014 survey by Glassdoor discovered that only 25% of Americans take all of their earned vacation time each year.
You earned your vacation time, just like you earn a salary, hourly wage, or bonus. You put in your time and the benefit accrued based on that time.
Would you turn down a bonus check from your employer? Probably not.
So why would you (or are you) turning your back on a paid benefit? If you are not taking all of the vacation that you earn each year, you are leaving money on the table and your health at risk.
Stop leaving money, YOUR MONEY, on the table. Or, in this case, STOP GIVING UP YOUR TIME.
If your employer gives you a hard time about it, you can cite this article from Forbes.
Of course, realistically, when we are part of an organization, we probably have to schedule our time off. That’s understandable and practical for the business, everybody can’t be gone at the same time, coverage needs to be planned.
So, what can you do now, right at this moment, if you are feeling stressed or burned out and need a break?
Take a nap.
Napping is a powerful way to recharge your mental energy in a short period of time. As noted in Nature Neuroscience, a 30-minute nap during the day can stop performance deterioration and a 60-minute nap can actually reverse it.
If you are wrestling with this idea because the idea of sleeping on the clock is taboo, ask yourself this question: Will I function more effectively for the rest of the day if I step back for 30 minutes now, or will I continue operating at a steadily declining rate for the rest of the day?
You can’t be your best for your employer, co-workers, and clients if you are not taking care of yourself first.
There’s one more way that you can regain your energy and focus. Hypnosis.
Guided visualizations and relaxation allow you to clear your mind of the noise of the day and connect you to your resourceful mind so you can stay highly-focused and effective.
By relaxing to a higher brain wave state, the chatter of your conscious mind is quieted. You know the voice: it’s the one that constantly reminds you about all of the stuff you HAVE to do, everything you HAVEN’T done, and every other responsibility that you NEED to take care of NOW. Sometimes this little voice is helpful, most of the time it’s an annoyance that keeps us from operating at our peak level.
In 30 minutes, you can get the benefits of a nap and a vacation.
If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, it’s time to take care of yourself. Start with clearing your mind of distractions and get your energy back.
On my website you will find a 30-minute guided hypnotic visualization designed to help you regain your resourceful state. It’s called Calm, Confident, and Connected.
Go download your copy now. It’s only $9.99.
Once you have it, go find a quiet spot to listen and recharge. Tell your boss you’ll be back to kick some ass in half an hour.