I’m taking my annual summer retreat so you won’t see much of me on here 😉 (I usually take four weeks off in August). But I felt inspired to share this personal story, that led to the decision to have my annual time-off.
When I only had my Flowerdoctor website with the line of essential oil essences I had created, I checked my email every single day. I read my email on weekends, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and on vacation. Because I was afraid of missing an order or disappointing a customer. I did that for two and a half years—over 900 days!
Until I booked a trip to Tuscany for a week with my family. Something made me decide I was going to do things differently this vacation. Tuscany is one of my favorite places in the world. The surroundings soothe me and it works wonders for my energy. Not to mention the cute historic towns and divine Italian food. At the time I didn’t yet have an assistant, so the only solution was to turn on my out-of-office notifications to inform customers about the delay in response and delivery.
The first day I felt bad, like I was cheating or cutting class. Until I made the conscious decision to prioritize my health and well-being. To trust that whoever emailed me that week would understand, and if they didn’t, a new customer would come in their stead.
I didn’t look at my email once; I never even felt the desire to after I made that choice. I can barely begin to tell you what that week off did for my body, my mind, my sanity. I felt my body relax in places I hadn’t realized I was holding tension. I felt freer, calmer, clearer.
I had forgotten what that felt like. To not have to do something every day; to not be responsible or busy all the time. To rest my mind. That’s when I vowed, “Never Again.”
When I’m on vacation I don’t read email as a rule. I hired an assistant my clients can contact for emergencies. I know I can’t do this intense work without taking extremely good care of myself. Hence I do. Not just for my clients, but for me and my family.
It’s something I highly recommend you do for yourself, too. I know many people keep checking their email when they’re on vacation. It means your brain never gets to power down and relax fully. Your brain needs at least twenty-four hours of blissful ‘everything but work’ to get to a deeper state of relaxation. So it can recharge and stay healthy and serve you well in the years to come. And you brain needs longer periods ‘off’ in addition to those (ideally weekly) twenty-four hours.
So if per chance you tend to take a quick peek at your emails on weekends and holidays, perhaps this is the nudge you need to not do that. Even if you try it only once. See if you can feel the difference—like I did.
Wishing you a wonderfilled summer full of energy and inspiration!
PS If you want more practical tips to uplevel your self-care and have more energy, then my book Radiant: How to Have All the Energy You Need to Live a Life You Love is for you!