The Importance of Getting Away

Photo, Moah, Utah.

Photo, Moah, Utah.

When we think about getting away, we often think of long, luxurious vacations where we do nothing but relax, get away from the "grind" and return back super refreshed and recharged ready to tackle all of our biggest to-dos and just bursting with creativity. 

One of the greatest things about #freelancelife and the type of work I do (both styling and writing) is that it can be done from anywhere (well, if anywhere has a WIFI connection). One not so great thing about #freelancelife is that those nice little paid vacation days? Yea, they don't exist anymore. Or, as someone recently put it, every day is vacation day! While I appreciate the positive outlook, not working is directly related to not getting paid. Not fun. 

This past week, we have been on a family vacation in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, practically a required vacation spot for those on the East Coast. And it has been a really great time of being away and unplugging (more or less). Fortunately, many of my projects wrapped up just before this trip and I have a few already in my calendar for the week I get back, leaving this week pretty wide open and me not feeling guilty for not working, quite simply, because there's not a lot of work to be had.  

So how do us freelancers and business owners, and yes, some of these apply to even you fully-employed folks, get away when we feel in our souls that our hours are directly correlated to our income? I have by no means cracked this code, but I have a few suggestions that I hope to take on as I navigate this still (very) new freelance life and being able to incorporate lots of little moments of "getting away."

1. Set aside a day a month.

When I first embarked on this self-employment/ freelance life journey, I had every intention of taking off every Friday - devoting it to me, not doing work-work, but closing out the week, etc. I quickly found that just wasn't feasible for where I was with my business and life and made adjustments (also known as working on Fridays). BUT, I think I could handle taking one Friday off a month, devoted to slowing down, taking stock of my goals, and planning for the next month.

2. Schedule quarterly weekend retreats.

Not everyone can take off for days or even a week at a time, especially when you are running a business. A great way to still unwind is to book a staycation (or actual mini-vacation) for a weekend. Sometimes a weekend with nothing on your calendar is all you need to relax, recharge, and come back feeling refreshed. You can also take these weekends as a time to review your business goals and make adjustments where needed.

3. Plan an adventure filled vacation.  

If you truly need to unplug and your schedule can accommodate it, schedule a week of adventures or head somewhere off the grid. Now, adventure to me may mean something totally different to you (I get it, not everyone is into rock climbing or camping), but when you plan a vacation that is filled with adventures that are off the grid, you give yourself a unique chance to embrace the joys of not being connected to every Facebook or Instagram notification and truly connect with nature and those around you. You will find yourself so much more refreshed by taking a huge step away.

4. Resist the grind - daily.

I hate nothing more than when someone goes on vacation and then dreads heading back into  "the daily grind" or experiences the "Monday blues." It seriously bums me out to think that people hate their work on a day-to-day basis so much (and believe me, I've been there a few times in my life). In order to enjoy your day-to-day, try embracing the idea of "getting away" and infusing your daily and weekly routine with small pleasures. Can you wake up an hour early to brew coffee or tea and read your book in bed before starting the day? Maybe you can take a short walk and enjoy nature instead of your cubicle during lunch each day. Try treating yourself to a mid-week coffee (a latte you can savor in a "here" mug at your local coffee shop) before taking on your day. The idea is to infuse little bits of fun and enjoyment into your life that allow you to relax. You will be recharged if you can do this!

You can catch all my #freelancelife posts in my blog category Business